During Week Three of Comm 183, Howard introduced us to Netvibes, a platform that allows you to aggregate and keep track of RSS Feeds. I had heard of RSS feeds (and seen the little logo/button) before, but I wasn’t 100% sure what they were and I had absolutely no experience working with them, so I was curious to see how playing around with Netvibes was going to go for me. Well, let’s just say it wasn’t too pretty.
I struggled quite a bit when it came to using Netvibes. The interface wasn’t intuitive and, overall, I found the site to be quite confusing. I had to revert back to Howard’s step-by-step PDF multiple times while setting up to try and figure out what exactly I was supposed to do and where I was supposed to click to get certain things to show up.
I decided to put together a dashboard that brought together the various topics that we were studying in Comm 183, but even after I finished putting my dashboard together, I didn’t enjoy using Netvibes. Personally, I felt like there was less effective filtering via the tools available on Netvibes, and that introduced a lot of distracting crap into my dashboard. Considering that I was using my dashboard to collect information on a variety of related topics (as determined by the different class sessions of Comm 183, rearranging the dashboard didn’t really do much for me either. However, I could see how this could be a useful skill for someone who was using their dashboard to put together information on a variety of different topics (that having been said, I don’t think I personally would ever choose to put unrelated topics on the same dashboard – I think that would be too confusing for me and would result in information overload, even if I were to move the tabs around).
Overall, I’m a much bigger fan of Twitter as an aggregator than I am of Netvibes and RSS Feeds, but I’m aware of the fact that that preference may simply be due to the fact that I am familiar with Twitter and have been using it for a while. When I first joined Twitter during my senior year of high school, I thought it was dumb, and I ignored my account for a long time before getting back on in college and becoming the avid user that I am today. Perhaps Netvibes will grow on me, but if I were to go off my first impression, I wouldn’t count on it.