Posted June 27, 2008 5:14 pm by with 12 comments

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If you haven’t tried iGoogle, Google’s personalized homepage, you’re not alone. But Google’s looking to spiff up their customizable homepages and testing has already begun, as Google Operating System reports—and it looks like they’re trying to make our foretelling of iGoogle as social network come true.

The old iGoogle featured tabbed navigation across the top of the page; the new iGoogle moves it to a left-hand sidebar. The new iGoogle will also feature a feed of friends’ actions—reminiscent of Facebook’s Mini-Feed—including “stories shared by your contacts in Google Reader, recent photos uploaded to Picasa Web Albums, Google Talk status messages, shared iGoogle themes and gadgets.”

Sounding a little social-y? Oh yeah. It gets better, according to GOS:

Another change is that gadgets have an expanded interface, called canvas view. Gadgets authors will take advantage of this to display more information and make their gadgets more interactive, while your feeds can be read in a Google Reader-like interface. In the future, iGoogle will support OpenSocial applications [capability due “later this summer”] and the transformation to a social site will be complete.

Canvas view was announced earlier this week.

Apparently, Google didn’t get our letter six months ago. You know, the one that started, “Dear Google, My friends are scary. Can I opt-out?” Last time I checked (and it’s been a while, since I stopped using GTalk for this reason), Google adds anyone that you email as a friend or contact, putting the onus on the user to manually delete someone that they’re not really “friends” with (every single time they email them?).

But I guess the easiest way to opt out here is just to do what everyone else does—not use iGoogle.

  • Good advise. Do not use Igoogle.

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  • yes, and I am really not going to do so

  • Think about how many people you email that you don’t consider “friends” and don’t want to see or share information with!

    I’m seriously thinking about switching to Zoho Mail now that it’s available. Zoho’s services are not as easy or integrated, but maybe we don’t want integrated.

    Wonder how many of us would share what we’re doing on Twitter if it was owned by Google?

    Thanks for keeping us informed.

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  • Actually its a nice service for someone like me who tends to forget people’s email ids and also does not store them anywhere else. I am always glad that it is availale to me when I decide to look for it in my gmail id.

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  • PS3

    Yeah, I’m not keen on Gmail adding anyone and everyone to your contacts, just one of the few flaws that need ironing out.

  • It seems that Google will continue plugging away until their social efforts are rewarded with success. The way around the email issue is to not use gmail for email, perhaps? Personally I use gmail as a backup, with the bulk of my email going through our office server.

  • I myself *love* iGoogle! However, I can understand the privacy concerns that this raises. Therefore what I do is have Outlook manage my email contacts for me, and I will delete any that might be in my gmail address book. Outlook not your cup of tea? there are many email clients out there even an open source one!

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  • iGoogle is a great tool and the idea of making it social is good. However, this email issue is something they definitely need to resolve.

  • UGH! I use iGoogle to manage my RSS subscriptions and it does a GREAT job of doing that. I don’t want it to be more “social”!!!


    There are a TON of “improvements” that NEED to be made to Gmail as well as iGoogle. I wish they’d focus on improving what doesn’t work well instead of piling more “features” we don’t want or need!

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  • Anyone with multiple Google accounts will find iGoogle quite a pain anyway. Every time I log out of Adsense and log into my Adwords for example (Vice-versa) Google gives me a new iGoogle page.

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  • Nobody (not even Google), is can be the best at everything. That’s one thing, that Google has yet to figure out yet, even with all those PHd’s. Just part of the problem of having too much money to throw around. They can’t stay out of everyone else’s back yard.

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  • This is just another attempt by Google to take control of another aspect of the internet, but the users aren’t falling for it and sticking with real social networks that allow them to really manage their own space.