Monday, July 16, 2012

Goodbye iGoogle - Hello Protopage!


(Click above for larger image)
iGoogle Gone, Baby Gone
So, thanks to my amazing mentor @JoyceValenza & Google+ I recently heard the upsetting breaking news that Google is doing away with iGoogle!
"iGoogle will be retired in 16 months, on November 1, 2013. The mobile version will be retired on July 31, 2012."
What the What!?
Now... to be honest I only use iGoogle at school as my start up page & to bypass my district filter for Twitter using the totally awesome TwitterGadget! (more about that below!) Shh! Don't tell.
But let's talk about what's really important...what about my pet digital Hamster!?? Whew! Thank goodness Adam Bowman, the designer, assures us that the hamster will live on by giving us the modifiable embed code for this engaging widget! Hint: look for the tiny blue link Edit Settings - make those mods then copy & paste the embed code!
(Click on Aloysius the hamster to wake up & feed!)


(My original iGoogle Page - Click above for larger image)
Social Media to the Rescue!
So.....what to do? Of course I complained about this on my G+ and on Twitter and Hmmm a few min later I got this unsolicited tweet! (actually they Tweeted me 3X!)

Protopage Outlasts iGoogle!
Humph! I don't really like to be "spammed" by ANYone...but I admit I was intrigued! So I checked it out -- and not so bad. Apparently, Protopage was designed before iGoogle and has lasted 7 years! So, like on and off the whole flippin day I played with it - added a pet (a puppy - they didn't have my hamster) weather gadget, clock, to-do list and more. Changed from 3 columns to 4, saw that I could also add tabs...SWEET!

Branding, Backgrounds, and Graphics!
Using Photoshop I designed my own Protopage background coordinating with my new blog header & Twitter background. (#VisuallySnobbyIam) But seriously, branding is all about visual continuity!
Thanks the responsiveness of John Sortino of TwitterGadget for a timely answer to an email, I finally figured out how to add it to my page! (I also donated $10 to TwitterGadget just seemed the right thing to do!) Voila! I'm sold! View my LIVE Protopage (you can have yours public or private)
and I forgot to mention it's FREE & easy to set up - tweaking like an OCD geekazoid, Optional!

Do you use iGoogle? Are you sad to see it go? What other Google apps that have come & gone that you miss? What do you think? Your comments are always desired.

23 comments:

  1. So I stopped using iGoogle because its options were limited in the creativity side. I think I will look into Protopage. Looks GREAT!

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    1. Hi Buck & Whitni - I understand not using iGoogle but I had a need of it for school - but yeah, try Protopage, so far - I'm impressed - let me know what you think!

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  2. I don't use iGoogle. I did for a bit, but haven't used it in years. It won't be missed.

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    1. Hey Chad! So you won't miss iGoogle? Gotcha some of us got attached & had a ninja need :-)

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  3. Interested. Thanks for the share. Here's hoping it will accommodate nice little widgies for GMail, Reader, HuffP, NYT Most Emailed, etc.

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    1. Hi Tony! I got my Gmail to work on it, haven't tried the other widgets, but I *just* figured out how to add my beloved Hamster! W00t! We're learning together here :-)

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    2. Hooray, I can't wait to try it, BIG time thnx, :)

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    3. You're very welcome, Tommy! Thanks for your comment, I hope @Protopage works for you!

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  4. I saw the iGoogle message and added searching for a replacement to my seemingly endless to-do list. So thank you for this suggestion!

    I miss GoogleWave. Some other kidlit writers and I were using it to collaboratively critique each other's writing, and it worked. But I admit it was unwieldy.

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  5. Hey Gwyneth, I stopped using iGoogle when it took so darn long to load, and when my video helpers commented on my silly widgets! It will be fun trying out Protopage! Thanks for the heads-up!

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    1. Hi Laurie - fellow ISTE Board member! Thanks for your comment! Let me know how Protopage works for you - the more I play with it the more I like it!
      ~G

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  6. Hi Gwyneth. We just did a brief story on your post and protopage at http://saveigoogle.org/what-happens-when-a-daring-librarian-meets-protopage/ Great work!

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    1. Thank you for feat. this blog post on your blog! I'm dead flattered! Never tried Netvibes I'm following you now on Twitter & will see where this goes. You know though, Google rarely changes its mind, right?
      Cheers!
      ~Gwyneth

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  7. Another popular choice, in addition to protopage, is netvibes.com -- take a looks and see if it would be a good choice for some people also.

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    1. Thanks for your comment dear Anon! Like I said above I'll have to check it out!
      Cheers!

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  8. I heard the news about iGoogle! It is indeed sad that Google gets rid of stuff like that. I had a hamster too (I'd named him Hammy Munchster), so I'll have to try Protopage. Thanks for the tip ;)

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  9. I used to have iGoogle as my startpage, but it caused my browser to crash more than ones...

    The problem with iGoogle (and also Protopage) IMHO, is that they make it too complicated. There is simply too much noise on the page.

    I actually prefer Yourls (http://www.yourls.com). It's very simple design, but it works perfect as startpage.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Luuk!
      I looked at your "sales pitch" disguised as a comment (just be straight out saying you want my readers to see your site - that's OK!) and I'm sure your prodcuts Yourls is nice enough but frankly I'm graphically biased - I think it's well, plain & ugly.

      But some people like plain & utilitarian & not gorgeously POP graphic! It's all good!
      Cheers Oh and Booya!
      ~Gwyneth

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  10. It is funny... I started on protopage what seems like eons ago. When iGoogle came out, I said to my wife, "look a protopage, but with Google goodness!". Today I am going back to my old protopage and updating its content, looks, etc. I came across your story in the process and am glad to see others doing the same. At the same time, I suppose just creating a Google site as a landing page would likely accomplish the same, but without the JS drag-and-drop goodness built in. Sure, I could code that up, but sometimes it is nice when stuff just works like that. Sigh.

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  11. I love igoogle but like most of my favorite restaurants (and some of my favorite people), I need to move on. I've dabbled with Symbaloo's webmixes which is cute but not so efficient. I'll try protopage.

    BTW, here's a sample symbaloo webmix:
    http://www.symbaloo.com/mix/wordgames2

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  12. I kept hoping that Google would change it's mind and 'not be evil' and end up keeping igoogle. BUT as the calendar ticks closer and closer to November, I am ready to believe they really don't care about their users and really are going to kill off my favorite homepage. :(

    I am pleased to find your blog here about protopage. It looks and sounds good!
    Are you still using it? Has it lived up to the promise of when you started. Is your hamster still alive and happy? :)

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  13. It would be great to have a widget like Google Translate back on the Protopage... I used it very often!
    Also, the "DaysTil" ap was great... you could like all of your events in a single ap.

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  14. btw... Protopage seems to be the best so far vs. Google. It would also be nice if the widget showcase was searchable or organized alphabetically.

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