11/30/10

Genieo – Create A Personalized Home Page

I ran across a little program called Genieo the other day, and after playing around with it, found it to be an interesting way to compile a pseudo-news page of things that are interesting to me. You can think of it as a product that combines some of the traits of those Twitter newspapers (Paper.li), iGoogle, and bookmarking resources. Genieo follows you as you surf the web and identifies the sites that are important to you, and builds updates from those sites that should be of interest to you.
Before going too far, I guess I should point out two things that might influence your ability to test this, or want to test it:
  1. It is a small program that is installed on your PC (no Mac support at this time). So, if your employer doesn't allow that, then you'll need to try it at home (unless your significant other doesn't allow you to download programs at home…)
  2. It doesn't follow you onto secure websites (those with "https" in the URL.) But, it will follow you everywhere else.
Although Genieo is promoted as a personalized "Home Page," you don't have to set it up as your home page. You can bookmark it or double-click the icon in the quick launch area to bring the latest version up in your browser. So, what exactly does Genieo do??

First of all, it is very similar to what you get in an RSS feed. It shows you new stories that have been posted on the sites that you follow. Whether it is the local newspaper site, or your favorite blogs, it will pull the new items posted on those sites and put them on your Genieo page.
It also brings in Facebook and Twitter contacts (if you allow the integration.) All those pictures and birthday reminders are right there in its own little space.
Genieo will bookmark those sites you visit the most and list those in the level of interest that you appear to have in them. You can manipulate those levels if you want, and delete those that you may visit, but don't want to show up on your Genieo page.
There is a Mini Topic Filtering System that is used to categorize the information, and attempts to bring back only the most relevant items based on your usage. 
Live Updates help you track sports scores or company ticker information. There are also little notification windows that can pop up from time to time to let you know of new items that have been added to your Genieo page.
You can share the information directly from your Genieo page through Twitter, Facebook and more by clicking the appropriate share button next to the item, or you can even build your own magazine from all of the items that Genieo has compiled for you. (I haven't actually been able to get a "clean" copy of this magazine to work yet, so maybe this one is still in the pre-beta-phase of production…)
I think that Genieo is a useful resource, but still needs a little bit of polishing to be something I'd use as my home page. It's worth a look (if your boss lets you install little apps on your PC), so go to Genieo and test it out for yourself and let me know what you think.

Bookmark and Share

2 comments:

Lisa Salazar said...

WOW! That's cool, Greg :)

Amos Yoffe said...

Thanks for the nice post, Greg!

As part of the Genieo dev team, I just wanted to add a bit regarding Genieo's privacy controls:

As you mentioned, Genieo doesn't follow you to secure (https) websites, but it also won't track your browsing to webmail sites (Gmail, Yahoo Mail, etc.), calendar sites, banking sites and sites with explicit content.
In addition, all your personal data is stored on your computer and not sent to Genieo's servers, so we don't know your private stuff - in the same way that Microsoft doesn't know the contents of the Word documents you create on your computer.

Cheers :)

 

© 2014, All Rights Reserved.