More and more people are relying on the Web these days, for everything from a working environment to study resources, from entertainment to retail therapy. There is very little you can do in the real world that cannot now be done online instead.
With that in mind the browser has become the enabler, allowing us all to access the Web and travel along its tubes easily. Every visit to the Web has to start somewhere, and it’s this homepage, the first place you land on the Web before you set off on your merry travels, that formed the basis for last week’s ‘We Ask You‘ column.
What Do You Have Set As Your Homepage?
We asked you, What Do You Have Set As Your Homepage? The response was phenomenal, with well over 100 comments and counting. Most people gave a short and sharp answer, with just the name of the homepage they use. Others explored the topic a little more in-depth, giving the reasons they chose the homepage they use.
Many people use Google in one of its various forms, with Google.com, Google Reader, and iGoogle all proving popular. The popularity of iGoogle is actually quite surprising as Google doesn’t promote it all that much these days. Other individual sites mentioned include Reddit, Wikipedia, Facebook, DuckDuckGo, MSN, and eBay.
Other choices people made include My Yahoo!, Netvibes, Daily Rotation, Xmarks, Myfav.es, Symbaloo, Only2Clicks, Dvorak’s Universal Homepage, Protopage, Speed Dial 2, Fast Dial, and Awesome New Tab Page. Many of which are customizable portals designed to act as jumping-off places for the wider Web. Many prefer to use ‘about:blank’, their own simple webpage, or the tabs from their last session.
Comment Of The Week
There were plenty of people vying for ‘Comment Of The Week‘ this time around – those who first mentioned some of the various options for a customized homepage, HildyJ for her coding instructions to create a simple HTML page, and Bill_Bored for his “No instant, no suggest” Google – but in the end it goes to BenN for speaking about his reasons for no longer using Google as his homepage. He wrote:
Google started to get political. I want my search engine to be a search engine, not a political activist. Especially since they do this outside of CA too – at least just stay in your home state and stop lobbying other states.
I don’t want to be part of any social networks. Google+ started showing up everywhere- I don’t want to be joined into things by default and have to opt out of them. I don’t want friends I am good at not making, why does Google want to force me to have them?
They started to get too smart – their recommendations just know too much. I like anonymity. I don’t want personalized searches that look through my history and bookmarks and give me biased (though arguably more accurate) results. I don’t want confirmation biased news or to be constantly bombarded with ads that are too hard for me to resist. I already own 47 flashlights, please don’t tempt me with more, show me some tampon ads.
I read a little truism somewhere – if you aren’t paying for it then you aren’t the customer, you are the product. Since I don’t pay Google I am just something they sell to advertisers. Nothing wrong with this – they use me and I use their service, fair enough. I just felt like I gave them too much of my info. I also felt like I was too dependent on them – all my eggs were in one basket.
Whether you agree or disagree with his viewpoint it makes for interesting reading. Google is already a huge presence on all corners of the Web, and this isn’t a trend that’s likely to change anytime soon. It really depends how much of a problem you personally see this as. Especially if you’re planning on buying a pair of Google Project Glass Goggles.
We will be asking a new question tomorrow, so please join us then. ‘We Ask You’ is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. We ask you a question and you tell us what you think. The question is open-ended and is usually open to debate. Some questions will be purely opinion-based, while others will see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps for your fellow MakeUseOf Readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.
Image Credit: Mike Licht