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Eric Hammersley <insert impressive list of technology to blog about here>

Not long ago (I’m talking days here) I watched a Channel 9 video of Sanaz Ahari and Steve Rider - where they talked / demoed the project.  This project is part of the MSN “Sandbox”  Honestly, it’s pretty neat.  A drag and drop start page rich with RSS support, collapsible sidebars etc. it makes for a cool experience.  If you want to skip the silly trivia questions and get right to the site is is at  When you check it out be sure and click everywhere, drag the news blocks around, etc.  You can even run a search and make the results a part of your page.  Pretty cool stuff.

Here’s the interesting part and the point of this post.

For those of you who don’t know you can have a personalized start page with Google.  If you go to you can have a personalized start page complete with, my personal favorite, a gmail webpart.  It’s a GoogleLabs project so you won’t find mention of it without digging into the GoogleLab pages.

Now… and I MEAN just NOW I opened my browser and Google has released their version of the “” type page above.  Shocking, no… not really but what I enjoy is the competition.  First thing I did, and so should you, is click “Add content” in the top left corner, choose “Create a Section” and add your favorite RSS feed.  It works great and you can configure how many posts to show once you add the block to your page.

Honestly it all boils down to personal preference.  I prefer Google as a start page because I just want to search.  I don’t want to see what Paris Hilton is doing or what the latest half wit quote is from one of Bush’s aids, I just want a search box.  I know, some would say that by personalizing your page you are just doing the same thing but honestly, is a bloated page full of useless crap, IMO of course.  If I can personalize my start page to have a nice clean search box plus a few choice RSS feeds I’ll be in heaven with a nice, quick loading start page.

I guess none of this is especially amazing.  I think what got me was I literally opened my browser one minute and it was the same page from the past several days and a couple of minutes later it turned into a rich information portal.  I’ve even got 4 days of weather now as opposed to 2 days a few minutes ago. 

Silly? Yes, but in this game you got to be on the edge to get ahead. and  Keep up the good work! 

You need to go give this a try!  For the lazy readers: and

Posted on Monday, July 25, 2005 8:52 PM Internet | Back to top

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