Protopage and Pageflakes and Netvibes, Oh My

And hey, I now know that’s a snowclone. Good thing all this web education isn’t going to waste!

I am currently comparing Personal Start Pages, but for communicating with others, not just setting up my personal learning environment (though later I’ll do that too, I’m sure). As I play, I have compared these three products. What I want is:

  • the option to make the page public
  • a block where I can post one or several specific videos
  • a block that shows comments and discussion, preferrably right there though it’s OK if it links out to another board
  • a block where I can put in whatever HTML I want
  • no ads
  • customized layout
  • boxes showing RSS feeds and lots of ’em
  • a way to show a web page, like the Program for Online Teaching page
  • and how ’bout my del.icio.us tag cloud?

Turns out all three had no ads, and a way to show a web page. Then they started to differ.

Protopage gave me my own URL for my page, which got me wanting that too!

  • I could share any page using the tabs
  • no YouTube video block specifically, but it let me embed a video with height and width in an HTML block
  • has a comment box right there, but it’s announcing, not interactive
  • I can display and combine feeds with no limit
  • widget resizing and arrangements not problem
  • challenge: the scroll bars get tangled in Firefox on the Mac
  • cool things: it doesn’t make you use the username to log in, just the password (I can never remember my damn usernames), and any user can adjust widget boxes

Pageflakes
can do public, private or group pages and allows invited people to edit. It also gave me my own URL for my page.

  • I couldn’t figure out a way to post just one video, and
  • I could find no open HTML “flake” to put code in
  • Message Board right there (in which I got a comment immediately)
  • RSS feeds limited to 25
  • cool things: web page flake can display any web page, and can have flake showing del.icio.us tag cloud

Netvibes was the one I struggled with the most, though I was able to do a lot. No URL, and I can’t show you my page because I couldn’t figure out how to do it. I had to sign in to do anything at all. This one made me feel stupid.

  • No YouTube widget but can use HTML External Widget for videos or HTML
  • can do an HTML note
  • no built in message board, but has phpBB discussion forum monitor, so I could see an external discussion if it were in phpBB
  • it can show the first line of feeds, but has 10 maximum
  • can display any web page

So….I’m still thinking about it.

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