I had always used the standard start pages for either MSN or Yahoo until I got turned on to custom start pages by TechCrunch. I looked at most of the companies that they reviewed and decided a few months back to use ProtoPage.
My reason for choosing ProtoPage was the options and speed that it offered compared to the rest. Then, about a month ago their was another company who caught my eye called Fold. Their offerings where very similar to ProtoPage but the interface (graphics) where much better. To some it up, they were sexy compared to ProtoPage.
I setup a page with them and configured some feeds and shortcuts. The only issue that I had with them was that there were having problems with getting feeds from sites. I liked them and decided to monitor them to see if the issue would get resolved.
Well this morning I was checking the feed of TechCrunch and saw this post – Fold.com…Folds. Come to find out they just disappeared of the face of the earth. The reason for their disappearance is due to the fact that th market for start pages is pretty saturated. So after seeing this I was glad that I did not transfer my livelihood over to them from ProtoPage.
But then I started thinking more…
In my ProtoPage start page I have a feed from the ProtoPage blog. I check it everyone once in a while to see if their are updates. Well I checked it today and they have not had a post in their blog since April. This was cause for concern so I headed back to TechCrunch to see if their is another company that is a little more stable.
I decided to go with NetVibes. They have just recently received funding so that is a pretty good sign. In looking at their features they have everything that ProtoPage does and more. I especially like the Bookmark section that allows you to add tags to your bookmark and then gives each tag a tab so it is not just a long list.
The other thing that I like about it is that it has a built in RSS reader. When you click on an RSS link it opens the feed link in the same window in a reader fashion. This demonstrates some sweet Ajax goodness. They also have a cool Flickr widget to display your pictures or a specific tag.
Finally, they have the “NetVibes Ecosystem” which is a pretty extensive list of uses designed widgets that you can add to your page. These range from calendars to calculators.
Anyway, hopefully these guys will keep it together so i do not have to switch again.