Top Web Tools of 2008 – Number 3

netvibes-logoNetvibes is an extremely useful and customizable personalized start page, similar to (but better than) iGoogle, Pageflakes, and the like. “Better” of course is in the eye of the beholder, and I’ll start by telling you the one feature that I think makes Netvibes better – you get a public page that you can share with the world. I have used iGoogle since it was first released and I do like many things about it. However, the lack of a public page for sharing your stuff with others is a major deal-breaker for iGoogle. Here is one of my public Netvibes sites.

Any Netvibes site can be personalized through the use of existing themes or by creating your own theme. You decide how many customized tabs to use, which feeds to display, and which modules should be shown. Display your email, weather, latest news from your favorite news sites, the latest posts from your favorite blogs, your Twitter feed, Delicious bookmarks, Flickr photos, Skype windows, instant messaging, a comment wall, and much,much more.

The Netvibes Ecosystem is where some of the useful new developments occur. There’s a Facebook Application, a Firefox extension, nearly 150,000 widgets (as of Dec. ’08), and a large number of third-party tools.

One of the best educational uses of Netvibes comes from none other than Professor of the Year Michael Wesch of Kansas State University and his Digital Ethnography project.

Other useful links:

Finally, I’ll leave you with a video I created for a blog post titled “Web 2.0 inside D2L – Netvibes as Home Page.