I was introduced to Netvibes at Internet Librarian (via Steven’s Trends in Blogs, RSS, Wikis, and Other Stuff presentation), and I started thinking…. my library has talked on and off for years about creating some type of personalized “my library” page. This page would allow library customers to link to whatever they want, and of course it would also link to library information, like the library catalog. But for one reason or another, we haven’t gotten to that project yet…
Thankfully, we might not ever have to do that – enter Netvibes! Netvibes is, in essense, pretty much what we were thinking about. It searches Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia, and IceRocket. It lets you add links (and tag them). It lets you access your email (well, Gmail, anyway). It lets you subscribe to feeds (the screenshot above includes some of my library’s RSS feeds, plus my del.icio.us and flickr feeds).
And, if you’re a Dynix user – you can include Library ELF – to access your library account information. OK – I also included Kansas City area weather, for kicks.
There’s a lot of If’s here – only Gmail, only Dynix, etc. – but still. I find this type of service pretty cool. Why?
- It has library implications. A library can offer it to customers right out of the box, and it can actually be useful.
- This, like much of the web, is in beta. But can you imagine what it or a similar service (My Yahoo, anyone) will be doing in a year or two?
- Helping customers organize “their web.” My guess is that many of our customers don’t use much of the web – they frequent a small number of websites, and use Google when they need more information. Why not teach those users to organize their digital life with something like netvibes? And in the process, teach them how to link to, say, your library’s RSS feeds, the library catalog, the databases page, etc.