Friday, December 15, 2006

Why I love Netvibes (subtitle: Okay, so I'm a little slow.)

Over the past year or so I've accumulated quite a list of blogs that I like to keep up with. The problem has been trying to keep up with all the updates since everyone publishes new content on their own schedule. This is the problem RSS and Atom are supposed to address.

RSS and Atom are both relatively simple protocols, but there is a huge number of clients that can be used. The issue I had is I wanted something that was Internet-based so I could use it from wherever I happened to be. I didn't want to have to install software or use a special browser add-in that essentially tied me down to one computer.

And then I stumbled across Netvibes. Here is a description from Wikipedia:

Netvibes is an Ajax-based start page similar to Google Personalized Homepage. It is organized into tabs, with each tab containing user-defined modules, such as RSS/Atom feeds, iCal calendars, Gmail messages, notes, Web search, the local weather forecast, Google Docs & Spreadsheets documents, bookmarks,, Meebo, and user-created modules.

Nathan Freeman recently commented that he found Netvibes overwhelming. I can understand why, the initial screen takes some time to figure out. But once you do, you realize you can tailor it to be exactly what you want, such as this:

And when you click an article, it gives you the full thing (depending on content and how the blog publishes it):

I never really got the buzz over RSS until I found Netvibes. Now I can't imagine keeping up with all the blogs I read without it. I know I'm a little late to the party, and my uptake on these things is a little slow. Many of you are probably either smiling or guffawing at the idea that I only recently embraced this. It's better late than never, right?


  1. Welcome to the party Charles!

    As a Netvibes user for the past 12 months or so (since Leo Leporte mentioned it on his Inside the Net podcast), I really could manage my blog life any other way. The real boon for me is that I use 3 or 4 systems in the course of an average working week, and Netvibes keeps tabs on what I have read no matter where I log in from.

    Recommended... Glad you are finding it so good...

  2. You got me hooked! Once I read the description, I knew this would work for me. Like you, I just never managed to get going with the RSS feeds. But once I saw hwo easy it was at netvibes, and that the same thing I had at home I would have at work, at a friend's house, etc. I was pulled in. This works for me the same way Hotmail 'just worked' for me when it first came out (before Microsoft bought it), and I'm still using that 11 yrs later.

    This will make having everything in one place so much easier. Thanks for the tip!

  3. Welcome to the party, Maria. :-) You can even add your Hotmail to your Netvibes page, giving you another level of consolidation.

  4. I currently use this as a rss reader for work mostly.
    At my current place of employment I am unable to access certain sites and definitely unable to install any software. I will have to check out netvibes(from home - lol). Does netvibes allow you to create a public page for everyone to see?

  5. Gerry, you can share your Netvibes tabs if you want.