Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Netvibes Puts Web Surfers in Control - A Boon for Publishers

If you have a blog or podcast, you’ll be interested in the Netvibes Ecosystem. This is where Netvibes is trying to build the most complete directory of feeds it can. Netvibes users can then grab your feed and add it to their own pages. If any Netvibes users come across your site while they’re surfing and want to add your content, Netvibes also has the Netvibes Button, which you can set up on your site to let them subscribe to your feed in one click.

Are you somewhat more ambitious? You can put together your own Universe. Krim describes a Netvibes Universe this way: “Imagine building your own rich media portal that anyone can visit, like your own personal Yahoo or MySpace. Imagine going beyond the blog, and unifying your digital life in on single place with podcasts, videos, feeds, games pictures – but unlike a blog, you don’t have to post to it every day; content gets updated automatically. Imagine launching your own media company in just minutes.”

If you’re a big company like CBS News, it can help you reach a Web savvy audience. Recording artists, publishers, companies offering online services, and even educational and not-for-profit companies have built their own Universes on Netvibes. While the Universes do have the feel of being built off of templates, it’s very clear even from the thumbnails you can view when you browse the directory of Universes that each builder has put their own stamp on their creation.

Of course it wouldn’t really be Web 2.0 if you couldn’t make comments about it. When you browse the list of Universes, you get to see the number of comments each Universe has received, and a click takes you to the comments themselves. So far, very few people have garnered any comments. (I was a little disappointed that Tariq Krim himself did not have a Universe; what, no personal glimpse of the founder?).

Not everyone can use Netvibes Universes just yet; they’re in beta. The intention, according to the Netvibes blog, is that eventually every Netvibes account will have two pages: “a private page, where you subscribe to all the content for your personal, everyday use, and a public page, where you can allow others to access your favorite content – everything that you love on the web.”