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A Race to Personalize the Web

Google quietly put an "i" in front of its personalized home page yesterday, a subtle little move that sparked a buzz in the blogosphere. This, of course, is not to be confused with the clean and simple Google home page - which remains a simple design. This was a change to the page that you, the user, can customize with RSS feeds, widgets and other Web clippings, such as news feeds.


Called iGoogle, bloggers quickly noted that "i" is the Apple letter (iPod, iMac) while "G" is Google's (Gmail, Gtalk.) Yadda Yadda Yadda. What's in a name? What seems to matter most among those chiming in is the flexibility that Google offers with its home page. The Yahoo comparison quickly came up. Yahoo is clearly the leader in personalized home pages, with some 50 million monthly unique visitors, compared to Google's 7 million, according to TechCrunch. But Yahoo puts a fair number of limitations on its "personalized" home page - from the layout itself to the content that can be added to it.

The original Google home page is still very clean and simple - but note the "iGoogle" and "Sign in" links at the top right corner of the page. Yahoo, especially, should take note. For people who want a lot of customization of a personalized home page, those simple little links might lure away MyYahoo users in search of a bit more freedom.

By Sam Diaz  |  May 1, 2007; 1:17 PM ET  | Category:  Sam Diaz
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Comments

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google lost a ton of money when they made a deal with MySpace. if google provided their own MySpace/Facebook offering, they'd make like a bazillion times the bazillion they already make on ads.

Posted by: someguy | May 1, 2007 2:24 PM

My personalized home page has crashed 5/1. Read about it here:
http://groups.google.com/group/Google_Web_Search_Help-Personalizing/browse_frm/thread/59b3283837690de0#

Posted by: Fried | May 1, 2007 2:26 PM

The word "ig" (short for "iGoogle") has always been in the URL for the personalized Google-page. I wonder why they waited so long before changing the name.

Posted by: SKA | May 1, 2007 3:11 PM

to quote:

"google lost a ton of money when they made a deal with MySpace. if google provided their own MySpace/Facebook offering, they'd make like a bazillion times the bazillion they already make on ads."

it is called orkut and has been around for quite some time...

https://www.google.com/accounts/ServiceLogin?service=orkut&continue=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.orkut.com%2FRedirLogin.aspx%3Fmsg%3D0%26page%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.orkut.com%252F&hl=en_US

d'oh

Posted by: someotherguy | May 1, 2007 3:22 PM

"i" isn't the "Apple letter". iRiver was using it first.

Posted by: Steve | May 1, 2007 5:06 PM

And so the dreamers come to see that the dream can become a reality... and what today is new - tomorrow will be something passed on to you... iWonder iWish iSaw this iMovie before... seriously - for the 10 people who spend their time blogging - and only due to the current popularity of it... iWonder who will be around to do so in the next 10 years... (iGuess on 4)... For rizzle. Until Jame T. Kirk starts giving out his Captain's Log address ain't much interesting going on the earth side lives.

iBored... You?

Posted by: Just-A-Guy | May 1, 2007 5:09 PM

"i" isn't the "Apple letter". iRiver was using it first.

Posted by: Steve | May 1, 2007 05:06 PM
------
Wrong-o!

Posted by: Apple Expert | May 1, 2007 11:59 PM

>google lost a ton of money when they made a >deal with MySpace. if google provided their >own MySpace/Facebook offering, they'd make >like a bazillion times the bazillion they >already make on ads.

...Orkut is google

Posted by: P | May 2, 2007 1:35 AM

For me, I find NetVibes superior to both Yahoo and iGoogle. But alas, it's just a bunch of AJAX, and the user is who makes a personal webpage unique.

Posted by: prdcrman | May 2, 2007 4:03 PM

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