Sunday, June 4th, 2006

Fold Folds

Category: Business, Portal

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Ajax homepage/portal Fold.com has folded (via TechCrunch). Late last year, we were receiving at least a couple of releases a week about new Ajax homepages, so it seemed inevitable there would be some casualties in this crowded space.

In some cases, it’s difficult to see how each of these products differentiate itself from the competition, and that’s going to be a problem when the competition includes some of the players in the industry. Some create an even bigger obstacle by requiring registration before you can even test drive the site.

Though the site is closed, the blog remains open, with the following message:

I’m currently busy working on other stuff so Fold is deactivated for the time being.

Thanks for your interest.

TechCrunch observes that Netvibes and PageFlakes both received recent funding rounds.

Maybe this is a one-off, or maybe there’s some consolidation coming up in this area. Are people really using these sites as their homepages? Their blog readers? It’s hard to gauge, as there hasn’t been much mainstream interest about them.

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Posted by Michael Mahemoff at 5:18 pm
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“Are people really using these sites as their homepages? Their blog readers?”

Yes! Oh man, Netvibes is amazing. I mean, I’m at least as productive reading feeds with Netvibes as I would be using a dedicated feed reader, especially now that they’ve added awesome keyboard shortcuts. I’ve made some modules; making a module for Netvibes is literally as simple as writing a regular HTML page, and if you know PHP and AJAX, you can make all sorts of crazy things. It’s much better than some other feed readers, too — it combines the best features of them all (reading full-text feeds right on the page, tabs, unread counts, developer API, etc.).

Yes, I use Netvibes as my homepage/feed reader. I used to have more than one page as my homepage, but now, there’s no point. If there hasn’t been much “mainstream” interest in them, then it is because others simply have a personal preference towards dedicated feed readers without “bloat” and features. However, I’ve found Netvibes to allow me to be more productive by allowing me to completely customize my feed reading experience.

Comment by Mark — June 4, 2006

Just wanted to comment on whether people are really using sites such as netvives and pageflakes.

Whilst of course traying many web2.0 applications, few reamin in use after a few hours or days.

Netvibes however is different. Netvibes is now a central part of my whole internet experience. As both a business and a personal user I have now become reliant on netvibes as my portal to the internet.

Netvibes has now introduced its ecosystem which make it even more useful.

Comment by alec dorling — June 4, 2006

ajax homepages are a really bad idea – the way they are done today.

why?

there’s a few reasons –
1.loading time – for a homepage ajax isn’t exactly light, it take a few seconds to load.

2.all browsers have a great start page already built in – its called a blank page, its light and you can get to anywhere you want with something called an address bar which on some browsers has a search.. whats the first thing you want to do on the web?

3. search. even if its your own information – search is king, firefox search plugins do the job very well. ajax homepages are a nice but do i really want my search results loading within a ‘special’ ajax window? not really. Its taking things a bit too far.

please note, this is directed at ajax homepages overall, i’ve never heard of fold.com before today.

oh yes, can i plug my new search plugin for boogla bookmarks? oops already did.

Comment by Dave Ashe — June 5, 2006

[...] Ajaxin – Fold Folds [...]

Pingback by GetSpot Now » You just need to be big enough — June 5, 2006

I’ve been using protopage for the last few months and now it’s an integral part of my web experience. I haven’t seen it mentioned much in the blogosphere but I really like it much more than ay other option I’ve tried, due almost entirely to loading speed and simplicity.

Fold and Pageflakes and the others were just way too slow to be my default page. Google IG had no font options so my 20 or so feeds would take up way too much space on the page (not a big fan of scrolling).

I just wich feedster had a protopage option since it takes me a few seconds longer to add it to my page.

Comment by Markus — June 5, 2006

[...] La fin de Fold.com. [...]

Pingback by En vrac #4 at Gate Nine — June 6, 2006

30 Boxes Launches WebTop, an Ajax Start Page

30 Boxes, the online calendaring startup, just launched a new ajax start page called Webtop. The service allows you to add links to your favorite web services including Gmail, Flickr, Facebook, MySpace, Webshots, Meebo and your 30 Boxes calendar. …

Trackback by Mashable* — June 11, 2006

Seems they are now a company that sells Barcode Software.

Comment by Nicolai Hel — August 17, 2006

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