Indiatimes’ push into personalized home page

Do we see Indian portals opening up? And trying to cater not only to masses but also to niches?

A personalized home page, according to me, helps us consume the content we are most interested in, at one place. It also enables us to decide the way our stuff gets displayed. Most importantly, we can add content from multiple publishers and blogs.

Indiatimes launched its personalized home page with my.indiatimes.com today (beta version). This is the first such offering from any Indian portal. my.indiatimes.com is a way to customize content from Indiatimes and from around the web. You can drag and drop the boxes, delete content, add whatever you prefer from any site. It requires you to sign in with your Indiatimes id. As far as content goes, I see quite a limited set of content right now. However, the ease of use and functionality is quite neat. There is no clutter and it is easy to add and delete stuff. I am sure content feeds and widgets would be ramped up soon enough.

My Indiatimes

This is an encouraging move from a publisher which is trying to go content neutral by providing content feeds from the likes of Hindu, BBC, CNN and Newsweek. Under each content category there is a clear distinction between Indiatimes content and other content from around the web. It will be interesting to see the adoption pattern of such a site in India. I would like the audience to share their views on what they want the most from a personalized home page. And yes, there are no advertisements on my.indiatimes.com (yet!)

16 thoughts on “Indiatimes’ push into personalized home page”

  1. Despite all the recent web 2.0 hype, its amazing how unusable basic Indian content sites are. Given this sad state of affairs, its great to see Indiatimes’ initiatives across the board on revamping mail, personalized homepage, redesign of timesofindia, economictimes etc. This should give a wake up call to other portals like rediff, sify, etc. who currently seem to be busy making money on annoying popups and flashy ads.

  2. My Indiatimes is a welcome change. Although there is a lot more which can be done with the site, it is an encouraging step considering the sad state of Indian portals

  3. I like the neat UI and good imnplementation of AJAX. But it looks really similar to iGoogle. http://google.com/ig . there is a live offering too – http://www.live.com/?personalized=true.

    I am still to see success story of personalized home pages. Most of the people either go with defaults that comes with their browser or set by installation of apps like IM/real player or other junk that tries to take over your computer. Most of the users of internet do not know how to use the widgets and dont really understand its power. I think widgets have been around for sometime but did not go mainstram.

    Neeraj – what is the main focus of this offering ? just a geeky play or a longer term commitment ?

  4. Even Big Guys are Following me-too scenario, but for startup its ok up to certain limit.

    Albeit indiatimes has money but they are not using it properly, they created myindiatimes as an assignment not a serious project, though its an indian site [myindiatimes.com] but they place Google search Bar, why don’t they include our Finest Guruji.com and let them make money.

    Its wonder to see: Non-Indian Product on top of indian site [myindiatimes.com].

    Lets Encourage Guruji.com through indian sites.

    ps: i am no way related to guruji, i am just tech enthusiast.

  5. Wow. I stopped visiting timesofindia.com 4 years back when they had all but sold their site to ugly flashy advertisers. From then to this – I am slowly gaining faith in them.

    @ Mahesh – like your argument and support it. But shouldn’t our blogs be on rediff or sulekha rather than wordpress/blogspot?

  6. If ZOHO start Blog Platform I will create one their But on rediff or sulekha no way because they don’t provide quality & professional resources to post articles like wordpress which is best rather than blogger.com [blogspot] and even typepad.com is also
    better.

  7. Unfortunately, the same can be said of google vs guruji. Its hard to forego a search engine provided the best company in the business (that also sports a multi-thousand people sales force, by the way) and go with a promising, yet small and unproven startup

  8. Though its very late to see personalized home pages from Indian websites, its a welcome change from Indiatimes.

    My main concern is who are the targeted users for this service? Do Indian users really go with personalized home pages?

    For Indiatimes, I think the content should be the main advantage factor when compared to global personal home pages like Google and etc…

    @Big V
    for google vs guruji, if guruji can innovate I think they should be able to over perform google in India. but its a risky game they are playing and they need to be very fast and innovative. Google can do what guruji is doing with their resources and technology at the hand and can easily launch a local search engine for India. In that case all the Indian search engines will be at risk. But who knows Guruji can really do well if they are truly innovative..and quick..

  9. Guruji may get acquire or Go IPO and Google will invest in it there will be no Google India Search Engine. Guruji Backed by Sequoia and Sequoia uses lots of strategy as they did for YouTube: they forced Google to Pay more money to buy YouTube which started well after Google Video, All of us know this.

  10. Is anyone here using the new indiatimes mail? they have launched an ad campaign for the same. Looks fine except that they are probably 5 years late 😉
    I am just wondering..is there space for another web e-mail service in the market at this point?

  11. @Vivek,

    Yes, There is lot of opportunity in e-mail as it has become stagnant since its inception.

    The company [http://www.xobni.com/about] is working on new email service and is backed by Khosla Ventures and Y Combinator.

    Have a look @ it. :)

    These indians sites are cluttered, albeit they have money to power up the sites but they are hungry for monetization.

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