I admit that I fall into the category of iGoogle users that established a page once a long time ago and then let it fall by the wayside. Jo Hart‘s challenge #6 post gives some great reasons for starting or revitalizing an iGoogle page and using it as a resource for PLN check-ins. So, I dusted off my page and started transforming it into a PLN base camp.
To start I took a try at her first task: Draw your own PLN/PLE web and share it with us. I decided to layout a web of all the different parts of my PLN that I check in on daily or even hourly sometimes…
I realize now that I’ve left off my gmail account and I definitely check my mail quite often plus that is how I stay on top of comments on this blog. I’ve also left off this blog since so far it has been used only as a platform to write more extensively as part of the other aspects of my PLN but just like a real spider web, my PLN web is constantly changing and adjusting so different elements may come and go over time.
I used my PLN web to help reorganize my iGoogle page. Using Jo’s page as inspiration, I broke my page into 3 tabs: Home, Feeds, and PLN Live . This is really a brilliant tip as I think having a cluttered single tab is what caused me to lose interest in iGoogle in the first place.
On my “Home” tab I’ve got my Gmail and Facebook feed as well as things like the weather, date, a to-do list, and other gadgets that I might want to use for personal reasons. I’ve chosen to leave Facebook as personal only since it is a great way for me to stay in contact with my friends and family in the states.
On my “Feeds” page I’ve got my Diigo bookmarks and several different Google News filters that set up a long time ago. I think I’ll add a few more news gadgets here. I see this page as the lowest priority and will probably check in here last or when I’ve got some extra time on my hands.
My “PLN Live” page is looking pretty sparse with just the Twitter gadget and the Google Reader gadget. This is where iGoogle gets frustrating for me. First: Google Reader. I’ve become used to Feedly and I really enjoy how pleasing-to-the-eye the reader’s layout is in comparison to the boring old Google Reader. Actually, Feedly feeds off of Google Reader so my blogs are still going there but I use Feedly as my base to check in on new updates. I’ll have to search around the gadgets or dig deeper into using the Reader to see if I can find something that I like as much for use in iGoogle. Next, several of the places I check on a daily basis can’t be fed into iGoogle, wikispaces, for example. And, lastly, I like to follow several hashtags on Twitter and Tweetdeck just seems to work the best for organizing multiple streams.
Here is my Feedly homepage, isn’t it nice?
I’d like to continue exploring for the next 3 weeks to see if I can make iGoogle a realistic PLN home since having all the threads of my web coming together in one location would be really ideal. I wonder how Google+ would fit into all of this? I haven’t had a chance to explore it yet but I wonder if it will replace iGoogle for a home base, any thoughts? Any more tips on gadgets that bring more of your PLE into iGoogle?