Netvibes

Yep, Netvibes. After a night’s sleep, the decision to use Pageflakes or Netvibes wasn’t an issue any more. I just decided to start with one of the two. If I don’t like the one I’m using I’ll switch to the other. Such luxury!

Starting my own Netvibes page was really easy. You simply go to http://www.netvibes.com in your browser (it works with a range of browsers). I didn’t pick a great time to start with Netvibes though. At Netvibes they’re busy with a migration of their current users to a new version called ‘Ginger’. This means that first time users get a rather confusing message asking if you’d like to transfer to Ginger. You can get past this dialog box by clicking the ‘close’ button. Now you’ll see a basic netvibes page that you can personalize with your favorite feeds, search widgets, mail-boxes etc. Right up top is a message warning you to register your page with Netvibes to save any changes you’ve made to the original basic netvibes page. After making some changes to the layout and choosing a language area for gathering information resources I registered the page using a gmail account and a password for netvibes that I chose myself.

This is where it started to get confusing. The netvibes server was busy with processing all the existing users that were migrating, so I got an error message saying that the server was busy. After a few tries the page was registered and a confirmation arrived in my gmail account. Signing in remained a problem though. Funnily enough I was able to access my netvibes page and continued to make changes. The best thing about Netvibes is that you can access your personal netvibes page from other internet connected computers. When I tried this from my PC at work I was very disappointed – only the first changes I’d made had been saved! All my hours of perfecting my page were for nothing! At home I checked my netvibes page again. There every change had been saved. Duh? After careful reading of the netvibes help pages and the netvibes blog I came up with a solution to this puzzle. To test my theory I visited the netvibes homepage again but now from another PC in my home network. This is what I discoved:

  • In the older version of Netvibes, Coriander, you don’t actually need to register with Netvibes to make a personal netvibes page. The changes you make are saved in your local cache.
  • If using your ‘registered’ version of your personal netvibes page you need to keep an eye on the ‘Sign in’ and ‘Sign off’ buttons on the top right of the page. If, after signing in, you still see the option to ‘Sign in’ you need to refresh the page in the browser. If this doesn’t work, try signing in again. If these steps don’t work for you there are more steps described in netvibes help pages.
  • If using a browser with tabs and adding content to your personal netvibes page don’t loose the thread – keep in mind that only the changes you make to the ‘signed in’ page will be saved on the netvibes server. You’ll see the other changes too, but these are saved in real-time to your local cache.
  • Only the changes made while ‘Signed in’ will remain on the Netvibes server and be visible to you if you visit your personal netvibes page from another internet PC.