Home page customisation start-up offers 10,000 mini-apps

Pageflakes, which helps users personalise their internet home pages with their favourite items, is to launch a directory of 10,000 widgets – small, single-purpose customisation applications.

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Pageflakes, which helps users personalise their internet home pages with their favourite items, is to launch a directory of 10,000 widgets – small, single-purpose customisation applications.

The Pageflakes system allows users to customise their home pages with small movable versions of their web favourites – dubbed flakes – and swap these with others.

Chief executive Dan Cohen, who joined the company last month after heading up personal home page efforts at Yahoo and Google, said the new centralised directory of "flakes" would make building a personalised home page easier. The flakes could be podcasts, RSS feeds, blogs or other content snippets that users can download.

"My vision and my passion is to make the personalised home page a mass market product," Cohen said. "That means someone like my mum, who is 70 years old... would be able to use something like this and quickly set it up. The page would configure itself to her interest and needs."

Cohen also is aiming to differentiate Pageflakes from Google and Yahoo's personalised page operations by supporting the community-driven page, where multiple users with a common interest could add content or edit a page, he said.

Next month, the company plans to launch the single consolidated directory of flakes. Cohen said the directory would allow users to indicate their interests, so relevant flakes could be offered to them. Users would not have to know the definitions of Web 2.0 technologies like RSS feeds, he added.

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