Monday, May 12, 2008

iGoogle annoyances and Add to Google

Add to GoogleGoogle have taken another step to being everyone's default computer desktop with their customized iGoogle home page. With this you can customize the look of the home page with themes and add gadgets, such as news feeds. You cna then use this from any computer by logging in.

What I found annoying was I didn't ask for any of this, just one day recently iGoogle appeared when I went to do a Google search. The previous clean and simple Google search page was suddenly cluttered with news feeds, the time and date (why would I need a web widget to tell me the time and date?) and the like. It took me a couple of minutes to switch this all off (there is an option to revert to "classic Google", but a few of the iGoogle features are worthwile).

One featire I am trying out is "Add to Google Subscription Button". This lets you offer a button on your web site to allow readers to add your RSS feed to their iGoogle page. I didn't like the design of the button, so I just used the ALT text from it like this: Add to Google. The result is much the same as subscribing to the RSS feed, but instead of using the feed reader installed on your PC, the feed goes to the iGoogle home page. I can't imagine many people would want to keep my Blog feed on the home page, but it will be interesting to see how many do.

The add to Google also works with Gadgets (little web based services which will provide things like a news service, or a game). These could become a security and maintenance headache for system administrators.

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