Necessity Is The Mother Of Creativity #1

As traditional news venues lose interest in iGoogle retirement and Google continues to maintain its passive aggressive stance, you may wonder how we're going to keep things fresh.

  • Keep you informed on Save iGoogle Campaign developments.
  • Release an extensive list of iGoogle alternatives by the end of August. The list will include a feature comparison and each alternative has to be multi-platform capable (i.e., multi-browser, multi-OS and multi-hardware).
  • Publish an in-depth review of one or two of those alternatives each week.
  • Continue to scour the Web for stories you may have missed.

There should be no shortage of blogosphere stories. There are plenty of savvy people who like to publish what they're doing. Many of the stories don't have the detail to be included in our "How To" page and series, but we're finding plenty of creativity.  Without further ado, you may want to check out:

We recognize many users have no interest in spinning up a website whether it be self-hosted, Blogger, Google Sites or otherwise (but these are just ideas, you don't have to try them). And, if we were Patricia, we would have also talked about pinning browser tabs with Firefox or Chrome (Internet Explorer users can pin to the taskbar in Windows 7, but Safari users are out of luck). As for Flipboard, we enjoy using the "social magazine" app as a leisurely alternative to an RSS Reader, but think Feedly is as good and a better multi-platform alternative since it supports iOS, Android, Chrome, Safari and Firefox (sorry Internet Explorer users).

As always, feel free to comment on this story or Contact Us if you have something to say.

Posted in How To Posts, iGoogle Alternatives, News Story

The “Save iGoogle Campaign” Begins

SaveiGoogle.org was conceived at a gathering of friends on the night of the iGoogle retirement announcement and put into motion with a simple page of resources on the following day. We were founded as a community effort, attempting to bring iGoogle users and developers together to Save iGoogle. We provide original content and information from around the Web about iGoogle and personal dashboard alternatives.

Weeks in the making, we announce the launch of the Save iGoogle Campaign! We invite everyone to join us in efforts to Save iGoogle and thank you for your help! For iGoogle users, the campaign lists recommended actions and resources and explains monthly iGoogle Blackout Days which will begin on October 1, 2012. For iGoogle developers, several tools are provided at Developer Tools, including code for the "Save iGoogle" ribbon, gadget MiniMessages and iGoogle Blackout Days.

For those who have created "Save iGoogle" resources that are not mentioned in the campaign, many thanks and please continue your efforts. They won't go unnoticed. As appropriate, we'll make note in our blog, resources page, how to page or other content.

Posted in Announcement, iGoogle, Volunteer

What’s A Mouse To Do?

When in a position of strength, feign weakness!
And bring a lot more mice!
Have a great weekend!
Stop by Monday morning to learn more
and help with an act of defiance!

Many thanks to Adrian Bruce for the free use!

Posted in iGoogle, Media, Other Blog, Rant

Why Save iGoogle? – Media Scout And Useful On More Platforms Than An Olympic Diver

While the uses for iGoogle may be limitless, here are a couple more published examples for how people use iGoogle:

You can find these reasons and others for saving iGoogle at our Why Save iGoogle? page under Resources on the menu bar. See something we need to add? Comment or Contact Us!

Posted in iGoogle

In Case You Missed It – Top Stories #3

One month in and we're still seeing new third-party stories about iGoogle's retirement..two good ones last week...

This week's gold goes to iGoogle Retiring by Alderin. Anyone want to encourage Alderin to cobble together 1,000 lines of code?

Makes me wonder if my half-work-half-personal anti-sharepoint web-based “cloud” desktop collaboration project is getting a shove forward from the universe...or did Google come up with the same idea and it’ll be out before I could find the time to cobble together a thousand lines of code?

And the silver goes to this damning, but slightly off-topic coverage on Google Gives Talk Users Something to Squawk About by Richard Adhikari. Among the critical gems:

Google "isn't communicating well at all," Enderle pointed out. Its response to the outage "continues to reflect a behavior that is anti-customer and serves as a major red flag for anyone thinking of using a Google product for anything."

What do you think? Did we get it right? Is there a story we missed?

 

Posted in iGoogle, News Story

iGoogle Mobile Is Dead! Developer Signals Google To Foff!

In case anyone is still hoping it's a bad joke, What's happening to iGoogle? is being delivered. "Phase one" of iGoogle's retirement is moving forward, albeit slowly.  At 9:16pm MDT last night we took the screenshot to the left. iGoogle mobile was still working. We checked again at 11:05pm MDT last night and several times this morning on iPhones and Android phones. The iGoogle icon is still there, but it unceremoniously takes us to the Google mobile search (Web) page instead of iGoogle. At least one user "didn't get the memo".

We also submitted a test gadget to the gadget directory this morning expecting it to be rejected, as reported at our exclusive on Spring Cleaning Does Include Google Gadgets! But, the gadget directory appears to continue to accept new gadgets. We'll continue to watch this and report when the situation changes.

In other news, there's already been one defection of note from the gadget developer ranks. The developer known as Gadgeteer has apparently eliminated support of all things Google (well, at least Blogger and Gadgets) and has left some unhappy users in his wake.

This development does present the opportunity for a couple of questions. How would you react if gadget developers flee for the exits and abandon iGoogle overnight? Instead, what if developers organize monthly temporary blackout campaigns? Without getting into technical details, please be aware each campaign would need to last for three to four days for full effect because Google caches (stores) developer code for about 24 hours. Is it something iGoogle users will understand and support?  Will you be willing to flood the iGoogle Personal Homepage forum and Google phone lines on those days with complaints?

 

Posted in Google Gadgets, iGoogle, SaveiGoogle.org Exclusive

How To #3 – Take the Hamster (and more!) to Netvibes and Protopage

Upon iGoogle's demise, the gadget source code noted below will likely not work and may need to be further modified to use gadget code for Google Sites. A tutorial is found at Inserting Gadgets from iGoogle. Also, recognize that as iGoogle's demise approaches and after it occurs, many gadget authors, including Google, may no longer support their gadgets or continue to host the files that make their gadgets work.

Adam Bowman's infamous hamster gadget is already available on Netvibes, but what about other iGoogle gadgets. Is there a way to take them to Netvibes or Protopage?

Indeed, there is a way! However, a couple of warnings:

  • The following instructions do not work for some gadgets! Step 5 of the "Find And Copy The Google Gadget Source Code" section will give a good sign if an iGoogle gadget will work in Netvibes or Protopage.
  • Our exclusive on Spring Cleaning Does Include Google Gadgets! indicates the gadget directory will not be updated for new gadgets after today. However, gadgets should continue to be available as long as a gadget writer continues to make gadget files available for use.

Find And Copy The Google Gadget Source Code

  1. Select/click on the gadget you want to copy at iGoogle.
  2. Select/click on the settings icon for the gadget as pictured to the right. The settings icon is found at the top right corner of each gadget.
  3. Select/click on "About this gadget" and you will be taken to an informational page for the gadget.
  4. Select/click on the "Webmaster tools" dropdown at the top right corner of the informational page for the gadget.
  5. Select/click on "Embed this gadget" and you will be taken to an "Add this gadget to your webpage" page. If the gadget doesn't appear properly on this page, you likely will not be able to take the gadget to Netvibes or Protopage.
  6. At this point, you'll be given the opportunity to change gadget settings, but with most gadgets all that needs to be done is copy the code.
  7. Scroll down the page and select the "Get the code" button and copy the code that appears under "Copy and paste the HTML below to include this gadget on your webpage."

 Netvibes

  1. Go to the tab where you want to insert the gadget code.
  2. Select/click on "Add content" at the top left corner of the screen.
  3. Select/click on "Essential widgets".
  4. Select/click on "HTML" widget and select/click on "Add to my page".  The widget will be added to the top of the tab you selected and will be named "UWA Module".
  5. Select/click on the settings (edit) icon at the top right corner of the widget.
  6. At "Title", enter the name you want for the widget. At "Source", paste the code copied at step 7 of "Find And Copy The Google Gadget Source Code". Select/click on the "OK" button. An example of input using the Hamster gadget follows.

The finished widget should look like the image that follows.  In completing the widget, we removed "amp;title=__UP_hamsterName__&" from the code because we already added a title to the Netvibes widget.

 Protopage

  1. Go to the tab where you want to insert the gadget code.
  2. Select/click on "Add widgets" near the top right corner of the screen.
  3. Select/click on "Web widget code" then drag and drop the widget onto the tab you selected.
  4. Select/click on "edit" at the top right corner of the widget and a "Widget edit" dialog will appear.
  5. At "Widget title", enter the name you want for the widget. At "Paste your code here", paste the code copied at step 7 of "Find And Copy The Google Gadget Source Code". Select/click on "Save". You generally won't need to change the other widget settings (Never display scrollbars, vertical offset and horizontal offset). An example of input using the Hamster gadget follows.

The result at Protopage is similar to the one at Netvibes, so we didn't include a finished widget image. As we indicated above, results will vary based on the iGoogle gadgets you want to take to Netvibes or Protopage. Good luck!

Posted in Google Gadgets, How To Posts, iGoogle Alternatives, Netvibes, Protopage, SaveiGoogle.org Exclusive

Why Save iGoogle? – Genealogy, Flexibilty And Better Than An RSS Reader

Here are three more examples about how people use iGoogle and reasons for saving it:

You can find these reasons and others for saving iGoogle at our Why Save iGoogle? page under Resources on the menu bar. See something we need to add? Comment or Contact Us!

Posted in Why Save iGoogle?

In Case You Missed It – Top Stories #2

There were three more notable "Save iGoogle" stories last week. While none ranked with the wit of Alex Zaharov-Reutt on July 7, we think a gold should be awarded for one based on resolve, along with a silver and a bronze.

Gold: I am not mad at Google; I am frustrated with myself - Atanas (A.T.) Entchev was motivated by the iGoogle decision to move his blog off Google-owned Blogger to open-source self-hosted WordPress:

 I am not mad at Google. I don’t hate Google. I am simply resolving to rely less on their services. I suggest you do the same.

Silver: Google cancels iGoogle, insults users at same time - Jason Magder has plenty of emotion, but he finishes poorly with:

If you’re as upset about this as I, there is a petition to save the service. I didn’t sign up, because I don’t want to be seen as both old and cranky.

Jason, if you're truly upset, sign the petition and maybe do more! It makes us wonder how many other people have accepted Google marginalizing their use of iGoogle?

Bronze: Would iGoogle and Google Video Kick the Bucket? - Mark Dwayne nearly lost us on this story, appearing to trivialize iGoogle until he finishes with:

With so much competition in the social networking world, would iGoogle and Google video kick the bucket? My answer is a definite yes (hoping to be proved wrong)!

What do you think? Did we get it right? Is there a story we missed?

 

Posted in iGoogle

How To #2 – Secure Your Netvibe!

We wondered if the two oft-noted most iGoogle-like replacements have SSL (aka HTTPS) security. Or, if we will be forever resigned to wondering if the Mark Zuckerberg wannabee sipping a caramel macchiato in the corner at the local Starbucks is using FireSheep to sniff out personal information in an iGoogle replacement. Wonder no more.

Netvibes has SSL (but Protopage doesn't). It's as simple as going to "https://www.netvibes.com/signin". Just like iGoogle, some content is still insecure. And, in some browsers, you'll need to click-through the warning about insecure content to see all Netvibes content.

For what it's worth, using SSL is only part of the equation for web site security. We're hoping Netvibes, Protopage and other iGoogle replacements leave a reply/comment to tell everyone how they keep personal information secure when they see this post.

You can also find this at our How To page listed under Alternatives on the site menu.

 

Posted in How To Posts, iGoogle Alternatives, Netvibes, Protopage, SaveiGoogle.org Exclusive