What do you use as your start page when you fire up a browser? I think there are four answers:
- Default. Whatever the browser came with. Are you like my wife? She still uses IE and never bothered to change the start page. She uses MSN. Yes, she is a lemming when it comes to PCs (as I expect most are.)
- Blank Page. You use the net to research something and be done. You don't care about the news, sports updates or anything else. Give me a black slate and I will choose what to look at. (I suspect there are only a few of these folks out there.)
- Corporate Intranet. You work for one of those companies that sets the page for you. Unisys was like this. The corporate-standard start page for the corporate-standard Microsoft browser was the Unisys intranet. Now, it was better than most intranets, but I don't care to be so internally focused. Fortunately, they do let you change it. Anyone who can change the page but haven't? Please refer to number 1 above.
- My Page. If you are like me, you have set your home page to a start page that collects and digests all the information you need in one spot. MyYahoo! is a prime example and has been my staple start page for almost 8 years. I think a lot of people fit in this category.
But, I am changing... Over the last 8 months I have been playing with Netvibes and I really like it. For some reason, I still keep MyYahoo! as my start page, but I use Netvibes much more regularly. It is a wonderful too for both work and play. I have multiple tabbed pages. One is for news (local, national, international). I also have weather on there. The next page is all about analysts. If I am a subscriber and they have an RSS feed, its on there. Next, a stock tab. This is less about my portfolio and more about the stocks that I am tracking that are related to work. I also have a tab of blogs. This includes industry blogs and individual blogs from folks that matter in the world of open source or Postgres. This page also has a blog search module that searches nine different blog aggregators or search engines. This is the most valuable tool on the whole page. The last work related tab is all about Oracle. This is a great tab and was actually created by someone else and made public to all as a "Universe" in Netvibes. What a cool concept.
I encourage you to check it out. And, if you have a suggestion for another web 2.0 start page, let me know!