1. Using Personal Start Pages to Organize Your “OWN”line Life<br />Fran Bullington firstname.lastname@example.org <br />Wouldn't life be simpler if you only had to open one webpage to access EVERYTHING you normally wish to see when you go online? If your calendar, email, news, weather, movie listings, social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), lists of bookmarks, and your "
lists were all in one place? And if you were able to access this webpage from any computer?<br />Creating a personalized start page is truly an easy process and will help organize, simplify, and enrich your life!<br />Creating Your Own Home Page<br />I use iGoogle for my start page, but there are other options available to you (see hyperlinked list at the end of this document.)<br /> Movies (local listings)Tasks TwitterGoogle Docs Google Talk FacebookGoogle BookmarksGoogle Dual Mode Calculator CNN.com GmailGoogle ReaderGoogle Calendar<br />Follow these easy steps and you'll have your own personalized start page in just a few minutes. <br />1. Go to http://www.google.com and create OR sign in to your Google account. <br />2. A. If you are signing up for a Google account, a screen similar to the following will appear. Fill in the required information, and your account will be created.<br />Once you create your Google account, a verification email will be sent to the email address you supplied. Open the email and click on the verification link.<br />B. Once you are signed in to your Google Account, you will discover a premade iGoogle start page.<br />3. Now you can begin to personalize your own iGoogle start page!<br />Personalizing Your Start Page<br />A. Points to Ponder:<br />1. First, what would you like to include on your start page to simplify and organize your "
line life?<br />calendar?<br />email?<br />news?<br />weather?<br />list of the bookmarks you visit daily?<br />to-do list?<br />local movie listings?<br />local television guide?<br />2. Second, what information could you add to your start page that would enrich your "
line life?<br />Why not add a feed aggregator (reader) to your page? Instead of having to search for information on topics of your choice, you can have that information sent to your reader on your start page.<br />As you "
to your start page, search for the feed reader you already use or choose one (I use Google Reader).<br />3. Finally, once you have finished creating your "
line space, remember to save it as your home page so that each time you open the Internet from your browser, you will feel right at home - with everything you need at your fingertips!<br />B. Now, Create Your Space<br />1. Start with your premade iGoogle start page. You can “change the theme"
to your start page by clicking on these choices:<br />When you click on "
you are taken to the gadget directory where you can search for gadgets by name or category. When you find a gadget you wish to add to your start page, click on the "
Add it now"
button.<br />2. Once you have added a gadget, you need to edit its settings. The settings will vary from gadget to gadget, but the process of editing will be similar for many gadgets. Let’s use the “Movies” gadget as an example.<br />On the gadget toolbar, clicking on the down arrow will open a menu. From this, choose “Edit settings.”<br />For this gadget, your location will determine the information displayed. Enter your zip code and click on “Save.”<br />This is how the gadget appears once you have saved your edited settings.<br />3. ENRICH your life! Find “Google Reader” in the gadget directory and click the “Add it now” button.<br />If you don’t have a Google Reader account, click here to get started.<br />It looks a little confusing at first, but if you will click on the words “Google Reader” in the gadget toolbar, a full screen will open.<br />From here, you can add subscriptions to sites that offer RSS feeds. Many web sites offer “feeds.” How do you know if a site offers a feed? Look in the web address bar for this logo: <br />Let’s sign up for a news feed from The State newspaper. Notice the RSS icon in the address bar.<br />Clicking on the RSS icon in the address bar opens a menu:<br />Click on the “Subscribe Now” button.Click on “Subscribe to Homepage stories only.” This opens a feed page.<br /> The following page appears:<br />As you can see, you can add feeds to your start page or choose to add them to Google Reader. For the sake of this exercise, click the “Add to Google Reader” button.<br />You may be asked to provide your Google password again. Then you will see that the feed has been added to your reader.<br />Continue to add subscriptions to your reader this way or by clicking on the “Add subscription” button and entering a url.<br />How do you find content to add to your reader? <br /><ul><li>Visit sites you normally check and see if they have an RSS feed
2. Search for blogs at http://technorati.com/
3. Check out some of these educational blogs: http://www.onlinedegrees.org/top-100-technology-blogs-for-teachers/
4. Use a blog search engine such as http://blogsearch.google.com/</li></ul>4. After adding and editing gadgets, you may wish to adjust the theme from the Classic one Google provided with your pre-made start page.<br />Click on “Change theme from Classic” to bring up this screen:<br />Find an appealing theme? Click on the “Add it Now” button beneath it to see how the theme appears on your start page. Decide you don’t like the look? You can easily change it.<br />Other Personal Start Page Sites<br />You may wish to check out what other start page site creators offer.<br /><ul><li>Netvibes
5. Pageflakes (Some sources have reported spotty outage with this site recently.)
6. My Yahoo</li></ul>Please visit this presentation’s site to view video tutorials to further assist you in simplifying, organizing, and enriching your “OWN”line life.<br />Created under a Creative Commons license<br />Fran Bullington http://www.informania.wordpress.com<br />