Monday, October 21

Google Sites: Alternative to iGoogle

The untimely demise of iGoogle is set for November 1. As such, you will no longer be able to pull up that iGoogle page and quickly scroll through a handy collage of BirdTrax summaries of birds/birders in your area. However, here's my suggestion for an alternative to iGoogle.

To begin, go to:
sites.google.com

  1. Create a new site. Simply click "create". You can fiddle around with style all you like, but I just selected "blank template". Once you finish up on that page, you should have a new website.
  2. Edit your page. Click on the pencil in the upper right area of the page.
  3. Add a BirdTrax gadget. In the upper left menu bar, hover over "insert" and then click on "more gadgets...". Click on "add gadget by URL" and enter the following URL:

    https://birdtrax-explorer.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/birdtrax.xml

  4. Customize your gadget. Type in your settings as you so desire, and when you click OK, you'll have inserted your first BirdTrax gadget into the site.
The rest of the sites.google.com features are fairly self-explanatory. You can change your privacy settings -- by default the site is public.

Please comment if you're having issues or if you find any better alternatives! Here's a sample site for you to check out:

BirdTrax Demo Dashboard


22 comments:

  1. I'm moving from iGoogle to sites.google.com using Chrome.
    I'm used to having 6 copies of your gadget available. I'm having a problem editing
    the gadget once it's installed. The rollover on the top bar is not giving me an "Edit" choice like it does on iGoogle. My site is:

    https://sites.google.com/site/kensapkowski

    Thanks, Ken

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ken, you need to click on edit page, from which you can edit gadget configurations by clicking the "properties" gear. Hope this helps! -Zach

      Delete
  2. Companies like Google just close down services whenever they want to, which is why I prefer to use stand-alone services for this kind of things. I'm now using http://www.startme.com as my start page and liking it so far!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Startme looks pretty cool. How do I get the Birdtrax gadget on it? Or can I?

      Delete
  3. I am agree with jon thomas I am also using startme from couple of months and found it very cool if you are looking for a igoogle alternate

    ReplyDelete
  4. http://www.iloggo.com is simple home page with icons of all your favorite sites. You can choose logos or crop them easily and then display on your grids.

    iloggo is compatible with any mobile browser and you can have same grids on your PC, mobile and tablet.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I can also recommend Homepage (http://yoxigen.github.io/homepage/) which is an open-sourced alternative to iGoogle. I've built it to be both useful and to kick the ass of all the ugly iGoogle alternatives that were available when Google announced the iGoogle is getting the axe.

    I hope you find it useful!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've tried transferring the Bird Trax gadgets to igHome. Got one transferred okay but instead of giving me all the checklists within a 50km radius of the lat-long. I get the entire state of Oregon. The other gadget (centered around Klamath Falls) only gives me an interminable "download initializing" message. Any suggestions ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jeff, I've had reports from other users about ighome not working well. It's not a google site, and it might actually be interfering with aspects of gadget parsing. If the gadget is not working on your ighome, I'd try a different site -- I don't have any suggestions to fix your issues that I can think of. Zach

      Delete
    2. Okay. Thanks. I tried using sites.google.com, set up a site, then set up the Bird Trax gadget. All I got was one checklist which would appear on the page and then disappear. Worked on that for about 2 hours, tried it over and over again and no resolution. I really like having Bird Trax, but I'm up to about 5 hours of time invested with virtually nothing to show for it. Frustrating.

      Delete
    3. Something must be wrong! Can you contact me offline at support@birdventurebirding.com and then we can go over the specifics. Can you send me a link to your site as well as the browser which you are using? I want to try replicate the situation. Thanks! Zach

      Delete
  7. I tried igHome in the past. To be honest it is good if you want to stick to a copy of iGoogle but with less options but it just was not the same. Moreover it was time for me to try something different and possibly less crowded and more organized.
    I tried PortalPanel and found it quite user friendly and professional. It does Google reader job as well.

    ReplyDelete
  8. How do I get the slider to appear (and work) in the gadget? All I get now is the 8 or 9 entries that fit in the gadget's box--no way to scroll down in the gadget.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Larry, I had this question as well and think I've found the answer... there is a check box in the gadget settings (down near the bottom) that indicates "Include a scrollbar on gadget when necessary". Check this and the scrollbar should appear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, thanks! I didn't see that there were more settings, due to the subtle nature of the scroll bar on the settings screen itself!

      Delete
  10. Birdtrax never seems to load for me. I had this issue with my iGoogle page. I also just opened my friend's google site and his BirdTrax doesn't load. 20 minutes have gone by and it's just stating "Loading..."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What browser are you using? BirdTrax does not work in Internet Explorer, you may need to upgrade to Google Chrome (like the majority of web users today) or Firefox, Safari, etc. Or is this not your issue? -Zach

      Delete
  11. Ok, I'm using google chrome, on the desktop of Windows 8. I can find, set up, and preview the gadget, and it all looks wonderful. Then I click ok, and it shows my page with an empty box labeled BirdTrax. I've done it several times over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ruth, if you don't mind, could you email me the link (support@birdventurebirding.com) to your site and I'll take a look at the code? -Zach

      Delete
  12. Thanks so much for this! I just installed in on websites for two of the CBCs that I co-compile. You can see them at www.austincbc.com/birdtrax and www.bastropcbc.com/birdtrax.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Is it possible to display multiple gadgets side-by-side on a Google Site? I am using Chrome. Currently the gadgets will only display in a column

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely! Just increase the page width under settings. Zach

      Delete

Please leave your comment below. If you have a question or issue which may be specific to your situation only, please email support@birdventurebirding.com. Thank you!