Goodbye, Netvibes

I’ve mentioned Netvibes on this blog on three previous occasions. I’ll summarize each post for you:

  • I love Netvibes
  • There are things about Netvibes that bother me
  • Netvibes has been broken for two days so I’m writing a tool from scratch to replace its functionality

Before today, I have tweeted about Netvibes three times:
September 5, 2010 (permalink):

How many years has @netvibes been around? Still, when you change your password, you’ve got to delete your cookies on all other machines!

November 3, 2010 (permalink):

The @Digg RSS feed has been broken in @Netvibes for a week.

November 17, 2010 (permalink):

@Netvibes has been in beta for five years and my RSS feeds still update erratically. One day closer to switching to @GoogleReader .

(Side note: For several weeks after rolling out version 4 of its website, Digg’s RSS feed experienced varying degrees of dysfunction. However, when I tweeted about that particular feed being broken in Netvibes, I loaded it up in other aggregators (specifically, Google Reader) to verify that the feed itself was no longer the source of the problem.)

Around November 17, I began to use Google Reader to take the place of Netvibes’ RSS aggregation functionality, and I created a Firefox Sync account to take the place of Netvibes’ bookmarks functionality. Since then I exported my bookmarks from Netvibes, imported them to Firefox, and started the arduous process of re-tagging them all.

Today, I found myself actively avoiding Netvibes despite the fact that I have yet to organize my bookmarks in Firefox. Because of this, I wrote a new tweet on the subject. For some reason — perhaps the phrase “abandoned netvibes” — Netvibes CEO Freddy Mini replied. The exchange was brief, but I’ll present it as a conversation:

Me: Abandoned @netvibes in favor of @GoogleReader and #FirefoxSync . I think netvibes’ developers abandoned it first.
Freddy Mini: @DanielPremo why would you say that?
Me: @freddymini Consistent bugs in RSS widgets — widgets that don’t update, widgets that show the same one or two items over and over.
Me: @freddymini Also: every time I change my netvibes password, I must delete cookies on every other machine, or netvibes is just a blank page.
Freddy Mini: @DanielPremo fine. see you.

Part of my frustration with Netvibes stems with the fact that I know not only that its problems can be fixed, but also how to fix them. I ran into the password/cookie issue when I was working on — and that site’s just a hobby. Netvibes is a tool that has a mountain of potential. But in the ways I use it, it’s been slowly moving backwards. This leaves me with no choice but to find more effective solutions.

Goodbye, Netvibes