SpeedyMarks - A barebone start page
If you don't really have use for elaborate start pages like Netvibes, but you need more than the simple home page option in browsers, you could take a look at SpeedyMarks, a service probably inspired by the Opera speed dial function and the iPhone interface.
You simply add your favorite pages and it lists them for you, with a preview as well, so you can easily find what you're looking for. You can customize the background to a number of colors, and you can also choose between large and small preview sized. That's about all the options you get though.
I find that this service works best if you only have up to 14-15 sites, so that you can fit it all on one page. I have a widescreen laptop, so I can cram about 21 pages in there, so that seems like plenty, but I wouldn't want to manage 100+ with this interface.
There is no login or signup, so it seems it works purely with cookies, which is good, because you don't have to log in, but bad because if you delete your cookie you will have to re-customize. This is not great, it would be nice to have the cookies, but a sign in feature as well.
Overall I like it, but a drag and drop interface is greatly missed, and so is the signup feature, let's keep our fingers crossed.
All major browsers support a Speed Dial like interface right now which reduces the need for a service such as Speedy Marks. The service still has its uses, for instance when you are using a public computer or a system that you do not own as you can use it to access your favorite sites.Advertisement
Another start page to consider is Odysen at http://www.odysen.com.
A couple of the key differences include 1) the ability to integrate as many news feeds as you want into one widget (saving space, being more efficient) and 2) free-formatting widgets, allowing you to change the size of the widget to whatever you feel is most appropriate to the content.
There is also a blog available for feature updates and page examples at http://odysen.blogspot.com.