Thursday, August 5, 2010

Netvibes: Customize Your Web 2.0 Experience


Netvibes advertises that users "can personalize their web experience" which is done by choosing and placing objects known as widgets on tabbed pages. When I set up my Netvibes account about a week ago, I had some difficulty at first with how to manipulate the pages and make use of the widgets that were offered. In fact, I deleted my first Netvibes page after I had some minor trouble trying to figure out how to place the widgets on my page. Once I understood some of the mechanics of how to manipulate them, I succeeded in laying out my main page. I included widgets for my Facebook feed, Twitter Feed, my Gmail account, and feeds to my own personal blog.

Next, I had to decide how to make use of the ability to create subsequent pages and make use of the Tab feature. I decided that my other pages would be devoted to RSS feeds of some of my favorite blogs, and that I would arrange them by subject matter located on the Tabs. This allowed me to arrange the feeds on the page, and determine how I wanted the post previews from those feeds to look. I also included a Twitter Search widget so that I might follow along during events like #edchat.

What I personally like about Netvibes is the ability to layout your pages the way you wish and with the widgets you want. This customization feature is definitely a plus. I also like the pages and tab feature. Being able to use the Tabs to organize my RSS feeds onto the same pages makes accessing those feeds easier. I could see a teacher using a Netvibes tab and page to capture the feeds of their students in individual classes  as they post to their blogs. I am sure the functionality of Netvibes will only grow as they are able to develop more widgets. To set up your own Netvibes account, go to http://www.netvibes.com and follow the instructions.

Has anyone else found some educational uses for Netvibes and its widgets? Are there any examples of effective uses for administrators? I plan to keep exploring, but I would love to have some more ideas on how to best use this tool.