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Author Topic: personal favourites start page  (Read 6445 times)
Steven Avery
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« on: June 15, 2009, 07:01:06 AM »

Hi Folks,

  The goal:  A nice, simple categorized Start Page to act as my portal to best sites, daily special, important chores, my main bookmarks.   A Start Page that acts like a bit of a reminder system, and lets me open up say .. DonationCoder, FreewareGenius, Wilders, BitsDuJour, and GiveawayoftheDay in one small categorized group. (Even if it is five clicks). Or make a small category for my software support forums. Or this, and that, and the other.

  Much as I like using Linkman for bookmarks and PIM, and it is the repository for tens of thousands of links, a personal start page with categories of bookmarks would be very nice. (Linkman has Fastlinks and Daily links features, it would be great if they expanded their functionality to a categorized start page !)  So I checked to see what software or web services are available, either on a host or a program that puts the page on your on puter.

  There are tons of social bookmarking and portal sites that do stuff like this, yet they tend to do it in a clumsy, bulky manner.  However maybe one of them can do the job nicely, if you think this can be accomplished with a site like Symbaloo, Netvouz, NetVibes, iGoogle, My Yahoo, myAOL, Diigo/Furl, Flyapp, Eskobo, linkagogo, Homepage Startup, Pageflakes, Only2Clicks, StartAid, Tizmos, Zimbio, Webwag, Widgetop, Backflip, 3x3Links,  or another .. or one of the Firefox extensions like Speed Dial or FastDial or Auto Dial or XMarks .. please share away !  (There should be more than the 9 links on the front page that you will get by those looking like the Opera implementation.)  Some like Symbaloo or Netvouz may have a clean, neat, easy-to-make category-oriented skin, however I haven't seen it yet in a quick net-browse.

    If you simply want to group the "big 50" or 100 or so bookmarks (the ones you glance at daily or frequently) .. and then occasionally make some additions or add or a new category .. they are of little help, at least what I have seen so far.  Oh, importing is not the issue for me, I only want the frequently used bookmarks set up in a special order. An hour or two setup is expected, but should be quick and relatively painless.

  And clearly you could build your own page, that might be the ultimate solution.  

 NICETIES

  However you would like to use a service that built in a lot of niceties.  e.g. If your page could have sub-pages (at least one level would be very helpful) if sections could be moved from page to page, if there could be a read-only method for visitors that you could send a link to, if the note function is good, stuff like that, it would help.

=================

  Linkshelf http://www.linkshelf.com/ was mentioned on DonationCoder in 2006, and its entry methods are decent.

My Linkshelf
http://www.donationcoder....um/index.php?topic=2015.0

  This site lets you make fairly quickly a clean categorized list, however it lacks a lot of niceties and nothing is happening with it for years, as far as I can tell. Oh, you could set up a second level with an alternate sign-on, a bit of a workaround.

   And, when I tried to figger out where it came from and what it was doing, one site mentions how it comes from a pedigree of a developer who did similar stuff in the porn world.  Making privacy polices problematic (this is hosted by linkshelf) and being a real strain and pain in general to my way of thinking, even if there is no functional connection.

==============

  Favoor has similar functions:

Favoor
http://www.favoor.com/

  However it also has not gone anywhere for years, is less helpful than Linkshelf in some ways, looks as dull as possible and is close to being a nothing.  It does add a sticky note function not in Linkshelf, one of the few features that would be nice to have integrated but can be done in NoteZilla or Stickeis.  I think I may have ended up with someone elses Favoor and when I went into a page to check who is the sign-on I got program warning messages with my "change my settings" on the page.  This is going nowhere.

=============

  Switching to programs that you install, local management, in these cases the resulting page is on your hard disk, although note the note about pop-ups that were in Tidy Favorites.

=============

  Tidy Favorites is more active, with GAOTD and Bits, with Free and Pro (paid) versions.

Tidy Favorites (Nov 2008)
http://www.donationcoder....m/index.php?topic=15714.0

Tidy Favorites Is a Customizable Thumbnail Homepage
http://lifehacker.com/509...izable-thumbnail-homepage

Giveaway of the Day - Tidy Favorites Pro - April 27, 2009
http://www.giveawayofthed...y.com/tidy-favorites-pro/

   I haven't installed it to look at the skins, to see if there is something really tidy and neat available with categories.   If someone has a picture of this working in a real tidy fashion (looking a bit like Linkshelf in simplicity) then I would likely give it a buzz.  However it seems to be more of an alternate bookmark manager (which I do not need) than a clean home page maker. And apparently they are hoping to have subscribers paying $20/yr. (Not a deal-breaker if the program is fantabulous.)

==================

The Favorite Start Page - Gudbrand Eggen

   While this goes back to 2003, compatibility updates are common, including Firefox 3 in 2008.  

File Forum (with pic)
http://fileforum.betanews...e-Start-Page/1111448201/1

  So far this is my leader, ready to go.  Far from super-elegant, yet functional.  Being on the disk will help speed.  

====================

  Your suggestions ?

Shalom,
Steven Avery
« Last Edit: June 15, 2009, 10:25:48 AM by Steven Avery » Logged
MilesAhead
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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2009, 07:58:25 AM »

Hmmm, I don't think I can help with this one.  I always use about:blank  Wink
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cyberdiva
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2009, 08:28:51 AM »

  And clearly you could build your own page, that might be the ultimate solution. 
Yes, this is what I did a number of years ago.  I made a very simple page in HTML and set it to be the page my browsers open on.  It has two advantages: I have a ready listing of the sites I want to go to most often, and I am not dependent on a specific Internet site's being up for my homepage to load.  Since the page is located on my hard drive, it loads reliably and instantly.  Of course, I can easily update the page when I want to add, change, or delete an entry.
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40hz
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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2009, 09:43:12 PM »

I made a very simple page in HTML and set it to be the page my browsers open on.

+1 with cyberdiva on that one.

For a while, there were a number of personal homepage generator apps out there. But most of them seem to have gone the way of the Dodo, along with all those neat standalone bookmark managers.

I had tried several page generators. But in the end, I too wound up coding my own simple homepage. That was the only way I could get it exactly the way I wanted it. I just exported my bookmarks to an html file, stripped out everything except the links in my daily/favorites folder, and then started customizing from there.

That solution worked great for me right up until I discovered the Sage extension and started doing most of my daily browsing via RSS feeds. I also keep a special favorites folder up on Firefox's bookmark toolbar for all those other sites I regularly visit. That combination works so well for me that, like MilesAhead,  I now just use a blank homepage.

 smiley

« Last Edit: June 15, 2009, 09:44:52 PM by 40hz » Logged

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MilesAhead
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« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2009, 10:20:47 PM »

I haven't tried the rss feed thingy myself.  But then again, I got bored with being a news junky a few years back.  It was fun for awhile to read all kinds of newspaper's English editions around the world.  After a time it was same crap different day though. smiley
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40hz
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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2009, 10:42:33 PM »

I haven't tried the rss feed thingy myself.  But then again, I got bored with being a news junky a few years back.  It was fun for awhile to read all kinds of newspaper's English editions around the world.  After a time it was same crap different day though. smiley

You should give it a try. RSS is a pretty handy thing.

I used to use the Morning Coffee extension to automatically open a bunch of websites when I started Firefox. But it wasn't practical once I got beyond ten or so. That's when a friend tipped me off about using RSS.

When I first started using Sage, I didn't much care for it. But once I got used to it (yes...it will change the way you think about browsing) I wouldn't want to give it up for anything. If you need to stay current with a lot of things on a daily basis, it's a great productivity tool. And if you use it in conjunction with a good web clipping/archiving tool like Canaware NetNotes you're in really good shape as far as info gathering is concerned.

Personally, I wish I had that luxury of not needing to read as much tech as I do. Especially since I'd much rather read some good fiction, a science book, or movie script. Grin Unfortunately, my job requires I stay on top of a few dozen manufacturer's and indy tech websites. If I had to do that by browsing them one at a time, I'd go insane.

« Last Edit: June 15, 2009, 10:44:16 PM by 40hz » Logged

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MilesAhead
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« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2009, 12:30:02 PM »

If it funnels stuff in you need to know, then it sounds great.  Guess I'm a foot dragger.  I got into computers way late too.  I'm too skeptical I suppose.  I should try to adopt some things earlier.  About the only thing I caught onto early on was OOP.  smiley
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cyberdiva
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« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2009, 01:56:00 PM »

That solution worked great for me right up until I discovered the Sage extension and started doing most of my daily browsing via RSS feeds. I also keep a special favorites folder up on Firefox's bookmark toolbar for all those other sites I regularly visit. That combination works so well for me that, like MilesAhead,  I now just use a blank homepage.
Yes, some of what I used to check from my homepage listing I now check instead via RSS feeds.  However, there are still lots of sites to which I'd like instant access that either don't have RSS feeds or that I want to view not for changes but for information or services I want (e.g., Jacquie Lawson's impressive greeting cards).  And by having these sites all listed on my homepage, I can access them easily no matter which browser I use (since I've set all browsers to use that same homepage file).  I also don't have to have yet another toolbar (bookmarks) taking up space in Firefox.  So for me, this arrangement is more interesting and more useful than a blank homepage.  But to each his/her own.  smiley
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40hz
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« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2009, 03:41:44 PM »

And by having these sites all listed on my homepage, I can access them easily no matter which browser I use (since I've set all browsers to use that same homepage file). I also don't have to have yet another toolbar (bookmarks) taking up space in Firefox.

Not to mention your personal homepage being a much more elegant portable solution than my approach. All you'd need to do is save the homepage to a USB key and you'd be set to go anywhere without the need to export your entire set of bookmarks. Hmm...





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Nod5
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« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2009, 01:13:04 PM »

Like cyberdiva I also have a static, local html file as startpage. Nothing beats the speed and malleability of that! The drawback: lack of dynamic content. But together with a RSS reader it works really well.

I've thought of some semi-dynamic additions to the startpage though. The idea is a script that grabs links from a folder or with some tag and updates the html code for a section of the with the links. It could be the 10 last saved bookmarks or links I'll use a lot for a brief period (maybe in two different sections). Similar to fast bookmark field in firefox. But to work well the html would need to be updated on each new bookmark save.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2009, 01:17:40 PM by Nod5 » Logged
Steven Avery
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« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2009, 12:39:36 PM »

Hi Folks,

Ok, ok... I will go the startpage HTML home-brew route !

However, in the meantime. smiley

A) The Favorite Start Page - I decided against.  There are things like overlaps and such, doesn't cut it.

B) Linkshelf - good at least temporarily.  Afaik, no HTML-export, since that would undercut their server usage.

C) Cobian Amigo http://www.educ.umu.se/~cobian/cobianamigo.htm may have some utility in this type of setup.  Anybody try it out ?

Shalom,
Steven 
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« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2009, 12:53:35 PM »

I use Netvibes in conjunction with Delicious. I have a tag group named "Daily" in Delicious that contain all the sites I visit daily. Then I monitor that RSS feed on Netvibes. I do the same with other often used categories; "Support", "Software", etc.
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40hz
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« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2009, 12:53:52 PM »

Cobian Amigo http://www.educ.umu.se/~cobian/cobianamigo.htm may have some utility in this type of setup.  Anybody try it out ?

Shalom,
Steven  

Interesting find. The whole idea of a web accessible client-server solution has a lot of appeal. But as was noted on the Amigo webpage, I'm one of the many who is sure as hell not going to trust anything of mine that's private to a 3rd party.

I'll have to see if I can find the time to check it out over the weekend.

(Any excuse to avoid yard work, right?  Grin )

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Steven Avery
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« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2011, 09:54:17 AM »

Hi Folks,

As a portal, Linkshelf has been quite good.  Drab, but you can set up your pages with groups and get there easily.  So let us say I posted on a topic, I add the url to a window "threads in process" and remember to get there quickly the next day. Very non-bureaucratic for self-design.  It works well with hundreds of links, but not thousands, since search is only ctrl-f for the particular page-topic (which pages I set up for Travel, Software, Bible, etc .. very distinct groupings, but as always with such structure you run into the question .. which page).  The pedigree is questionable and I have not been able to add new users (a message about cookies, whereever I try) and there is no visible communication or support ... so I am always looking for alternatives.

The closest idea of an alternative I tried is 43Marks .. here is a sample one-page app on Bible topics :
http://43marks.com/purebible

This is specialty stuff, so you may not find the links themselves of interest, the point is to show how nice a public page was set-uppable in 15-30 minutes.

43Marks handles the public-private aspect quite well.  A public one anybody can navigate to and use without a password, the password is used to modify.  Private is only seen by a signin. Very crisp.

I like their colors and simplicity of concept, however, the number of characters is a line is small, and wraparound is unaesthetic.  There are pluses and minuses.  For major personal setup use, it does not have the Linkshelf functionality.  For nice, crisp public shared and limited personal, it can be vastly superior. 

And I looked at linkagogo.  I might try to import my full linkman stash there, but for setting up structure I do not find it anywhere near as pleasant as 43Marks or as visible as Linkshelf.  As a bookmark manager it might be good, but then it has to compete with Linkman, and becomes double effort, and Linkman will always be the best in a 100 ways (speed, quickness of adding, etc.).

I'm avoiding all the ones that are social media oriented, or RSS feed, design your page to tell you the weather, etc. .. What I like is simple, my own designs for navigation on the web.

Your thoughts on this appreciated.  I like to be able to go to a foreign computer, sign in, and really feel comfortable that I can navigate to forums, major sites, etc. comfortably.

As I said, Linkshelf does the job admirably well, but with the caveats above. (As I said, I have not even been able to set up a new user for months.) Thus the search for an alternative.

================

Note: I have not gone the home-brew route.  I think  the quick-ad concern comes to mind, can you really add two new links in one minute comfortably ?  However, if anyone wants to give a mini-tutorial, listing the tools they like to use, I'll likely give it a wing.

Steven
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 10:11:21 AM by Steven Avery » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2011, 01:49:45 PM »

I created this type of page, which I've revised a lot since. Very simple and includes every good link I need for reference, banking, photos, tech, et al.:
http://www.donationcoder....m/index.php?topic=21530.0
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« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2011, 02:38:27 PM »

The closest idea of an alternative I tried is 43Marks .. here is a sample one-page app on Bible topics :
http://43marks.com/purebible

 -thanks for telling about 43marks, Steven. Linkshelf might be working just as good, but it is simply too pathetic looking to catch my interest. 43marks is not smart looking either, but it looks more as if it will do the job. I have added 43marks to my start page (Firefox Speed Dial) as link/page number 10:

2/3 scale:



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wraith808
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« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2011, 05:04:39 PM »

http://www.only2clicks.com

and

http://www.3x3links.com/index.html

That said, I'm thinking of starting my own...
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