Personalized Start Pages – Exploring their use in my project work

Update 3/31: I found this write up from Lifehacker – where they rate five of the most popular start pages – Google, Netvibes, Pageflakes, Microsoft Live, and Yahoo.


I’ve become more and more intrigued about the potential of using personalized start pages … especially for a SUPER AWESOME project I have just started for one of my clients (more on that a bit later).  First, here are those that I have found – I’m sure there are many more out there.   For the record, I have tried and tested all but four of these so far.

One of the strengths of personalized start pages is that the content is pulled, arranged, mashed-up and presented to you based on your own whims and needs.  Just imagine this being a highly malleable intranet launch page.  And that’s where the idea is being entertained for my current project.

I’m working with a group of folks that are all quite distant from each other (distant in terms of geographic space and not in terms of emotional detachment) … and the needs of each team member and small groups within the larger team are subject to change quite frequently.

Another dynamic is that small groups within the larger teams are charged with performing research – finding  information and resources … These groups can customize their start page in any variety of ways … giving them great flexibility.  And then when needed they can share their pages or parts of pages with the larger team.  These shared items/pages can then be adopted and incorporated into everyone else’s page … and they, too, can be mashed-up by other groups and then republished (continuous change and collaboration). 

Most of the dialogue I’ve been following on the blogosphere centers around preference … ya know – which one does so-and-so prefer and why. All that is fine, but not helpful for me at the moment.  In terms of preferences, most of these seem to have similar bells-and-whistles.


My interest – and the interest in using something like this for this project work is to have every team member (no matter how distant they are from each others) be able to launch the same page.  Kinda like an intranet portal on steroids. Everyone’s page has the basic set of links/newsfeeds … and then folks can add others as they come across them.  Just imagine that I come in to work one day, launch the start page and find that someone from across the globe (literally) found a news site or research site and added it to the page.  I don’t have to go on a hunting expedition – in which I may never have found the site anyway. 

More work to be done on this idea …

About Rory

I make my home in the central part of the Garden State along with my family. When I'm not working as an Instructional Designer (focusing mostly on Web-Based learning ... and other eLearning technologies) or researching something, I'm found at home playing computer or video games. Among other things, I volunteer as a choir member and catechist for 8th graders at my parish.
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