There isn't much to dislike about Protopage. It has a very nice Web 2.0-oriented design, and it is very solid in every area that you expect from a personalized start page. The ability to view multiple RSS feeds in a single module and the integrated podcasts puts this start page right up there among the best.
- Multiple feeds in a single RSS module
- View websites without leaving your custom start page
- Freestyle arranging of modules
- Integrated podcasts
- The interface is a little jumpy
- Multiple tabs for better organization
- Read outside mail from popular sources like Gmail
- Wide range of built-in RSS feeds and you can add any feed you want
- Add custom widgets
Protopage - Whats To Like
Almost everything. Protopage leverages Web 2.0 methodologies to create a very smooth drag-and-drop interface that acts more like your desktop than a browser home page, and not only does it have just about everything you will want in a start page, but it does almost everything well.
The modules for RSS feeds are especially nice since you can choose multiple formats to display the articles, and you can even mix in multiple feeds into one module. This makes it a very strong RSS reader.
The ability to display a web page in a module is another bright spot. One handy trick is to pull up the mobile version of a website -- like Google for Mobile -- so that you get a webpage that is designed to be in a smaller window.
And perhaps the best part is its ability to seamlessly dish out podcasts and vidcasts. The volume control on the upper right hand menu is a nice touch.
Protopage - What's Not To Like
It was initially difficult to find anything that I didn't like about Protopage. And then I left the page for a few minutes and tried to come back only to find my page wasn't there anymore. Not to worry, it didn't lose my page or fail to sign me back into the site, it just wanted me to go to the page I had created directly and not the main Protopage site. This could be cleared up by some kind of warning that users shouldn't bookmark the page until after they've created their page, but it does mar an otherwise very good personalized start page.
The only other dislikes are very nitpicky. The interface tends to jump a little when you drag and drop stuff around the page, and there are no starting templates, so you are stuck with all the defaults and will probably find yourself cleaning out some modules you don't want before adding your own.
Protopage - The Bottom Line
Protopage is a great choice for those just starting out with their first personalized start page and those who have a lot of experience with them. The freestyle drag-and-drop interface makes customization a snap, and a very Windows-like interface makes getting started a breeze. Long-time start page users will enjoy the greater control over the appearance, the integration with podcasts, and the flexibility of the RSS modules.