Netvibes Review

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 30, 2006
Updated • May 12, 2013

Netvibes offers their users a way to create a personalized homepage on the web.  I'm using it mainly to display the RSS feeds that I'm subscribed to but Netvibes offers more than that. You can create tabs just like in Firefox and name them; I categorized my feeds this way by giving them names like seo, money and games. You are able to add numerous feeds to every tab plus additional features that come in handy like a bookmarks manager or a todo list.

I'm not allowed to use an RSS reader at work and have to rely on the Microsoft Internet Explorer there exclusively. Netvibes gives me the opportunity to read my feeds while I'm at work. The Netvibes Ecosystem is a large collection of user created modules, feeds, podcasts, events and tabs. I will explain the difference between those five and give examples for a better understanding.

Modules are really interesting, they are applications and services built by the Netvibes community. The website contains at the moment 297 modules like a calendar, a sudoku game, a weather module and a daily cartoon one. Those modules offer a great functionality to Netvibes, a FIFA 2006 module has been created for instance for the Fifa worldcup in Germany this year.

Feeds and Podcasts should be self explanatory. This is basically a feed and podcast directory with interesting suggestions. You are free to add your own feeds to your Netvibes account nevertheless. If you want to experience something new browse those two categories.

Events is a rather interesting category. It contains calendars for events, for example the Liverpool FC fixtures, the Australian Wine Events calendar and a NASA history calendar.

Finally there is the tabs category. This category offers user build tabs for your Netvibes account. As I said earlier you are free to create as many tabs as you want in your Netvibes account. A pre build offers a new tab filled with contents already. You find tabs for design feeds, blog feeds, web 2.0 feeds and the best photoblogs for example. Every big event has it's own tab, there was a tab for the world cup and the tour de france for instance.

Adding those features to your personal account is easy, you simply click on the big Netvibes + icon next to each feature and it will be transferred to your account.

I really like the service that they are offering, especially the todo list. Whenever I had a great idea at work I wrote it down on the first piece of paper that was available and had troubles finding this when I was home. With Netvibes I simply add a new entry to my todo list and I won't have troubles finding this entry again.

Are you already using Netvibes? What do you like most about their service ? Or are you using a similar service unknown to me? Let me know about it then.

Update: Netvibes has changed quite a bit in recent years. The first thing that you will notice is that you can try it out without account registration. That's excellent to get a feel for the service without committing.

netvibes title view

The different modules are now all called widgets and you find the all listed when you click on the plus icon at the top left corner of the screen. You can search for widgets, browse categories like business or sport, or click on essential widgets to get a listing of popular services recommended by Netvibes.

You can still add your feeds here as well, either by importing an OPML file or by entering a single feed address into the form on the page.

Netvibes Tips

  1. You can switch between the interactive widget view and a title view at the top. The title view resembles how most RSS readers display information and is excellent if you want to browse through news quickly.
  2. The theme can be changed in the settings.  You can pick a dominant color to see a selection based on that, or browse themes by category. Here you can also change wallpapers or remove them altogether.
  3. You can speed things up with keyboard shortcuts. You can move between modules using the cursor keys, switch between tabs with the 1 to 0 key or navigate tabs with j and k.
  4. Each news item can be opened on Netvibes, which is the default setting, or opened directly on the website it has been published on. To change the behavior, click on the settings icon of a news module and enable "Open directly on the site".

Tutorials & Tips

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  1. JayPeah said on August 31, 2006 at 6:28 am

    Netvibes is IMO the best web based feed reader around. Protopage and pagflakes have got nothing on netvibes as far as functionality is concerned.

  2. anita said on August 30, 2006 at 9:59 pm

    I am already using it for quite a while :) its wonderfull .. i use it daily and love it

  3. Peter Huesken said on August 30, 2006 at 3:49 pm

    Have tried Netvibes sometime ago now.
    Nice features but somehow it doesn´t work for me.

    Have you tried Protopage as well ?

    I use Google Reader for my newsfeeds.
    What do you think of that ?


  4. Arqueiro said on August 30, 2006 at 1:05 pm

    wow, very nice thing, i like it thabks for share :D

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