Guest Author - Deborah Crawford
Home pages have evolved dramatically since the concept originated back in the dawning of civilization days of the 1990’s. (Well, that’s when I heard about home pages, anyway.) My newest, just-discovered home page is iGoogle.
(Those of you who are rolling your eyes and sighing “that’s so 30 seconds ago” can go back to scoping out the latest Paris Hilton sighting while I tell the other old geezers and people too busy running their businesses to keep up with every little new thing out there what this is all about.)
So, iGoogle is a Do-it-yourself home page, just like My Yahoo, only maybe on steroids or some other performance-enhancing supplement. You can create your own iGoogle in a matter of minutes, and you can waste lifetimes playing with it. Here are some things I think are way-cool about iGoogle:
The Background Themes:
Okay, there are only a few background themes available right now, but the ones I’ve used are cute and change their scenery, colors and lighting according to the time of day. Background themes include Beach, Bus Stop, Cityscape, Sweet Dreams, Tea House and Seasonal Scape. You can also opt for the boring, corporate-approved Ho-hum White, which they call “Classic”.
The Huge Variety of “Gadgets” Available:
To add content to your homepage, you just click a tab labeled “Add Stuff”. You can pick gadgets (little button-type link/feed icon things) from an endless list according to what you want. Some of the gadgets you can add include:
--Tools like calendars and clocks and weather watchers.
--News feeds from everywhere
--Personal interest gadgets related to your hobbies and interests.
--“Of-the-day” gadgets for quotes, jokes, tips and more.
--Search boxes for eBay, Amazon, craigslist, and more
--Productivity helpers like sticky notes and to-do lists
--Your gmail account
--Health reminders like a water tracker or fitness routine creator
--Internet radio, you-tube and other entertainment features
--Links to your favorite reference cites
--Your very own bookmarks for your favorite websites.
My favorite gadgets include the writer-friendly document to pdf writer (this is priceless), the dictionary, the water tracker, the motivational quotes, and my news quotes. Some of it I had on My Yahoo already, but some of the new stuff is very nice to have.
Not all the gadgets I’ve tried have worked very well. However, all you need to do to delete them is click on the “x” at the top of the specific gadget and it goes away. This is very easy and painless compared to other customizable homepage systems.
You can create your own gadgets. I did it and it was easy and yes, it worked! I created a gadget that links back to the SOHO homepage. (I will add a link to that gadget here once it gets published in the Google system.)
You can create all sorts of gadgets of your own, too and then either keep it to yourself, share with a few friends or publish for everyone to see.
So, visit Google and check out iGoogle for yourself. Then, join us in the SOHO Forum and share your favorite gadgets!
For more information on Google, buy this book:
The Google Story: Inside the Hottest Business, Media, and Technology Success of Our Time