Pageflakes, Competition for Personalized Google

Filed under:Opinion, Tech, Cool Stuff — posted by Tyler on April 5, 2006 @ 10:19 pm

I came across today (primarily because somebody came to my site from there) and found the site very cool! The familiar Ajax loading icon that I use for my comments on this blog told me right away that it was made with Ajax. is a customizable web portal like unto Google’s Personalized Home that I’ve been using for quite some time now.

I’ll be giving this a try over the next few weeks and sooner or later I’ll make a desicion between this new option and what I’ve been using in the past. I’ll report on my decision at a later date. Things that I like already are the ability to create multiple pages, a feauture I was just wishing for tonight as I added yet another module to my Google Page. Things are starting to get crowded.

Windows Live is yet another “Ajax Desktop” but it looks cruddy comparatively to both Google and Pageflakes.  It won’t be long before Yahoo turns out their version as well.  Come to think of it, they may already be doing that with “My Yahoo”.

A quick search revealed some more options that are out there!  In fact, there are too many to choose from (listed alphabetically in addition to the three mentioned above):

If you’ve used one or more and you have a preference or opinion, please post a comment.


  1. Ok, just a short time after customizing my new PageFlakes portal, I’ve determined that they still have some work to do. I’d rather Google make improvements (like the ability to add additional pages) then switch to PageFlakes. I think they’ll get better, but for now, their “flakes” are limited compared to what Google has to offer and perhaps the sole reason I’m not making the switch might be because their Gmail Flake doesn’t include the ability to limit the amount of messages that are displayed at one time.

    Comment by Tyler — April 5, 2006 @ 10:36 pm

  2. Tyler - we are working on exactly that feature at the moment - the gmail and also POP3 will be improved very, very soon. Also, we have 58 modules at the moment. Does Google really have so many more. Maybe you can name a few modules that you’d like to see on Pageflakes. Contact me directly via email if you like.

    Ole, Pageflakes

    Comment by Ole Brandenburg — April 6, 2006 @ 1:19 am

  3. Ole,

    Yes, Google has many more offerings when it comes to modules, but there is good reason; they are nearly a year old. (Just under 6 months if you count the official release since it left Google Labs in November, 2005…so they have about 6 months on you, plus the advantage of being the top search engine thus a much wider audience).

    I’m sure that in time (and with your competition taking place) Pageflakes will catch up AND catch on. I’ll be keeping a close eye on the progress and the moment the Gmail module is improved I just may give it another shot. What you do have on Google’s Gmail module is the fact that you can click on the subject within the module and see a snippet of the body of the message. I just don’t want my module to fill the length of the screen with all the messages I chose not to archive yet.
    The module I added yesterday to my Personalized Google homepage was the Earthquake Watch which is a third party, non-Google-sponsored module written by David Crowell. With this kind of support from a site that is dedicated to “Unofficial” Google Modules, the choices are huge; at last count 479 modules which don’t include Google’s Official offering. Granted, a lot of them are pure crap, but at least I have some choices.

    I’m looking forward to see what you do with Pageflakes. I hope you have a lot of success because I think your site is certainly on the right track. For the record, another module that I’d like to see that I use on Google is another third party module called Google Webcam Module. I work in the basement (don’t all IT people?) and rarely get a glimpse outside. I’ve configured this module to refresh a picture from a local webcam that looks out over the valley to refresh when I load my homepage. It’s my office window.

    I hope this didn’t turn into an ad for Personalized Google, but you asked. Let’s see what your people can do. As for me, I just dabble and I’m in the process of learning Ajax. We’ll see if maybe down the road I can’t come up with something good. In the meantime, I hope you have much success with the competition!!!


    Comment by Tyler — April 6, 2006 @ 7:29 am

  4. Just checked out the developer page for building flakes for Pageflakes to see how hard it would be to make a module. Turns out you don’t even need to know Ajax to build a flake.

    I swear I read something about a module writing competition on the homepage, but I removed the module and now I can’t find anything. If you’d care to post the link about the competition, Ole, feel free. I found this text on the developer site:

    By the way, you can win an XBox 360! The developer of the most popular flake will get a FREE, brand new XBox 360! If you submit a flake before March 31, 2006 you will automatically enter the sweepstakes.

    Looks like you’ve all missed the March 31 deadline, but you could still be the most popular!

    Comment by Tyler — April 6, 2006 @ 7:57 am

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