iGoogle is on its way out. I need a new portal.
October 24, 2013 9:54 AM   Subscribe

I am reminded of Google retiring GReader... the way that it changed my online life and the uproar that came along with it. Except this time there is no uproar or teams of companies try to market their competitive offerings to me. Where do I go now?

My current page has panes for my Gmail, my GCalendar agenda, my To-Do list, my Google Docs, and an NFL-related RSS feed. It used to have a pane for GReader too, but we know how that went... I had assumed that they would pull iGoogle and put most of that feature set in to Google+ but I don't see that in the works. The idea of opening up my browser and not having a dashboard of all of my goings-on makes me sad and maybe a little anxious. These are my goings-on, not necessarily just a list of important news events/articles.

I use google everything (and android) so it would be great if the new offering had some sort of baked in google-juice. Are they pimping something else I just haven't seen or heard about? How am I the only one freaking out?

What do you guys use as a web portal/dashboard? What have you seen done? Post screenshots or (MeFi mail me your layout if you don't want to take the time to photoshop blur all of your important bits). Is there a way I can use Chrome to accomplish this in an elegant/polished way? As always, free is good too!

Assume I have seen the alternatives offered here.
posted by milqman to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
I used MyHQ.com for years, but that site has never been updated and it's devastating when it goes offline (as it occasionally does). About a year or so ago I switched to Symbaloo.com. It was very clunky when I first used it, but in the last several months especially they've made many useful improvements and customization options. It has RSS and many interactive panes that you can use to update social network sites, check email, search for things (Google, recipes, books, movie tickets) right from their homepage. Now that I'm used to it, I think it's pretty great. And I like that it's getting even better.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:05 AM on October 24, 2013

Chrome can become your personal web portal simply by virtue of being signed in. Add the Speed Dial extension and you are set.

(I assume that is why they killed iGoogle).
posted by rada at 10:48 AM on October 24, 2013

I haven't found anything ideal, but igHome.com is working pretty well for now. I have read recommendations for NetVibes, Protopage, myYahoo, uStart, and then the somewhat different tiled-link pages Symbaloo and Startific.

Really the only one that had widgets I found useful and at all familiar to my iGoogle comfort-zone was igHome. It's a bit aesthetically clunkier than iGoogle, but for lack of alternatives I guess I can live with that. Meanwhile I continue to be mad as hell at Google about its increasing abandonment of desktop-useful services to go all in on mobile/social.

Assume I have seen the alternatives offered here.

Yeah, you mean the lack of alternatives there. The blatant disingenuousness Google displays on pages like that make me nuts.
posted by aught at 11:04 AM on October 24, 2013

Use a Google Chrome tab as a launch page, as rada described. Awesome New Tab Page extension might fill your needs.
posted by GoneWhere at 11:14 AM on October 24, 2013

I'm in the same boat. The Google Chrome tab thing doesn't come nearly close enough. I'm really going to miss having a short summary of my calendar, news headlines, etc all on a single rendered page.

Both My Yahoo and My Way still exist and seem to be working. I switched off Yahoo in 2005 and off MyWay in 2007, frankly surprised they're still around. No idea if they're adequate now, I've been putting off finding my own alternative.
posted by Nelson at 11:28 AM on October 24, 2013

I have also been using igHome - the ugly, less talented sister to iGoogle.

I keep hoping something will come up like my happy switch from greader to feedly, but so far nothing seems to want to step into that space.
posted by Julnyes at 11:39 AM on October 24, 2013

Just tried igHome today. It's completely great, I love it! Assuming of course you are reading this post via time machine in 2005.
posted by Keith Talent at 2:08 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

I switched my RSS feeds over to netvibes when Reader died, and recently added a gmail widget to the page. There are widgets for your GCalendar, Google Docs and to do lists as well. I don't find it quite as intuitive to set up as iGoogle, but it's not bad.
posted by peppermind at 7:30 PM on October 24, 2013

I'm fine with ighome, honestly. It's not the prettiest, but this isn't like a crucial thing for me. I check it a couple times a day for weather/calendar/news and that's about it.
posted by getawaysticks at 5:43 AM on October 25, 2013

Response by poster: I was scared that this would be the case... What does everyone else do? The internet will be incomplete for me :-(
posted by milqman at 2:28 PM on October 26, 2013

Here's 10 iGoogle alternatives in an annoying slideshow with no links. The list is igHome, Netvibes, My Yahoo, My MSN, ProtoPage, uStart.org, Symbaloo, Startific, StartMe, and the Awesome New Tab Page extension for Chrome.

I've been using igHome for a couple of days now and while it functions, it's definitely not beautiful. I'm surprised that no one has done a fancy Web 2.1-ish version of the start-page-with-widgets; I guess it's just considered a dead market.
posted by Nelson at 9:37 AM on October 29, 2013

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