Build Your Own Portal

I’ve never liked having to re-login to portals to get access to my setup and information again, like iGoogle and My Yahoo require. Of course Microsoft has live.com which used to be start.com. Even though iGoogle and My Yahoo will let you share a tab, it requires the other person to be logged in or requires cookies, plus the information won’t be there, it basically just gives them what modules you have without any of your settings.

However the following sites will let you share your page and then it makes it public to where anyone can see it. Good thing about this is that you can easily type in the URL (or bookmark it) and bring it up without having to login. Of course if you need to make changes then you’ll have to login, but its nice to be able to see a quick glimse of weather, stocks, events and other information that really doesn’t matter if its public or not.

  • Pageflakes – Nice url for sharing your tab. Themes coming soon. They keep the options a little simpler than Netvibes
  • Protopage – Items can hover over each other or be locked into grid. Easy url for sharing. Some of the interface seems a little to “jumpy” to me but its a pretty good site. You can setup a theme and “wallpaper”.

The following sites you might keep your eye on as they will probably add this feature soon.

  • Netvibes – Will soon be able to share “universe”, right now if you share something it basically sets up someone else with the same widgets in the same place, which isn’t that great. You can select a theme or setup a wallpaper. They seem to have more options for each widget than the other sites such as: minimize in place (collapses the widget), text links to move it, color options for every widget, and a few others.
  • Webwag – Its like Pageflakes and Netvibes. The best feature is the fact you can create your own widget from any website, basically it has an interface to create an iframe for any site on the web. So even if something isn’t available in a Feed or Web Service you can get it. I believe Apple’s desktop widgets allow for this also. Sharing requires it to be approved and won’t give you a unique URL, it just gives the person viewing it the same modules.

Of course there are other ways to build your own portal. You could put try to find a good JavaScript library or extension that supports drag and drop and build your own widgets. So far I’ve yet to do any research into which ones are good, I know jQuery has one called Interface, but I haven’t tried it out.

There aren’t any open source apps that do this, but eyeOS and Brim come close. eyeOS is considered a Web Desktop and Brim is a WIM/PIM.

Another way is to put up a static web page and use some gadgets/widgets/whatever you want to call them that will work on a web page. Most ISPs will give you plenty of web space, so you could build your own. Google provides plenty of gadgets for your web site, some of them are made by Google, others are done by individuals or companies. Yahoo also provides badges for your web site, so far the only one I like is their Finance Stock Badge. Some sites are offering JavaScript based modules on their site, for example Digg does this and AccuWeather and Weather.com have weather modules. The main problem with this is that your site will look pretty lame. But if you are building your own portal, chances are its just for yourself so it won’t matter.

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