Posts Tagged ‘iGoogle’

2011 in review

January 5, 2012

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 56,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 21 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Best iGoogle Gadgets for Travelling

May 28, 2010

My favourite iGoogle Gadget for travelling is the Flight Status gadget. This way my family will be notified automatically about any delays while I am or my wife  is flying. This is quite comfortable as the use of mobile devices is restricted during flights and while going through customs and control .

Flight Status iGoogle Gadget


To multiple travel sites, airlines, hotels, and rental cars at

Search For Flights, Hotels, and Rental Cars at

What iGoogle Gadgets do you use to make your travelling more pleasant and effective ?

I am researching on how to improve learning through collaboration and how to be more effective in using collaborative tools. I have published a number of blog posts around iGoogle Gadgets:

Top Ten iGoogle gadgets: versus Switzerland

Top igoogle gadgets Series « Continuous Learning & Development

My New WorkLife Balance With iGoogle – Series 1

Top Ten iGoogle Gadgets revisited

Life Resource Planning System

September 1, 2009

Media companies are struggling. This is not new, this is not news. But this crisis accelerated their dilema.  Since the first Webbrowser was distributed Media companies are looking for new sustainable business models.  This is difficult in the economy of “free”. Especially around media content. The whole story and how it evolves is blogged about by Jeff Jarvis on Buzzmachine.

Since 1999 Google demonstrates what bussinnss models are working. I want to add on a global scale. Today 50% of all newspaper readers are channeled through Google (search).  But is Google really the answer on the local scale ?

The strength of local companies is not the news, it is the strength of knowing the local environment. The future is not the advertising in your news that you sell it is a complete different model in my opinion. It is a very localized kind of “google” or even more. You let google do what google is best at and you do what you as the local embedded organization could do best for the people in your region.

What local people need is an urban resource planning system, a life planning system or a personal resource planning system. Making it easy for them to organize their lives based on the communication, on the news they receive from their network, from the web.

What do I mean ? As a media company you could provide the services that would support such resource planning.
Example: You write an article online about a restaurant, a theater play, an event that will take place  and offer the reader to immediately reserve the ticket or the table in the restaurant out of the article , have the date entered in teh personal calendar, have the bill send or the ticket automatically paid,….

What ever local information y0u provide you organize the follow on processes for the reader. Whenever needed you link to available online systems (example what is provided by google) or build a hosting service for local applications that support very local needs, offer iphone, igoogle apps or gadgets that support the follow on processes.

To take it a step further for all the smart phone or mobile computing device users each house or location could provide information whenever you come close to these locations based on your GPS position tracked by your smart mobile device.
There are plenty of examples: you assign tasks to locations such as get medicine from the pharmacy on the way home, or buy bread at the bakery when you pass by in the morning or return from work. As soon as you come close to the location your smart mobile device will notify you of the open tasks related to this location.
Or you drive into the city and the device will tell you where the closes parking is and how many spaces are available.
Or you visit the town as a tourist and your device will offer you information on historical buildings that you pass by during your visit or it will tell you about events going to take place in the building – be it a cinema, theater, restaurant, etc.
There are hundreds of possible location based services imaginable.

Even interpersonal based services could be developped. Such as a birthday reminder once you get close to a person you know and you are connect with…

The other opportunities are around collective learning or collective smartness. One way to learn is to benchmark against others – I created an example around Linkedin: How attractive is my Linkedin Profile – The Benchmark Study ? You could benchmark your energy costs or benchmark other information where you profit from sharing these information with others to have more transparency for yourself in order to make decisions. Other opportunities are around transport. Whenever one gets into a traffic jam by sharing this information other drivers coming into the city will take a different route. Again plenty of services are imaginable.

In principal these services will need to be open and free. I cannot imagine a paid or subscriber model for the majority of these services. Income could come through  referral, coupons or advertising. There are plenty of places in these services where one could place adds or get referral fees. A number of these business modells are described and calculated at:

To build such a system it could be done in cooperation between large and small players. For example computer users could provide space on their computers to support hosting of data and applications, anyone could provide content and anyone could provide samll applications based on the open standards, etc…. There only needs to be a decent model around sharing of the income generated through this system.

The best way to understand these new possible business models is to pilot them. I have been involved in pilots of the interactive television beginning of the 90s. From such pilots you will quickly learn what a user would expect from these systems and how likely they will succeed in the market place. At that time it became apparant that the technology, the costs of the system will not meet the users experience and value expectations . And as you know interactive television did not turn into a sustainable profitable business.

Ideal places for these pilots could be New York, London, Tokyo or Zurich.
Zurich has an ideal setup. It is one of the wealthiest cities, it is very international, it has a highly developed media industry, it is a major banking place, Google has its European and Middle East and African Headquarter in Zurich, Ebay has an office in Zurich, Yahoo is in Switzerland, there is the ETH and there are plenty of high tech companies in and around Zurich.  And very important the major Telecom companies such as Swisscom are located in this city. Besides a very well established communication network Zurich could additionally explore the transfer of data via the electricity lines. Zurich would be well set for a pilot and could likely beocme the smartest city on earth.

Example of a generic personal resource planning system. In this case it is proposed subcriber model, which I believe will not be sustainable or attractive to most users.

Example of a hyperlocal news site: was just aquired by MSNBC.

Recommended  Readings:
Jarvis, Jeff: What Would Google Do?
Tapscott, Don: Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything
Udell, Sterling: Beginning Google Maps Mashups with Mapplets, KML, and GeoRSS: From Novice to Professional (Beginning from Novice to Professional)

Top Ten iGoogle gadgets: versus Switzerland (

March 20, 2008

Join the igoogle Group on Google

Retweet This Page: Somehow I am attracted by the wisdom of the crowds. Those crowds are more intelligent than the indivudual in the crowd. So what better way to find out what smart Gadgets should be in your igoogle pages your personalized Google page is than to have a look at the most used gadgets on iGoogle. Well I could not do this without a comparision between and Switzerland (



Number 10: (
BBC News (1 330 522 users)
Number 10: (Switzerland)
Neue Zuericher Zeitung (NZZ) (17 631)
My comparison comment: Both are serious news sources

Number 9: (
New York Times (NYT) (1 520 525 users)
Number 9: (Switzerland)
Blick-online News (18 470 users)
My comparison comment: Again at another serious news source. Now here in Switzerland it is the colorful daily news with some bikini pictures in it or so.

Number 8: (
Wikipedia (1,862,838 users)
Number 8: (Switzerland)
Wikipedia Suche (22’619 users)
My comparison comment: Surprise, surprise for both the same encyclopedia in their local language.

Number 7: (
Google News (2,297,464 users)
Number 7: (Switzerland)
Date & Time (27’062 users)
My comparison comment: Google news versus showing the date and time. But wait and look at the next numbers.

Number 6: (
Quotes of the day (2,452,622 users)
Number 6: (Switzerland)
20 Minuten | Front (29’255 users)
My comparison comment: Making a smart quote of the day versus having some broad short general news from this free news magazine that you also get for free on the train stations in Switzerland.

Number 5: (
Official YouTube Gadget (4,397,481 users)
Number 5: (Switzerland)
Alle Zisch-Sport-News (60’009 users)
My comparison comment: YouTube videos versus Sport news.

Number 4: (
Movies (4,686,898 users)
Number 4: (Switzerland)
swissinfo – News Frontseite (72’038 users)
My comparison comment: Where to find movies playing near versus news about Switzerland.

Number 3: (
wikiHow – How to of the day (7,597,367 users)
Number 3: (Switzerland)
My comparison comment: How to do things versus what are the latest trends in technology such as eGadgets.

Number 2: ( (7,698,511 users)
Number 2: (Switzerland)
Beobachter 05|08 (77’038 users)
My comparison comment:  The well known CNN news channel versus a consumer advice magazine (something like a how to).

Number 1: (
Date & Time (9,294,244 users)
Number 1: (Switzerland)
PCtipp-News (84’514 users)
My comparison comment: Date & Time is a must versus PC news.

Overall comment: Date & Time for users is top priority. It seems like users have difficulties in remembering what date it is today. This gadget is a must. Also a existing time displays on computers, telephones and watches are not enough. There needs to be a time display in the iGoogle site as well. The date & time gadget made it also to the 7th place in Switzerland. Can we conclude that time is of a lesser importance in Switzerland. Maybe I should try this one and just pick someone from Switzerland randomly from the telephone book and call him to ask the question what time and date is it. The same should I do for English speaking world, probably I would choose the USA and see who cannot answer me this question. What do you think ?

Another surprising finding is that the PC News are top in Switzerland. It looks like the users of are dying to get PC News. Before they worry about the world or the economy or anything else, the PC comes first. There must be so much change around PC technologies that they are utter worried they would miss it. Maybe I should try this and just call and ask what is the latest igoogle gadget that was released. Maybe the swiss would win for example over the USA user ?

Anything around Movies and Videos is definetely something special to the users. To know instantly what movie is playing near me is a must. And not to forget to be able to talk about the top videos on YouTube.

Both user communities seem to be into pragmatism. They all want to know how to do things. How to fill in my tax form, how can I save taxes, make more money, find the best schools, fix my house, fix my car, and so and so on. How to is a big thing.

And the national news. What is probable the CNN to the users that is the swissinfo to the Swiss. So here the users know where their focus is. In Switzerland the swiss news just comes after the PC news and the technology news trend. Once they know what is latest in technology, they want to know what their nation is doing.

What other conclusion could you draw out of this top ten list ? Just leave a comment if you like.

Related Posts:
Top Ten iGoogle Gadgets revisited – what the crowd uses 5 month later
My New Work-Life Balance with iGoogle

My New Work-Life Balance With iGoogle – Series 1

March 14, 2008

igoogle Group

Work: I am looking after the development of a few thousand leaders and employees with a very diversified cultural background stretching over 14 hours time zone.  Life: I have two little kids and my wife is working as a system engineer.

Over the past years I have aquired many new skills and best practices to be more effective. I use speed-reading, speed writing, speed leading and also the process from David Allen – Getting things done – The Art of Stress-Free Productivity and Six Sigma.

And now I am starting to use the latest powers of Web 2.0 to get one more step ahead in designing the ultimate work-life balance.
It was last Sunday when I came about iGoogle. And there it was the ultimate environment to get my whole life and work organized in an instant.
So what has changed since then ?
I have setup two iGoogle accounts – one is for work and the other one for life.

Whenever I am at work I go to my iGoogle work account. There I have a number of gadgets that do some fancy stuff for me. I get the latest leadership quote of the day, the stock price of the company I work for, the latest news through Google Reader about my employer, all the news about Management, Leadership, Talent Management, Employee Development, Career Development and Human Resources and the weather forecast. I have also added Google Bookmarks and the be Twittered Gadget where I see the latest twitter for example from New York Times.
What is the result of this iGoogle for work ? Well, it takes me just 5 minutes and I have the latest update on my company and on my profession.
What other gadgets should I add ? Please leave your suggestions in the comment section below. Thank you.

Twice a day I will log into my iGoogle for Life.  There I can leave a note for my wife or vice versa, see where it is raining or snowing (radar) right now, the receipe of the day or I can search for one, the latest discount offers, another to do list, the snow report of our favourite ski resort, time table search for the public transport, what is on teli tonight, what are the latest movies released, send a free sms, MSN Messenger, News (Menshealth, automotor, etc.), Telephone Book search, Route Search, Translator and search on eBay.
What other gadgets should I add ? Please leave your suggestions in the comment section below. Thank you.

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