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.
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