Blog logoMatthew Lang


A 2 post collection

The Website Obesity Crisis

 •  Filed under Internet, Web

Maciej Cegłowski, the creator of Pinboard, highlights the growing obesity of the web and what can be done to improve it.

Let’s preserve the web as the hypertext medium it is, the only thing of its kind in the world, and not turn it into another medium for consumption, like we have so many examples of already.

Let’s commit to the idea that as computers get faster, and as networks get faster, the web should also get faster.

The Website Obesity Crisis by Maciej Cegłowski

Having read this I've just checked this site and I'm glad to say that the index page and a few of the longer form posts are definitely smaller than a major work of Russian literature.

Remembering the Start Page

 •  Filed under By Me, Web, Internet

Remember having a start page? I do.

Everytime I would open my browser, I would be faced with a billboard of widgets that funnelled in data from different sources and displayed them all on the one screen. It was beautiful. Before RSS readers took off, the start page was the go to place for all your news.

I remember my first start page, the Google Personalised Homepage. It was great. All my important feeds on the one screen. Everything I wanted to read for the day in one place. Gradually this evolved over time into iGoogle and with it came changeable backgrounds, widgets created by Google and thousands of widgets created by others. It went to a tabbed page so that you could setup multiple tabs on your homepage. Now you could categorise widgets and cram more data into your home page and you wouldn't need to scroll down to view those widgets, you just clicked on a different part of the screen (yes, I'm failing to see the convenience in this too).

Along came time based backgrounds. These were backgrounds that would change over the course of the day. Now you didn't need to see the same thing in your background all through the day, it would change as the day went on. You could only see this if the you didn't have a screen crammed full of widgets.

I even tried Netvibes for a brief spell and while it as fun to try something different, I went back to using iGoogle after not using it for a week. It was just too familiar and easy to use. Also I had invested time in getting the start page setup exactly as I wanted it.

All good things come to an end though and sadly last year, Google pulled the plug on iGoogle. Online trends have moved on from start pages. Most people now open social media clients as their first port of call for the day or maybe they go straight to their favourite news site to catch up. Only the insane try and start the day by opening their inbox.

Only a few services remain now that offer the start page experience, but I don't see the benefit in using them now. There's too much data out there for me to consume, certainly too much to fit on iGoogle regardless of how many tabs you have on the page.

Feedbin is my new start page now with a greater focus on curated content rather than just letting any old thing in. It has multiple feeds in it like my start page had, but it's better at letting me choose what I want to read and that's more important now.