iGoogle – Your Daily Hub

Here’s a quick tip that can help you organize your personal view of the Internet.

Every Internet user has their own list of favourite websites – for email, social networking, news, sports, video, etc.  To save time and typing, it’s a good idea to add these sites to the list of “bookmarks” or “favorites” in your web browser so you can get to them with one click.  But another way to help organize and view the information from your favourite sites is to set your browser homepage to point to iGoogle.

Your homepage is the website that appears when you first start your browser.  (The latest web browsers can also allow you to open multiple homepages on separate tabs.)  When you first get a new computer, your homepage will probably be set to a site like Microsoft, or maybe a search engine like Google or Yahoo!

iGoogle is a Google service that allows you to create a customized web page containing links and information gathered from other places around the Internet.  These are displayed in a number of different “gadgets” on the iGoogle page.  Google provides hundreds of different gadgets to choose from, and you can add as many gadgets to your page as you want.  You can even set up tabs on your page to organize a large number of gadgets into more manageable subpages.

Once you’ve set iGoogle up, you’ll be able to see news headlines, online email, Facebook and/or Twitter feeds, the latest videos on YouTube, play online games with friends who also use iGoogle, plus much more.  An added benefit here is that some gadgets will allow you to work with the information on the related website without having to leave your iGoogle page.  For example, you can work with your Gmail inbox, or post updates to Facebook and Twitter without having to go to those sites (although you still can if you want to).  And there are themes that let you decorate your page to your taste.

By setting iGoogle as your homepage, you’ll be able to quickly scan the top info from your favourite sites without the effort of having to visit each one individually.  Not only does this save you time and effort, it also helps you keep an eye out for new and relevant stuff to share with clients on your own blog or social media feed.

Setting up an iGoogle page is quick and easy.  Simply point your browser to Google and click on the iGoogle link in the top right corner.  When iGoogle appears, you’ll see a box to help you set up the page – just check off the categories of stuff you’re interested in (like News, Social, etc.) and iGoogle will provide you with the most common gadgets.  Later you can rearrange or delete the gadgets you don’t want, and add more.  If you don’t already have a Google account (they’re free), you’ll need to create one in order to save your iGoogle setup.  This lets you access your iGoogle page from any computer, not just your own.

After you’ve got your iGoogle page up and running, look for the link that lets you set iGoogle as your homepage.  Once you’ve done that, you’ll have a convenient hub to view and access all your favourite places.

One other thing that can help you find information quickly:  iGoogle lets you add RSS feeds from your favourite blogs and websites as gadgets on your homepage.  Try adding our blog to your page so you can keep up with the latest SuccessWebsite info.  Here’s how to do it:

  1. Find and click the RSS feed button rss on the top right of our page, next to the search box.  (This button is common on most news or blog sites.)
  2. The site’s RSS feed will appear.  An RSS feed is a formatted list of the latest content that has been posted to the site.
  3. A yellow box should appear on the top of the page, to allow you to set an option to track the RSS feed.  One of these options should be to Add this feed to iGoogle, or a list of sites including Google.  Click the link and a gadget for our blog will be added to your iGoogle page.

 

This process should work for just about any site that has an RSS feed (look for the orange button).  However, if it doesn’t, there is an alternate way to do it from within iGoogle.  Click the Add Stuff link, and on the gadgets page that appears, click the Add feed or gadget link on the bottom left side.  Type in the web address of the site you want, and the feed will automatically be detected for you.

Try using iGoogle today!

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