Netvibes: I’m just not that into you

14 Aug

Until recently, I had never heard of Netvibes, an online aggregator that allows you to create a dashboard of online applications widgets you use daily. Previously I had used iGoogle, which is a similar concept but not as extensive.  I liked the idea of Netvibes and set out to create my own page, which now looks like this:

But I’m not totally satisfied with the application, and here’s why:

  • For some reason I can’t enable my main Yahoo email account. Each time I try, the widget tells me that “You need to have a POP enabled account for this. Free except for addresses :-(.”   I know I should know what a POP enabled email account is – I’ve heard the term before. But I don’t know what it is and why I don’t have one. But I do know that without the ability to feature my main email account, Netvibes loses a great deal of usability for me.
  • It seems to take too long for the site’s RSS feed function to renew. For example, my facebook page had four events I had not responded to and Netvibes let me know this by listing a little red “4” on my “General” tab. Even about 10 minutes after responding to the events, the “4” would not go away. This is annoying.
  • The background themes are ugly and garish. They have that generic windows screensaver look about them. I want to just be able to upload one of my own files, but can’t seem to do that. It appears that you can develop your own “theme” for Netvibes, but that seems fairly involved.
  • I’m not entirely sure about this, but it doesn’t look  like I can add a widget that accesses my personal Google Reader. Along with email, this is something I check daily and it would make sense to include it in a daily aggregator, but sadly I don’t think its possible.

Has anyone else experienced these problems? Am I doing something wrong or overlooking anything? Please let me know, because I want to love Netvibes, I really do…


2 Responses to “Netvibes: I’m just not that into you”

  1. libraryroad August 15, 2010 at 9:29 pm #

    Thanks for your frank assessment of NetVibes. I certainly agree with you about its lack of aesthetic appeal.

    I also found the layout not very readable. One of the first things I did was to remove a lot of the widgets, just to reduce the visual clutter.

    I welcome the idea of a social media aggregator but I think it still needs refining.

  2. Shawn Roncin August 20, 2010 at 6:40 pm #

    Funny you mention ‘POP’. I’ve always wanted to use MS Outlook at home (it’s great in the office), but I could never figure out how to get my gmail/hotmail accounts past that ‘POP’ settings stage. If you want to aggregate something for me, it better be easy (otherwise it’s just aggrevating!).

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