Archive for the ‘iGoogle’ Tag

Keeping up with the pack

…. huffing and puffing as I arrive well behind the majority of the cam23 bloggers…  

I finally need to do my Thing 4 post and talk about iGoogle.  

I had set up an iGoogle page not long before the start of 23 Things, based on the recommendation Ange Fitzpatrick made over on the UL staff blog (I can’t link to the blog itself as it’s restricted access).  

However my iGoogle page looked more than a little unloved. I have to say, I like the idea of the personal start page but wasn’t comfortable with it in practice. I couldn’t quite put my finger on why but then the estimable Passion & The Fury described this discomfort (well, actually she calls it physical pain) as “having to log into Google to see my own front door“. I’ve seen others mention the same reluctance to use iGoogle and I’m glad I’m not the only who felt this way.  

To carry out Things 1 & 2, I spruced up my poor folorn-looking iGoogle page, added some useful tabs, some cute owls (different for each tab), the COPAC widget and some RSS feeds.  

iGoogle startpage

My 23 Things tab on iGoogle

 

This was my 23 Things tab (I also have a Work and Home tab, though I’m not a pet hamster kind of a librarian).  By the way, I noticed lots of people blogging about problems getting images into the blog. That bit was fine, but I couldn’t do the cropping/tidying up of screenshots that I would normally do as I’m staying with family and using a computer that doesn’t have anything but Paint (which doesn’t seem to want to let me crop). 

You can see, I started adding useful RSS feeds here. However, as more and more blogs appeared on the Cambridge 23 Things blogroll, I realised my poor iGoogle tab wasn’t going to cope. It was already loading very slowly with just a handful in there. Thanks to the work done by Josh, LK and Girl in the Moon, I’ve been busily trying to get a complete list in various kinds of feed readers. More about that in another post.  

In conclusion  

So I don’t think that iGoogle is for me, though I continue to tinker with my tabs and pages still. I’m more impressed with Google Reader (which will come in a later post).  

I think a large part of the problem is that I’m not willing to leave myself permanently logged in to my Google account on my work computer, it just doesn’t feel right. I didn’t use my work email to set up my Google account – I already had one actually, from my Blogger days I think, and I try not to use my work email to register for things online unless they are directly work-related.  

I do feel a real need for something web-based as I’m now working part-time and so am sometimes scheduling things or replying to emails when I’m away from the library. It would be useful to be able to access some kind of “work space” with information, links, feeds and a calendar (looking ahead to Thing 6) from my home computer. I’m going to investigate CamTools more seriously as it might be able to offer all the things I would want but without having to go through Google.  

I couldn’t have iGoogle as my startpage on the laptop at home as I share that. We have the BBC as our homepage (which has the option of some personalised settings too, but which is already causing a conflict about the choice of radio station as the default. Maybe I should set up a Doodle poll on preferences between Radio 4 and 5Live?).

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