Moving from Google 1 – replacing Google Reader

iGoogle has been my homepage for years now – my personal online dashboard. It has on it many “gadgets” that I use on a daily basis – and, I’ll admit, some that I don’t any more.  Google Reader is one of them, so I can see what’s recently been posted on the blogs I follow.  Of course tomorrow Google Reader dies for good, and soon iGoogle will go the same way.  Somewhat disappointing that two of my favourites are disappearing, and just after I’ve gone to Google in a big way: much of my online organisation depends on Google since I got my Nexus 4.

So what can I do to replace my Google apps that are disappearing?  First of all I’ve moved my RSS feeds to Feedly. It has been making a huge effort to replace Google Reader and has made it easier and easier to read and follow blogs via RSS – though the one thing I haven’t quite mastered yet is how to add subscriptions! I like Feedly’s mobile app, but need to find out more about using Feedly on the PC now they have a web-based version.

My next job is how to replace iGoogle – I think that will be something of a longer job.  I have a netvibes page and I will have a go at seeing if that will do, as a replacement dashboard but I also wonder if I should take a holistic look at what I use most often, the sites I visit and where I would like my dashboard to start me off.

Thinking about it that way, the places I start every morning now are Outlook – which has clear disadvantages for a dashboard; limiting me to one computer for a start – or Moodle. I work in Moodle every day so I’d be interested to see how far I can customise my Moodle “My home” page to be a personal dashboard.  Maybe I can even suggest to developer colleagues ideas for making the page more useful and customisable for our whole user base.  At the moment I can’t see that replacing iGoogle either.  My smartphone is a dashboard – with a number of most-used apps grouped together in one place.  That isn’t the way I want to go with my desktop – I don’t like the way that the Web is becoming more app-like – I don’t want to have multiple apps, I want to have web pages that work together using the same standards. But maybe I’m fighting a losing battle.

The things I’d like in a dashboard include:

  • RSS reader – with Twitter feed, news feed, blog feed, weather
  • To do list – currently I use Evernote – how can that possibly integrate as part of a dashboard?
  • Email
  • Calendar
  • Bookmarks
  • Assorted information like word of the day, Google alerts, local information

We shall see how I get on!