August 13, 2007

After 5 Years of My Yahoo!, Google Reader Is New Start Page

Back in the Web 1.0 days, seemingly every Web site was morphing into a Web portal - a virtual one stop destination for news, stocks, sports, e-mail, weather, or just about anything. Excite did it. Lycos did it. Yahoo! did it. Netscape eventually did it. But while Yahoo! has done a good job at offering new services and trying to give me enough "sticky" applications to keep my attention, I find myself spending more and more time in Google Reader, catching up on the hundreds of RSS feeds I subscribe too. So today, I made the switch, and made Google Reader my start page in Safari, on all my Macs.

Now, instead of seeing a static page which may have some new AP wires, updated stock prices, and occasionally current sports scores, I get the very best the blogosphere has to offer. It's rare now that I will fire up the Web browser and not be presented with a few dozen news items from around the Web.

Now that we are in the Web 2.0 days, the concept of a portal has passed on. Rather than go to a single destination to have them provide me what they believe I want to read, I would rather go to a single destination which delivers me what I want to read, based on my subscriptions. I don't see myself gravitating back to My Yahoo! or iGoogle any time soon, though both are a simple command key combination away in Safari. But today's move is a significant marker in my continually evolving Web consumption.


  1. I moved my start page from Google News to Google Reader myself earlier this year. It's just so much more relevant. But I get to wondering if I'm doing myself a disservice by tailoring my "intake" so much to pre-selected feeds. There was always the chance that I would get a surprise insight from News (or Yahoo before it) that is very unlikely to come from Reader feeds. I've decided which sources I care about and ignore the rest, missing all opportunity. Too bad Digg is so off the wall and Technorati has been infested by spam or I might use them instead...

  2. Stephen, despite the move, I'll still have plenty of time on My Yahoo! or other news sources. With Safari, I can just hit "Command-1" to go to stock data, or "Command-4" to go to My Yahoo! and "Command-8" for iGoogle. I'll be starting in Google Reader, though.

    Technorati for me has never been a good candidate as a start page, but it's a good tool to measure inbound links. Digg is crazy. I've added Digg/Technology to Google Reader, so I get that news through that source.

  3. I've been tempted to switch to Google Reader but iGoogle still provides me with too much functionality to abandon. I can categorize and sort feeds into multiple pages in order to prioritize them. I can also add widgets like my Google calender, to do list, docs and gmail. Plus I can add feeds like stock and weather.

    I basically have the front page of iGoogle set up as my on going workspace and then some subsequent tabs that serve as RSS feed pages sorted by category.