Why is netvibes getting that much attention in the blogosphere?

I’m always a bit surprised by the amount of attention that is given to netvibes in the blogosphere. Sure, it’s a great app and they are pretty successful in what they are doing. The same however holds for other personalized homepages like Pageflakes and Protopage. I always assumed that all the buzz was caused by the fact that most early adopters are using netvibes, a recent poll on read/writeweb however proves the opposite. Exactly 1700 people answered the question: which personalized homepage do you use?

The top3:
1. Pageflakes (30%)
2. Google reader (26%)
3. Netvibes (21%)

Now it’s time to compare these numbers with the attention that number 1 (pageflakes) and number 3 (netvibes) are receiving from the blogosphere.

Let’s start by asking BlogPulse:

Netvibes vs Pageflakes

And what about technorati:

technorati pageflakestechnorati netvibes

As you can see, netvibes is receiving at least twice as much attention. Assuming that it is not the bigger user base which is responsible for this, what is it that makes bloggers write about them?

12 thoughts on “Why is netvibes getting that much attention in the blogosphere?

  1. Phil says:

    I would argue that some bloggers are biased and it’s always easy to write about the first mover – even though it seems unfair, especially when newcomers such as Pageflakes are much better.


  2. Coleman says:

    Better than-more popular than-faster than-before than-later than!
    Aren’t they both more of a clone of each other than Protopage?

  3. paul says:

    phil…what makes pageflakes better?

    not that this is defintiive in the least, but check out this guy’s informative reviews:

  4. paul says:

    And how you can you even give an ounce of credit to that poll? It’s as accurate as those mini polls you find on an entertainment blog (or any blog), asking which TV character will die next?

  5. Jochem says:

    @ Phil,
    Interesting, I thought that Pageflakes was around before netvibes came online. Netvibes is apparently doing some good things for PR 😉

    @ Paul,
    Thanks for the link, that’s indeed a nice review.

    I would give this poll a bit more credit than the mini polls you mentioned, but indeed, it’s probably not good enough to draw any hard conclusions. I think it however does illustrate that Pageflakes and Google Reader are currently at least as popular as Netvibes is.

  6. Martin says:

    Just checked the link paul gave. The comparison does show Netvibes and Pageflakes having the same features. Also Pageflakes has Social Networking aspect via their “Page Sharing” feature which Netvibes still lacks. So, I also wonder, why does Netvibes get so much attention. May be Netvibes having Series B has a lot of money to buy PR where Pageflakes still in Series A can’t afford doing proper marketing?

  7. (Shameless_plug)
    Why don’t you build one yourself btw…?
    With Gaia (found at http://ajaxwidgets.com ) it’s really easy!

  8. Enrique says:

    Just found this review made by Lifehacker. http://lifehacker.com/software/homepage/alpha-geek-start+page-showdown-246843.php
    They did deeply test Google, Netvibes, Pageflakes and other competitors and only Netvibes did receive a A. Googl has a B and Pageflakes has only a B-
    And I agree with Paul, I wouldn’t give those polls lots of credit since people can easily spoof results. And I’d like to know how many people from Pageflakes did vote especially when I read the nicknames of people who left comments on R/W Web.

  9. Marc says:

    @ Jochem

    Netvibes launched September 15, 2005. Pageflakes followed in February 2006. On all aspects (design, audience, momentum, funding, management) Pageflakes is lagging behind Netvibes. Period.

  10. Jochem says:

    Woops, my mistake then…

  11. Julius says:

    @Jochem: The real reason why Netvibes has more “blog” mentions? Technorati picks up the “Add to Netvibes” RSS button on blogs as a blog mention. So, even if the blog has nothing to do about Netvibes, they are counted as having a mention, as long as their button is there. Pageflakes doesn’t have as many of those buttons out there (yet). When I looked at the actual blog search results, and not just the numbers, I found a lot of blogs posts that never mentioned Netvibes…until I figured this out.

    @Enrique, Paul: For a nice counterpoint, notice that Pageflakes took home the PCWorld best personal web product – I think their reviews are much more above board than blog polls and reviews: http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,130045-page,4-c,freeware/article.html

    @Marc: How do you draw your conclusions? Regarding design, that’s a matter of taste and opinon, and frankly, Pageflakes has page publishing and group “wiki” like functionality where multiple people can edit the same page. Regarding audience, as everyone knows, Alexa is BS – check compete.com and quantcast.com, Comscore, Nielsen etc – Netvibes and Pageflakes are very close in users. Regarding momentum, I’m not sure how you conclude that given the numbers I see. Regarding funding, maybe Pageflakes is much more lean and doesn’t need the money, and maybe they have a round coming. Regarding management, have you checked out their CEO?

  12. You might also be interested in a brand new start page available called Funky Homepage (http://www.FunkyHomepage.com). It’s comprised mainly of Google gadgets (as well as Gadgets from other sources), live news feeds (with your choice of news provider), daily Bushisms, daily jokes, horoscopes, videos, weather (up to 5 locations), interactive calendar, Google calendar viewer (for up to 5 Google calendars), comic strips and lots more besides. It also lets you choose your own search engine, colour scheme, etc.

    Unlike many of the other personalised start pages available, there’s no need to create an account and it’s all already set up for you, with the most popular gadgets organised by category and sub-category. So there’s virtually no setting-up work required by the user, making it ideal for the mainstream audience and those (like me) who can’t be bothered to do all the work of setting up their own page. More adventurous (and less lazy) users can choose to add their own Google gadgets and RSS feeds, but most people just use the gadgets and tools provided.

    Unlike Netvibes, PageFlakes and all the other AJAX powered home pages, Funky Homepage does not use a drag and drop interface. Instead it allows you to select from a drop-down list of the most “popular” gadgets and feeds – “popular” according to the Google gadgets most popular list, that is. As such, it’s not really intended to compete with the flexibility of Netvibes and PageFlakes, but instead is intended to address a gap in the market for those who want something a bit more funky than Google or Yahoo, but without all the setting up required of Netvibes and Pageflakes. So only the most popular gadgets are offered. Although it still maintains a large degree of flexibility for the more adventurous users, allowing them to enter their own feeds and gadgets, should they wish. Whether you like it or hate it, at least it offers an alternative from the plethora of AJAX-powered homepages that are now available.

    It’s free to use and you can check it out at http://www.funkyhomepage.com

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