Netvibes has many different uses with the most common being a customized start page and as an RSS reader. I used Netvibes as both for quite some time. I started using it consistently in late 2005 when I started working for my previous employer because it wasn’t blocked by WebSense . Since Netvibes has tabs that can be used to organize information, my first tab was my start page and contained widgets for things like my local weather and my email. I then organized my favorite RSS feeds onto different tabs by topic; tech, linux, books, daily, etc. In the last 6 months, however, I stopped using Netvibes as a feed reader and am now completely using GReader. I don’t really use Netvibes as a start page anymore either – I open up GMail, GReader, Twitter and this website in tabs and am usually ready to get to work.
Why I Stopped Using It
Now don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean that I don’t like Netvibes. I do like it, I like it very much. My work habits, however, have changed making it less useful to me. Since I open the sites I want to start the day with in Firefox tabs, I don’t need a startpage and since discovering GReader’s listview (for some reason I always had it on expanded view and didn’t think it was a useful feed reader) and it’s sharing feature, I have found it the most efficient and most social way to read my rss feeds. The most recent version of Netvibes also has a sharing feature but I have not warmed up to it – the shared items go into the “stream” but are not searchable or easy to scan through. And Netvibes is definitely not an efficient way for me to read my feeds anymore. You can only have a set number for each feed and if you get behind you will lose that information. For example, the Joystiq feed was limited to 40 items. It is not infrequent for Joystiq to have more than 40 posts in one day and if I didn’t get a chance to read the feed I wouldn’t see the articles. GReader on the other hand, stores all of the data – even the data for the feed items that you have already read. As a research and information tool this is indispensable.