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Netvibes May Give My Yahoo Run For Money 72

Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "Wall Street Journal columnist Walter S. Mossberg reviews Netvibes, which allows users to create personalized pages with modules that gather headlines, email, weather and other data from all over the Web, and 'combines some of the best features of My Yahoo and [Apple's] Dashboard,' Mossberg writes. More from the article: 'Among the modules you can add to your Netvibes page right from this menu, without navigating to any setup page, are weather forecasts, a notepad, a to-do list and calendar, and modules that perform searches for Web pages, blogs, pictures, videos and podcasts. There are also email modules that will display your new messages from Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, AOL Mail or any regular old email account you configure. Others display content from eBay, MySpace, Fox Sports and more.' In an accompanying video, Mossberg demonstrates Netvibes."
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Netvibes May Give My Yahoo Run For Money

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  • by scrod ( 136965 )
    Didn't the world move beyond customizable portals with My Netscape? Does anyone actually care about this fluff anymore?
    • Respectfully, IMHO, the entity that gets portals right will be ruler of the intarnet! Seriously, can you see combining voice computing with a semi-intelligent, internet enabled portal?

      I get up in the morning and say, "computer, today's weather" and get a audio report of today's weather. Then I say, "coffee maker start" and my coffee maker kicks off. Then, I say, "dogs out" and my doggy door unlocks and the dogs can go out. Then, I say, "computer, my stocks" and get a report of where my retirement funds
      • by wrfelts ( 950027 )

        Then, I say "computer, start shower" and my network enabled bathroom kicks on the shower to the temp I like and starts the bathroom radio/TV to my preference.
        ... then my network enabled shower/TV/radio shorts out and electrocutes me. Then my wife says "Computer, cremate my husband." and the house burns down... etc...

        yeehaw... sign me up!

      • "Tea. Earl Grey. Hot."
        • "Tea. Earl Grey. Hot." ...why not? We are very close. The big obstacle I see is having to devote TONS of resources to stemming global warming. Our resources will focus on that and the "luxuries" of our technological world will fall by the wayside. Then, when we see that we're focused on global warming too late, and the world starts starving, our focus will be on trying to maintain some semblance of civilization. Buy your guns now and get some books on growing your own food!

          NO! You can't share my bun
    • Yes. I've setup Firefox with a locked tab for my "portal" page (a Swedish one; []) and it's much more convenient and informative than using bookmarks. In 1997, the web was static, so it can't really be compared.
    • Didn't the world move beyond customizable portals with My Netscape?

      I don't know -- but since News Corp. paid $580 mil for Intermix's 55% share of Myspace, it seems that wherever the world moved to still has plenty of opportunity for fluff to make cash.

      Does anyone actually care about this fluff anymore?

      Yes. That's why so many people have RSS feeds, certain Firefox extensions, etc.
    • How to you get a lot of information at a glance? Do you have a single startup page (Google?) and then individually go to each site you want to check in the morning? Are you still using a browser without tabs?

      I use Googles /ig page, and when my browser opens I can see at a glance my email, my calendar, and top headlines via RSS feeds from a dozen different websites. All on one page. Why wouldn't you use a customized portal??
      • by scrod ( 136965 )

        I use Googles /ig page, and when my browser opens I can see at a glance my email, my calendar, and top headlines via RSS feeds from a dozen different websites. All on one page. Why wouldn't you use a customized portal??

        Because I use Dashboard [], my email client [] notifies me of new messages while I work, my calendering software [] notifies me of upcoming meetings in a similar fashion, and there have long-existed superior RSS reading programs [] with which web-based aggregators would have a difficult time keeping up.

        • by IgLou ( 732042 )
          Great, if you're using a laptop with wireless or some other mobile computing with the "right software". The strength of portals is based on easy of use and the ability to access from anywhere. My google homepage is available anywhere I go, work, home, friends; it doesn't render so hot on my smartphone but I'm a couple of generations behind. The point is there is a niche that is nicely facilitated by portals and this doesn't require those us who aren't interested in buying more hardware or software to mak
  • It strikes me as odd that Google hasn't done something like this already. Personalized Google is OK, but not nearly as user friendly as My Yahoo or Netvibes. It's surprising they lag behind on this.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TodMinuit ( 1026042 )
      Most of Googles stuff comes from internal use. Googlers, like most people in the world, probably don't use personalized portals.
    • by Thansal ( 999464 )
      Personalized google [], just incase you were not beign sarcastic.

      Admitedly some poeple seem to have problems where it signes them out every time, though I don't have aid problem.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Thansal ( 999464 )
        hit submit by accident...

        Alot of the stuff in personalized google is the same type of stuff on my yahoo. Sure it might not look as pretty (personaly I think it looks beter), but I find it to be fulyl functional.

        I have up on mine a random game, /., Ruters, a wiki search box, my email, weather, and that is about all I want.

        If I want sometihng else you can just add in the RSS feed.
        • Amen to personalized google. I've got moon phase, quote of the day, prepackaged RSS feeds from slashdot and reuters oddly enough news, and an RSS reader pointed at scala multimedia's forum feed so I can see what's going on over there with infochannel designer. It loads amazingly fast and it's totally ajax'd out. You can drag and drop things to rearrange them, what more do you want? Adding more content is trivial. I used to have a gmail preview there but then my gmail spam started getting up over 10 per day
    • by DrEasy ( 559739 )
      I've switched from My Yahoo to Google's Personalized Homepage simply because the Yahoo module for their calendar is useless. It is either "unavailable" or requires you to login on a daily basis to get the info. Google Calendar's gadget is much nicer and is always logged in.

      Little details I know, but that's how Yahoo is slowly losing its long-time users.
  • I've used as my personal homepage for a few years now and I've been pretty happy with it. It loads quickly and has a nice setup interface for adding RSS feeds. I was skeptical at first but quickly won over once I started playing with it.
    • I have My Yahoo set up nicely. It does some cool stuff, but I never use Yahoo as a search engine any more. I use google.
      One thing I like about My Yahoo is the email, news, cartoons, personalization, blog all under one login.

      If someone created something comparable and better, I would switch, simply because I no longer like the Yahoo Search Engine.
      Google would be nice because then I would have a nice search engine along with the things I look at daily.

      If these new personal desktop apps give me more co
      • Hmmm..
        Okay.. I really like Netvibes so far!!!! :)
      • by cmacb ( 547347 )
        You didn't know Google had all those things?

        Seems like a lot of people don't and I'm surprised. I guess I've gone looking for those things and found them and others are waiting for some sort of notification. So here it is:

        Google personalized page: []

        Google Reader: []

        Free home pages: []

        Docs and spreadsheets: []

        Google groups: []

        (groups was fairly sparse until recently but has been updated to include
        • It doesn't check ALL of my emails at the same time...

          Yes, google has a lot of good stuff, but it's still lacking...
          Google remains my search engine of choice however!

          Thanks for the info and the links though!!! :)
          • by cmacb ( 547347 )
            Just a note...

            I just noticed that the ability to fetch mail from other servers (via pop) has been added to my gmail account. I understand that it is being gradually rolled out (I have no idea how long I've had it).

            Unfortunately, of course, Yahoo and MSN only allow you to POP their mail if you pay for the privilege, while this has always been a free feature of gmail (It was a free feature of Yahoo too until they took it away, which is about the time I got fed up with them).
            • Yeah... I'm not too happy with them.. I have shelled out the cash to get the "privilege" ... and other stuff that came with it...
              It was my best option at the time.. I wasn't too happy about it, but now it's done...

              There is something? I just don't like about gmail.. but I can't put my finger on it yet....

              Maybe it had something to do with scanning the emails to get ads that fit one's interests.. either way.. at the time I chose not to participate in gmail...
  • by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <enderandrew@ g m a i l . com> on Thursday February 01, 2007 @12:39PM (#17844856) Homepage Journal
    Aren't there a huge plethora of sites that allow you to basically collect little applets and RSS feeds for a customized home feed?

    Hasn't this been the case for years and years?

    Can anyone please explain how this /. worthy?
    • Its reviewed by wall street journal. May be it was a slow news day at wall street and they realized that there is some thing called portals.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      This one is much cooler than any I've seen. It uses AJAX, so changing things around doesn't require a setup page (unlike Yahoo or Google). You want something? Grab it from the sidebar and drop it onto the workspace. Do want something? Click the "X" and it's gone. Rearrange? Just drag and drop! You can refresh the individual boxes too. Plus you can make custom boxes that you can publish for other users to use, too. Very Web 2.0.

      • has been doing it for more than a year now.
      • Google's version allows you to click an X to close, minimize, maximize, drag-and-drop, expand tree-level navigation, use multiple tabs within a page, etc. etc.

        Google's version is all AJAX-ified. Have you tried it recently?
      • Agreed... I've tried many portals before I settled with Netvibes about 2 months ago.
      • by ady1 ( 873490 )
        Not exactly a portal but if you want to read RSS than a much better app is google reader. It's in alpha (google labs) but already pretty stable. try it at [], a screenshot here: g []

        some of the features are:

        1. As you read RSS items, they are marked as read. You can also only displaying unread items/feeds.
        2. You can label/tag items just like in gmail. You can also star items, again similar to gmail.
        3. You can share items which will be avai
      • How is this unlike Google? Sounds exactly like how Google homepage works. There's also the nice feature of being able to add feeds to my Google homepage right from Firefox. Quite convenient.
    • by djaxl ( 543958 )
      Aren't there a huge plethora of sites that allow you to basically collect little applets and RSS feeds for a customized home feed?

      Probably, yes. When I saw the description I was reminded of PageFlakes, which uses ASP.NET / Atlas: []

      (NetVibes appears to be using PHP in combination with an AJAX framework.)

      Possibly Slashdot-worthy because NetVibes is getting all the traffic, trouncing PageFlakes and ProtoPage []: s.php []
  • by jomama717 ( 779243 ) <> on Thursday February 01, 2007 @12:42PM (#17844908) Journal
    • Or, rather:


      Transferring data from ...


      Transferring data from ...

      (30 seconds later)
      "The applet XYZ failed to load due to an unknown error. Please try again later. If it continues to fail, please call the IT helpdesk."
  • Wow, this French startup got a healthy boost today from Slashdot AND Mossberg !!!
    Investors, add some $$$ (sorry euros) on your previous checks.

    All this Web 2.0 stuff is still very surprising and I am still a bit skeptical. But promised ! I will try it.

    Hope that we get the same kind of boost here. (a bit jealous)

  • Hooray for Privacy (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ford Prefect ( 8777 ) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @12:47PM (#17845034) Homepage
    From the front page: "Gmail Account not configured, use the Edit button to set your login and password".

    This site ... isn't a Google service. They want full access to your email? Yeah, right. I can't see how else it would work...
    • Well, I certainly don't expect privacy from gmail. But it is a useful free service for the bulk of my nonsecure transactions, and for "chatting". My homepage is a fully decked out Google homepage with all the stuff I can fit, now I can click on Netvibes for an alternate source of info, without much duplication.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      So giving Google full access to your email is better?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mrbooze ( 49713 )
        *Someone* always has full access to your email, unless you maintain your own email servers and exclusively use encryption in all your messages.

        If not Google, then your ISP. Even if you host your own servers your ISP can capture all your mail traffic unless you encrypt it.
    • If you have a little applet that is supposed to check your google email for you, how can it do so if you don't provide it with your email address and password? The same goes for those applets that check Yahoo email, AOL mail, hotmal, etc of course.
      • by josath ( 460165 )
        There's a difference between something that sits in your systray and stores your username & password, and something that sits on a third-party server, which you have no control over, and stores your username & password (in a non-hashed format, which means other people potentially have access to it)
  • Why wasn't Google's personalised home page included, or the MSN Live pages? Seems to me it's a bit of a redundant comparison.

  • Protopage [] is another web 2.0 app that does the same thing as netvibes.
  • I just tried out the new Yahoo Mail Beta, and I must say it's very nice. It takes some of my favorite features about My Yahoo, and improves the email experience too. The only problems I have with it is that it is a little large and doesn't offer the same customization options as My Yahoo (yet).

    I used My Yahoo for awhile, but eventually it just wasn't worth it to me. Now that they have some of the same functionality in the same pane as my email, though, I really like it.

    All this to say, I won't be using N
    • by eln ( 21727 )
      I tried the beta, and after about a week switched back. The Beta is FAR slower than the old version. One of the best things about Yahoo Mail is its quick and lightweight interface. The Beta totally kills that advantage, and makes it into yet another overengineered mess.
  • that allow for the same thing?

    I would like to host my own "portal" interally on my network. I would envision this to be a web page which is a collection of feeds and links to other services. Something like or personalized google.

    • by SpzToid ( 869795 )
      Try Drupal. FOSS CMS:
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by drinkypoo ( 153816 )

        You forgot to provide the actually relevant information, which is that if you want to use it to create a site with user-definable portals, you will need the MySite [] module.

        I've been using drupal for a short while now (since 4.6 - since then there's been 4.7(.x) and now we're up to 5.1 already - drupal's versioning scheme was recently changed to be more stupid) and while there are some dragons there it's easily the most full-featured free CMS that won't make you cry trying to set it up. In fact 5.x made t

  • Just for the same reason I don't buy all-in-one printer/scanner/fax. If one part breaks, the whole thing is worthless. With this, if someone gets one password, they have access to all of your email accounts and whatever else this site has.
  • So it might be better than My Yahoo. But is it better than My Yahee []?

  • I wrote this article about how to take customization to the next level with Netvibes and some firefox extensions. Check it out: [] Cheers, Daniel
  • by Ougarou ( 976289 )
    Isn't this going to be the same problem as Yahoo showing Wii pictures from flickr on their Wii page []? (Also see: [] ) If netvibes starts adding advertisements to their page (and they will) they will hopefully get the problems they deserve for layouting other people's content.
    • I'm with google all the way, it's super easy for me, however i havn't tried yahoo but i'm gonna stick with what works.
  • [] ??

    In fact it looks more cluttered and less flexible to me.

    Slashvertisement? I think so.
  • by melted ( 227442 ) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @02:32PM (#17847204) Homepage
    Google personalized page loads in 1 second. Yahoo takes about the same, maybe a bit longer but is harder to use due to visually noisy design. Windows Live personalized page takes 6 seconds. Net Vibes takes even longer.

    The winner is Google, case closed.
    • Google personalized page loads in 1 second. Yahoo takes about the same, maybe a bit longer but is harder to use due to visually noisy design. Windows Live personalized page takes 6 seconds. Net Vibes takes even longer. The winner is Google, case closed.

      Not to mention it integrates with gmail without having to give it something it already knew, whereas you are providing net vibes with info. And gmail is the only web e-mail that actually has a nice mobile solution as well. If you are going to have a port

  • What is amazing is that NetVibes isn't even original. Microsoft had this interface running in their site and then in before NetVibes launched. The real issue for personalized home pages is that they take work to set up AND more and ongoing work to maintain. Most folks set them up and perhaps update once but then stop using them because their interests change.

    There is one of these that addresses the problem called PersonalWeb. It watches where you are surfing and figures out what your i
  • Netvibes rocks (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Ullteppe ( 953103 )
    I've used Netvibes for almost half a year now - really great for keeping up to date with various RSS feeds and bookmarks (due to the support) no matter what machine you're on. The key to having this work is a very clean layout - I've tried both the Yahoo and Google solutions but liked Netvibes much better.
  • While netvibes, pageflakes, (did M$ rip them off?), google personalized home pages are all cool, I'd prefer to have my own private version The Brim [] project is a long ways away from that but it has the biggest chance of becoming a OSS version for you to put on your own server.

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle