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 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.