Create a Lifestream Using Pageflakes

If you haven’t already read my post on Lifestream – Could it be the next big thing , then take a look to familiar yourself with the concept. There have been a slew of Startpages that have started to really mature lately. They currently provide the best mashup platform to be used for a Lifestream. I thought it would be a good idea to provide what I believe is currently the quickest and simplest platform independent system to allow for someone to create a Lifestream they could share with others.

I didn’t select Pageflakes all willy nilly. I actually spent quite a bit of time defining a set of contenders to use, created a standard lifestream based on the one I created here on my site, and then compared each sites features and functionality. I started with the current top three contenders in the Startpage space which are Netvibes, Pageflakes, and newcomer Webwag. I’m only going to do provide a quick summary of how I used these sites to create a Lifestream and not go into the full functionality they offer. If you haven’t tried these sites though, I recommend that you do because they are great. Below are some details regarding the process and screenshots of each of the pages:

Netvibes Lifestream

Netvibes is considered the top player in the Startpage category so I thought I’d start with them. They offer a very clean and responsive design. I quickly added each custom RSS feed into its own module. There are several controls offered for each feed module including, number of items to display, title, and color. They already had existing modules for Flickr and Del.icio.us which offer some additional options the feeds don’t. After adding all of the modules I used their fancy Ajax drag and drop to align the modules the way I wanted them to appear on the page. I kept this scheme the same across all three sites for consistency.

Pageflakes Lifestream

I then moved on to Pageflakes and proceeded to go through the same process. Luckily this was pretty painless since Netvibes offered the ability to export all the modules as an OPML file which I then imported into Pageflakes. They also offer the custom modules and in addition to the Flickr and Del.icio.us ones that were provided by Netvibes, they also offered a Youtube one. So I killed the RSS feed and added that module instead which offered more functionality and details to the module. Pageflakes also offers the ability to export any module as a widget where they provide html for you to embed the content on your own site which is a nice touch. The user interface was pretty much the same as Netvibes, but what ultimately sealed the deal for Pageflakes which no other site offered was the ability to share the startpage. You can view mine here. This is of course an essential feature for creating a Lifestream and was why I selected them, but beyond the sharing I liked their feature set the most. I believe the others sites may add this ability in the future.

Webwag Lifestream

Webwag is one of the newer players and appears to be a little behind the Netvibes and Pageflakes in terms of functionality. They did not currently offer the custom modules for Flickr, Del.icio.us, or Youtube like the others offered. But I was able to import my OPML file flawlessly and if you’re looking for a more minimalistic implementation you may want to consider them.
You may be wondering why I didn’t consider using any of the big three (Yahoo, Google, Microsoft). Well I did and they were weeded out pretty fast. None of them offered competing functionality that I felt was better than Pageflakes. They also aren’t very elegant in their UI implementation and I feel are far behind the curve. Also you can’t share your page with any of them which I already stated was a nail in the coffin.

I also tried a few others including Protopage, Yourminis, Suprglu, and a few others. But none seemed to offer the features and quick ease of use as the others. I still would recommend that if Startpages are new to you, that it’s worth playing around with them as they are great and can support a large variety of uses that may be appealing to you.

You can read on about Startpages at the links below:

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. You might also be interested in a brand new start page available called Funky Homepage (www.FunkyHomepage.com). It’s comprised mainly of Google gadgets (as well as Gadgets from other sources), live news feeds (with your choice of news provider), daily Bushisms, daily jokes, horoscopes, videos, weather (up to 5 locations), interactive calendar, Google calendar viewer (for up to 5 Google calendars), comic strips and lots more besides. It also lets you choose your own search engine, colour scheme, etc.

    Unlike many of the other personalised start pages available, there’s no need to create an account and it’s all already set up for you, with the most popular gadgets organised by category and sub-category. So there’s virtually no setting-up work required by the user, making it ideal for the mainstream audience and those (like me) who can’t be bothered to do all the work of setting up their own page. More adventurous (and less lazy) users can choose to add their own Google gadgets and RSS feeds, but most people just use the gadgets and tools provided.

    Unlike Netvibes, PageFlakes and all the other AJAX powered home pages, Funky Homepage does not use a drag and drop interface. Instead it allows you to select from a drop-down list of the most “popular” gadgets and feeds – “popular” according to the Google gadgets most popular list, that is. As such, it’s not really intended to compete with the flexibility of Netvibes and PageFlakes, but instead is intended to address a gap in the market for those who want something a bit more funky than Google or Yahoo, but without all the setting up required of Netvibes and Pageflakes. So only the most popular gadgets are offered. Although it still maintains a large degree of flexibility for the more adventurous users, allowing them to enter their own feeds and gadgets, should they wish. Whether you like it or hate it, at least it offers an alternative from the plethora of AJAX-powered homepages that are now available.

    It’s free to use and you can check it out at http://www.funkyhomepage.com

  2. You might also be interested in a brand new start page available called Funky Homepage (www.FunkyHomepage.com). It’s comprised mainly of Google gadgets (as well as Gadgets from other sources), live news feeds (with your choice of news provider), daily Bushisms, daily jokes, horoscopes, videos, weather (up to 5 locations), interactive calendar, Google calendar viewer (for up to 5 Google calendars), comic strips and lots more besides. It also lets you choose your own search engine, colour scheme, etc.

    Unlike many of the other personalised start pages available, there’s no need to create an account and it’s all already set up for you, with the most popular gadgets organised by category and sub-category. So there’s virtually no setting-up work required by the user, making it ideal for the mainstream audience and those (like me) who can’t be bothered to do all the work of setting up their own page. More adventurous (and less lazy) users can choose to add their own Google gadgets and RSS feeds, but most people just use the gadgets and tools provided.

    Unlike Netvibes, PageFlakes and all the other AJAX powered home pages, Funky Homepage does not use a drag and drop interface. Instead it allows you to select from a drop-down list of the most “popular” gadgets and feeds – “popular” according to the Google gadgets most popular list, that is. As such, it’s not really intended to compete with the flexibility of Netvibes and PageFlakes, but instead is intended to address a gap in the market for those who want something a bit more funky than Google or Yahoo, but without all the setting up required of Netvibes and Pageflakes. So only the most popular gadgets are offered. Although it still maintains a large degree of flexibility for the more adventurous users, allowing them to enter their own feeds and gadgets, should they wish. Whether you like it or hate it, at least it offers an alternative from the plethora of AJAX-powered homepages that are now available.

    It’s free to use and you can check it out at http://www.funkyhomepage.com

  3. You have mentioned very interesting details ! ps decent web site .

Comments are closed.

Close Menu
%d bloggers like this: