Thursday, 31 January 2013

Thing 4 - Netvibes

I hadn't heard of Netvibes before I started 23 Things so I went into Thing 4 with an open mind.

We were asked to create a Netvibes account - easy, although it did take me a couple of attempts to create a user name because I hadn't read the blurb (admittedly right next to the user name box) that said you can't use capital letters. By this time I had glanced through Mina's very helpful Netvibes instructions so I knew that Netvibes is a personal portal to the web that allows you to have all your favourite webpages captured in one place (your dashboard), including social networking sites and RSS feeds for keeping up to date with information of interest to you.

At a first glance your new dashboard looks awful - it is already populated with widgets (I love techno terms!) that you probably don't want there but it is very straightforward to delete the ones you don't want and add new ones. I did have to resort to the help guide to work out how to adjust the column widths but the rest of it was fairly intuitive. You can have several dashboards, or several tabs on the same dashboard, for example I have a 'general' tab and an 'open access' tab.

You can chose to have a public dashboard to display to the world, and I can see how that would be useful for teaching purposes and for sharing useful websites/blogs/news feeds if you are collaborating with someone. I decided to activate my public dashboard...only to be told I had to be at least 13 years old to do so! So I then went into the 'manage my dashboard' option and set my date of birth (not totally accurately, but enough to convince it I'm older than 13). I was disappointed that there does not seem to be a way to automatically populate your public dashboard with the widgets/feeds on your private dashboard but it could be that there is a way and I haven't found it yet. Anyway, for now my public dashboard is bare so here is an image of my private Netvibes dashboard:

Things I like about Netvibes: it is very easy to customise and to add widgets and feeds, there is a huge range of backgrounds to choose from so you feel that you have great technical skill because you can make it look how you want it to, and I can see how it would be a useful tool for teaching and sharing information.

Things I don't like about Netvibes: there doesn't seem to be a way to turn off the notifications for unread articles on the feeds and widgets. You can click on the notification and mark them all as read, but then you get a warning message that makes you feel like you're cheating and should really go back and read every single thing that has been added to that website/feed. After all, you chose to have it on your Netvibes dashboard so it must all be relevant, right?

More reflection to come in the next post, which is about the use of RSS feeds on Netvibes.


  1. Hi Nicki,

    How did you get the screenshot of your Netvibes page on your blog? I tried a standard screenprint (as you would do if adding a screenshot to an email or word document) and it didn't work. I'm sure I can probably find out through wordpress - but I'm lazy and love a short-cut: ask someone that's already done it - thanks


  2. There is probably a better way of doing it but my approach was to take a screenprint, paste it into a Word document, then right click and chose Save As Picture (I changed it to a .jpg but you probably don't need to). From then I uploaded it to my blog as you would a normal picture. In Blogger you can adjust the size of the picture so I went for large (the default was medium); I think you can do that in Wordpress too. Taa-da!

  3. You are so clever blog hero! I'll give it a go:)

  4. PS: I await your tenuous song link for "doodle"!