iGoogle was retired on November 1, 2013. This was an great feature of Google that allowed you to create a custom home page. I still wanted this ability, and I’m sure others do too. Earlier this year (July 2nd), Google also took down the Google reader that allowed you to view RSS feeds. I’m sure the reason was because these products weren’t making them money, but the need to have a personal home page with your own news feeds is still important.
I finally found a solution that that is not only an acceptable solution, but a great solution. Protopage is your own personal page, which you can access from any computer or mobile phone. Use it to read your own selection of news and blogs, keep bookmarks, to-do lists, sticky notes, view your Google calendar, and much more. You can choose your own selection of news from thousands of sources. To read a news article, click the headline inside the news widget. For example, here is my personal home page. Notice that there is an awesome search bar that allows you to search any of the major search engines, Amazon, Wikipedia, YouTube and more, all from a single input box.
Most news sites and blogs make their headlines available to Protopage using a technology called RSS which stands for Real Simple Syndication. I have my page setup to read a number of blogs, news feeds, Craig’s List listings, my Calendar, and fun stuff like quotes and jokes. Let’s say I want to add a feed for my own WebStores blog. I navigate to the blog page and find the button on the right, which I click to bring up the feed page.
I then copy the url of the feed.
In this case it is:
To add this feed to your Protopage, simply click the ‘Add widgets’ button, enter the web address, and click ‘Go’.
Your widgets are arranged into columns. You can drag and drop widgets to re-arrange them by clicking and dragging the title bar.
You can resize a widget by dragging the corner.
Now whenever I visit my custom home page, I can see the latest blog posts from WebStores Ltd (or whatever blogs, news feeds, and other sites with an RSS feed that I have placed there). I don’t have to poke around the Internet or go to multiple sites to stay abreast of what is going on my my industry – everything is right in front of me like a personal newspaper created just for me.
Simply go to http://www.protopage.com and set up your own. This is a huge time saver!