Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Pageflakes : Too useful to live without!


I've been testing out Pageflakes for a couple of days now and I must admit its been growing on me! Initially the bland interface didn't capture my interest, but once I started to play around with the modules/flakes I find myself favoring Pageflakes as my homepage of choice.

Pageflakes features:

  • Simple drag and drop features makes it easy to change your layout, customize the look of your page and have all your feeds easily accessible. (pretty standard)
  • "Add Feed" feature allows users to enter the websites URL or the feed URL with out having to specify which you're inputting. Import Bookmark or OPML feed options are given as well!
  • Great Video search complete with channel information, run time and number of views displayed.
  • Fun modules used for the podcast feeds including a black Ipod or a slim small player.
  • "Upcoming Events" feature is an impressive feature which allows users to input their zip code and have events in their area fed into their home page. Perfect for last minute or lazy planners!
  • Effortless method to Add and navigate between pages.
  • Ability to track E-bay Auctions, DVD Releases, Calendars from within your homepage.
  • One of my favorite features is the option to "publish" your pages! Set up a page with all the information, photos, video and feeds you'd like to share with colleagues/friends/family and simply share the URL! It will keep them "in the know" of what you find important for them to know! The "Share" option makes it simple to monitor who has access to pages within your homepage, its a really handy feature!
  • E-mail from withing your homepage! This is truly a time saver, not only do you get a preview of whats in your "inbox" but you can reply from with in your homepage as well.
  • Nifty templates to make the most use out of your Homepages! Customize the templates provided for one central reference point. Template themes have options suited for students, office productivity, movie fanatics, video enthusiasts, email page(access all your accounts within one page) and Gadget addicts! Contact lists, message boards and tasks lists are some options you will find within different templates.
  • Standard fun options are included as flakes as well, such as: Flickr Photos, TV Schedules, Movie times, Price comparisons, Myspace, maps and more.

Reasons why you might be better off with Netvibes, Google Homepage or Schmedley:

  • Videos aren't displayed within the homepage, they automatically open up in a new window.
  • The preview for feeds is limited to about two short sentences in a pop-up caption above the headline of the feed.
  • Slow interface - at times my page froze up for a good minute or so before loading/refreshing. (perhaps its my lackluster computer slowing down the page)
  • Bland interface - Schmedley is still my personal favorite in the "visual" sense.
Overall functionality wise I am impressed with what Pageflakes has to offer. As I stated before the interface isn't spectacular but it gets the job done. Also, if you're looking for a good compilation of tech feeds I highly suggest adding the 'Blogalicious' template to your collection, its a good source for newbies to dive right into.

Thumbs up for Pageflakes!

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