Pageflakes may be up again but there are questions about its long term viability. Phil Bradley’s blog posting Pageflakes is dead, or is it? may encourage you to think of moving your start page elsewhere. I moved UKeiG’s Pageflakes ‘stuff’ to Netvibes after the advertisement fiasco (see UKeiG Pageflakes content has moved to Netvibes). As well as the lack of advance notice of adding adverts to pages – later withdrawn after many vociferous protests – there had been technical problems, slow page loading, and repeated down time. We felt that we could no longer trust Pageflakes nor could we depend on them to provide a reliable service.
At the very least I would recommend that you document your Pageflakes content. In the longer term, consider moving to Netvibes or a similar service. Phil Bradley has a list of start pages at http://philbradley.typepad.com/i_want_to/create_a_personalised_start_page/
Today and without advance warning Pageflakes installed advertisements on all of its members’ pages. There had been reports of ads appearing on new users’ pages but it was not until today that they were imposed on all existing users.
The ads are garish, often irrelevant to the content of the page, sometimes ‘inappropriate’ and always fixed. They appear in the top right hand corner of the page. As Phil Bradley has pointed out in the Pageflakes Forum, the positioning of the advert is excellent from their point of view but a disaster from ours. If it is an image it completely dominates the content. Until I had removed most of my content I saw bright orange, red and yellow ads being served up on my page.
I am sure that most of Pageflakes’ users appreciate that the company has to generate revenue but Pageflakes has not offered any alternative subscription options for those of us who are willing to pay for an ad free environment.
So what are the alternatives? I do not use Pageflakes other than to demonstrate it in workshops but I do maintain pages for other organisations. I have moved them all to Netvibes, which I recommend you investigate as an alternative. (For a very ordinary and straightforward example see the UKeiG Netvibes page)