If you like to explore personalized homepages, this sure seems to be your month. Over the past few weeks, there has been several reviews and comparisons. Guess what? Here is one more. Symbaloo is a very visual browser homepage.
In a homepage, useability is a big part of whether it catches on or not. Another important thing to consider, is whether it does everything you need it to.
If you read the post on Kadaza recently, you have an idea of what a logo based homepage is. Symbaloo takes it one step further. With other homepages, you can add sites. Usually you see a link, however, you may see a logo or the favicon representing the site. What Symbaloo does (for the news) is shows you a picture based on the trending information.
You can see by the main page, the layout is simple, yet offers a lot of information. You can see the 52 squares with a spot to search right in the middle.
On the top of the 52 squares, you will also see tabs. These are similar to tabs in your browser. You can have lots of information open, yet not feel like you are cluttered. The default tabs are: Home Webmix, Webmix, News highlights and Major news.
What I like about the tabs, is if you have a topic you are really interested in such as the Android OS or social media, you can do a quick search and find a bunch of different webmixes related to your interest. A webmix is a collection of different sites revolving around the same topic.
Personalizing the page
You can personalize the page by adding sites you like to or replacing one of the squares. To add a site to an empty square, just click on it. A window will appear at the top of the screen with a search window.
I chose coffee as an example. After typing it into the search bar, 6 possible choices are displayed. Select the site you’d like by clicking on it. When you do, it will populate the square you chose.
Another way to use Symbaloo is by using the premade tabs.
The major news tab consists of 9 blocks. Each block is an RSS feed for a major US news source.
The news highlights tab is the most picturesque. The tab shows a collage of trending news topics.
The webmix collection tab is by-far the most informational. It crams shortcuts to lots and lots of webmixes into one window. The defaults range from fastest cars to going green, and even Oprah. When you click on a collection, you will see a webmix with a bunch of sites related to the topic. Here is what the fast car webmix looks like.
For all of the Firefox users out there, you can use the Firefox add-on to bookmark sites to Symbaloo. When the add-on is installed, it appears in the top right of your browser window. You will see a shortcut to Symbaloo and one to bookmark the site.
When you bookmark a site, you can do some minor cosmetic changes. If you group similar bookmarks by color, this is where you can make the car background for your Ferrari bookmark red like the others.
I have to say, even though Symbaloo looks very simple, you can really do a lot to it. Between the tabs, default webmixes and personalizing your own, you can pack a ton of information onto your homepage. It is really easy to use and if you are looking for something a bit more flashy, Symbaloo will do the trick.
Of the many possible homepages, how do you choose what works best for you?