The personal startpage Backstit.ch launched today as a public beta. It basically aims to fill the gap that iGoogle will be leaving once Google retires the service on November 1, 2013. It will compete with established services such as Netvibes or My Yahoo, so lets see what it has to offer right now.
Once you have signed up you can either browse through a walk through of sorts to get started creating your own personal startpage on the Internet, or skip that and use all of the features the service is currently making available. A click on catalog on the left displays the various modules that the service is making available.
The current version concentrates on social networking, news, photos and shopping related modules that you can add to your startpage.
Each module that you add to the startpage comes with configuration options. News for instance can be filtered by categories you are interested in and words that the news need to contain.
You can move around the modules on the screen to suit your own taste. You can also switch to the threads tab where news are sorted by date and time and not source. You will however find that news, photos, shopping and social are not mixed but available independently on the page.
You can click on any item listed on your personal startpage to open it right on the site, but with options to go to the site the article was published on to access all of the contents right on the site.
Backstit.ch is currently a beta product and as such likely not feature complete. It is currently missing features that I'd expect a startpage service to offer, including:
It would also be nice if you could make a page public, for instance to share it with friends or colleagues.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.