Netvibes announced their new Netvibes Labs section today. Labs will give users an early peek at new features being developed for the Netvibes platform, along with the widget wishlist: an area to make widget suggestions and vote on the best ideas. At launch, Netvibes Labs will have three projects available for testing, a theme designer, a tag cloud app, and a tool for 'spring cleaning' old or unread feeds.Personalized web platform service
- Theme Designer: This is a GUI-based tool that lets you choose the colors and background image for your private Netvibes page, and it generates and applies the XML theme automatically. Easy.
- Tag Cloud: This tool analyzes the content on your Netvibes page and generates a tag cloud. From this cloud you can click on words that interest you and a search will be made for widgets that use the specified keyword. One click gets that widget on your page. Easy.
- Spring Cleaning: This is especially good for those folks who have had a lot of feed widgets on their Netvibes page, and need help weeding out the old stuff. Feeds are placed in one of four categories: Never read, 30 days, 6 months, and 1 year. Then, with a couple of clicks, you can archive the feeds you no longer read. Easy.
So there's a lot of easy already happening here. The initial Netvibes Labs tools are fairly simple and straightforward, the most complex tool being the theme designer (which actually has a bug we found - we couldn't add a background image using Firefox). But we're guessing that's how these labs tools will probably be developed; precise, simple tools to address a certain issue or need in the Netvibes community. So far, we like what we are seeing.