Back in 2007, when Myspace was still the Facebook of social networks, iGoogle was the Myspace of home pages. One could argue that the home page is the most important place on the internet, in case you use the internet to be productive, instead of, we don’t know, cat videos. When Google discontinued its home page service in 2013, people were miffed, but they were promised something way better – Google’s very own social network. We all know how that went. That’s why these days we use a different service to follow the top 3 websites we need to keep track of!
Finally a good alternative to iGoogle
Many different alternatives appeared since then, but none of them were as good as Start.Me that we wrote about when it got started. How has it improved – especially over iGoogle?. It’s clean, fast, easy to use, it looks good, and yes, it’s free. It turns your home page into and old school personal dashboard. You get a search bar you can change according to your preferences, hundreds of widgets to choose from, an integrated bookmark manager and news feed support. You can even put some cat videos on there, if you insist.
It’s also quite easy to use, no matter what you choose to do with it. All pages start as private, but you can also set them on public and use them as a hub for social networking, or, if you’re an old person, just throw a bunch of links and gadgets in there and use it on your tablet instead of a newspaper to ignore your spouse during breakfast. In any case, you’ll want to install the Start.Me extension for whichever browser you use, to help you choose which content you want to see on your page more quickly and efficiently. As far as we can tell, the extension works good and won’t slow down your browsing.
Business or Education – What Do You Need?
There are two more packages it comes in: Business version, which is supposed to „stimulate on-line collaboration“, both for free and $25 per month. The biggest difference between these two is that the free version is limited to only three members of your team, while with premium you can annoy as many of your colleagues as you want with your funny YouTube links. Jokes aside, this could be really useful if you have a team that works from many different locations or from home.
There is also something called the Education package, „a free start portal for your school or class“ that should help teachers organize their notes and course materials and share them with their students. We loved this idea and think it could really help teachers get through to their usually much more tech-savvy students and make these students hate their teachers less. Educational organizations get premium features for free, which is also a very nice touch.
Whether you’re an exasperated teacher, a fancy CEO or a random plebeian who just likes trying out different apps and services, you should definitely give Start.Me a try.