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Posted at 11:05 AM ET, 06/ 4/2009

Will Celebs Get You iGoogling?

By Liz Kelly

Ashton Kutcher's iGoogle page. (Image courtesy Google)

With the big boost Twitter got from celebs, it was a no brainer that Google would try to capture some of the same buzz (and same star power) for the launch of their new iGoogle product.

I'm no web wunderkind like that Ashton Kutcher, but iGoogle bears a striking resemblance to that old Web stickiness ploy, the customizable home page. Sure, it incorporates nifty features like your latest mail (if you're a gmailer), but beyond that it is a repository for the usual widgets -- weather, traffic, headlines, maps, etc.

Which may be why Google has enlisted Al Gore, Katie Couric, Keith Urban, Arianna Huffington, Ryan Seacrest and, yes, Ashton Kutcher to share their iGoogle setups with the rest of us and offer elements of their pages to add to your own. So I can, for instance, grab Martha Stewart's theme (which tops my iGoogle page with a tasteful banner of tissue paper blossoms), Al Gore's suggested "Notable John Stewart" quotes module, Keith Urban's "Guitar of the Day" box, Betsey Johnson's posisbly useful to-do list, Donald Trump's blog, Anderson Cooper's suggested "Google Translator" (merci!) and Ryan Seacrest's -- well, nothing from him, thanks.

A quick viewing of my Frankenstein-ed together page left me non-plussed. Especially since it featured two to-do lists, four John Stewart quote boxes, two "Guitar of the Day" boxes and the unnerving sight of Donald Trump staring grimly out of my laptop screen. But even if the page had loaded correctly, I'm not sure I'd make this a regular stop on my daily Web wanderings.

Google was correct in thinking celebs would bring their project some attention, but there's just no incentive to stay. While Twitter offers voyeuristic insight into the celeb's actual lives (think Ashton's Demi butt shot), iGoogle seems to think we'll be just as satisfied using the same BBC News module as Dave Matthews.


I think I'll be continue getting the bulk of my Web celeb fix from Twitter just now, thanks. But, tell me, are you swayed by iGoogle's celebrity stamp of approval?

By Liz Kelly  | June 4, 2009; 11:05 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, How Webby is...  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Angelina Jolie Tops Forbes Most Powerful Celeb List
Next: David Carradine's Death May Have Been Accidental; Susan Boyle Released from Hospital


I've been iGoogling since it was a beta. My page is topped with "Chinese Paper."

I have the date/time at the top, left hand corner, along with a series of news sites on my home page.

I have a page for weather, maps and traffic.

I have a third page for tools (like translator, currency converter, grammar assistant, etc...)

Posted by: mdreader01 | June 4, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Not caring which celebs use which widgets. But, I use Igoogle. I especially like displaying causes at the top. It's one way to get the word out -- except no one sees what is at the top of my Igoogle page but me. I think I see the flaw here.

Posted by: epjd | June 4, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Liz - Jon Stewart doesn't have an h in his name.

Posted by: JLRGG | June 4, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

It's good that an app is out for normal folk like us. Twitter seems to be leaning toward celebrity-dom a little too much...

Posted by: info40 | June 4, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

The celebs don't interest me (in this medium, anyhow), but I like cranking up my firefox and immediately seeing my gmail inbox, a lolcat and the weather. It's a handy gadget.

Posted by: otherliz | June 4, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I've used iGoogle for a long time now and think that it's a useful tool. As far as the Celeb stamp of apporoval? I could care less. What was fun was scrolling through all of thier iGoogle designs were like. Katie Couric's was the most boring one out there.

Posted by: Guest1234 | June 4, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm having flashbacks to the late 90s when AOL had let you choose from a list of celebrities' voices to say "Welcome," "You've Got Mail" and "Goodbye."

While having David Letterman welcome you with, "Please hold onto your hats and keys" and Mike Myers-as-Austin Powers alerting you to your IN box with, "You've Got Mail, Bab, Yeah!" was fun the first few times, it got old quickly.

I expect the same here also.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | June 4, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Of the ones I looked at, I liked Martha Stewart's and Betsey Johnson's the best.

Posted by: JLRGG | June 4, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

No offense, Liz, and I say this with all the love in the world, but this was possibly the most boring Celebritology post ever: I don't even know what Twitter is, now I have to read about some other computer application I've never heard of. You owe us a totally juicy Friday List (maybe the ten best photos of Daniel Craig?) to make up for this.

-The Poster Formerly Known as Snarky Squirrel

Posted by: 7900rmc | June 4, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

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