IGoogle is Google’s customized home page, ala My Yahoo, etc. What I liked about it was the fact that I could aggregate all my “stuff” in one home page. I could check my Gmail, Google calendar, read my blog articles, access my bookmarks, even check my social media sites, all on one page. No need to open multiple windows. It updated every few minutes making it easy to see important emails or messages. IGoogle was one of the time saving tools I taught in my 10 Minute Social Media seminars.
But for reasons unknown, Google has chosen to put IGoogle out to pasture. So now what do I use for my browser home page? Well, like any vacuum, something is waiting to fill the space. There are several alternatives but the closest to IGoogle I’ve found so far is IGHome.com. It offers gadgets for Gmail, Google calendars, Google bookmarks, and tons more. Everything from latest news from all the major news services to stock market news; from local weather to cartoons and jokes.
IGHome.com also allows you setup multiple tabs. I have a second tab setup for specific blogs I follow, like Google Central, Social Media Examiner and SEOmoz. I even added a gadget for Evernote and Feedly (that aggregates all my RSS feeds.) There is even a way to import your IGoogle setting into IGHome (although mine didn’t import everything.)
There are a few things things I’ve found that aren’t as good as IGoogle. The biggest is the Gmail gadget. It doesn’t use the Gmail folders like the IGoogle gadget did. Instead of gettting just the Primary folder emails, I get everything. I’ve looked for a setting but so far without any success.
The Google calendar in IGoogle showed a small month calendar on top with the agenda below. The IGHome gadget only the embedded calendar which is a choice of Agenda, Week or Month views, rather than the hybred.
Now before you rush over to IGHome and start setting up your page, wait. Apparently the huge volume of us flocking away from IGoogle has put a strain on their servers (which may be why my import from IGoogle didn’t work so well.) Adding gadgets or making changes is very slow. There is a not on their home page saying they are adding new servers this weekend, which should improve the site’s responsiveness. So I would wait until then before checking it out.
Assuming that the site speed will improve, this looks like the best alternative for us IGooglers. So, goodbye old friend. I’ll miss you…at least for a few days.
Gary Wagnon is the chief Ninja Marketing Officer for 800biz Ninja Marketing Solutions and the creator of the Ninja Marketing Dojo. The Dojo teaches business owners and marketers online strategies that increase traffic to their site, improve search engine rankings and converts browsers into buyers.