General

A step towards a greener Netvibes

EDIT : Your various feedback has been taken into account and we have decided to push a new transparent idle mode 🙂

After implementing SmartTagging and Real-Time Advanced Search, Netvibes continues to seek new ways of improving your daily Dashboard experience.

Constantly listening to your suggestions, we have implemented a couple of new features and polished the interface.

Idle Mode

To give our servers some rest and limit their energy consumption, we’ve implemented a new “Idle Mode”. After a while, if you’re not doing anything on your Dashboard, it will automatically switch to an idle mode, while remaining available as soon as you’re ready to get back to work.

Multi-Select
Following a regular request from our users, we’ve added a “Multi-Select” feature to our Dashboards. From now on, you won’t have to select all the relevant elements one by one. Simply check the “Multi-Select” box, select the appropriate time period and that’s it!

Interface Polishing
In addition to these new features, we’ve also provided our Dashboards with a few cosmetic improvements: a smaller Facebook “Like” button, Reader View enhancements, better placement for “action” and “views” buttons, and many other things. All in all, improvements aimed at making the interface more discreet while leaving more space for content.

Log in to Dashboard right now to discover all those new things. And as usual, feel free to send us your feedback.

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105 Comments

  • Reply Peter May 12, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Hm.. the idle mode notification reminds me of the way IE used to require an a extra click to activate flash in their browsers a couple of years back. I’m not a fan.

    Yeah, by all means introduce a tool that reduces the load on your servers, but can’t it be done unobtrusively?

  • Reply Cyborgjeff May 12, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Realy don’t like the idle Mode !!! 🙁

    I can’t quickly see what i need to read… and that’s what i need to with Netvibes till 5 years !

  • Reply MW May 12, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Yeah, I am not a fan of this either. I don’t like that it takes over the entire page. Can you not make it smaller and in a corner somewhere, at least let me still see my feeds?

  • Reply Dave May 12, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    DO NOT WANT IDLE MODE!

    Do not want another click to disable
    “Idle” mode! This is terribly intrusive. Can Idle Mode be turned off, or can we set a custom timeout value?

  • Reply MW May 12, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Just realized that idle mode is triggered even if it’s open in a tab and I am actively working in a different tab. This is really not okay!

    I keep netvibes open and expect to be able to use it in a way that it’s available/updating in the background. Idle mode completely defeats the purpose of how I currently interact with netvibes.

  • Reply Guibuu May 12, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Idle Mode is very annoying. It should be transparent to the user. I always have Netvibes open in a tab, and an extra click to use it sucks. Maybe you should add actions that exits the idle mode, like detect when the tab regains focus, or mouse movement into the tab, or click anywhere in the page, etc. Or at least, add an option to disable it.

  • Reply Dave May 12, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    MW: You hit the nail on the head. This flies in the face of the way I use Netvibes. I want it always updating in the background, and I want it available without this extra click to get it back. MAKE IT STOP, PLEASE!

  • Reply Matthew Rawlings May 12, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    I dislike the idle feature, like others I really want netvibes to refresh in the backgroud and find the new Idle screen intrusive and anoying

  • Reply Dave May 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Don’t know if this is Chrome-specific, with the idle screen just came up 3 seconds after I marked everything “read” on one of my NV tabs. PLEASE TURN THIS OFF!!!

  • Reply Newigoogleuser May 12, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Good job, thanks to your idle mode, i’m going to use igoogle.
    Worst upgrade ever.

  • Reply Carolyn S. May 12, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    I’m fine with the energy saving aspect. I just want the “previous unread article” link back. I can’t be the only person who reads oldest to newest in their feeds…

  • Reply dchristenson May 12, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    I’m with everyone else on idle mode sucks… how about you just slow updates if idle is detected. or at least have it detect mouse over and snap out of it (or better yet detect the tab getting focus).

    Additionally Let me add: not a fan of the extra click to mark all as read. if nothing else that menu should drop on mouse over, although I prefer the separate button.

    You need to start offering preferences. let us decide how some of this stuff works.

  • Reply AlphaBase1 May 12, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Oh my God is this annoying.

  • Reply Liam May 12, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Where the hell is the ‘Next/Last’ post buttons (next to the Change View/Refresh/Minize buttons)? I’m sorry to say but without those, I’m switching away from NetVibes. I want them back.

    Also, what the hell does ‘Minize’ mean? Typo moar?

    The Idle Mode is pretty damn annoying too.

    I love NetVibes, but this is by far the worst update ever.

  • Reply Annoyed May 12, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Hate idle mode. Very annoying. Please add an option to disable it. If not, I will likely stop using netvibes.

  • Reply Sean Vater May 12, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    I noticed that the page
    spacing has changed, before my 3 rows of feeds would all fit on my
    screen, but now they are spaced out a lot wider, where I have to use the
    ‘left – right’ slider bar to view everything on my page,, is there anyway to change it back to the way
    it was before? That’s REALLY annoying having to do that….

    Oh, and Idle mode sucks too, these changes should be OPTIONAL!

  • Reply Anonymous May 12, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Idle Mode — I can only reiterate what others have already said. It disrupts the way I use Netvibes…I expect it to auto-update my feeds all day long without me having to click the page every few minutes.

    Actions Button — Now if I click on the gear icon it drops down the entire list, so if I want to mark all as read it takes me two clicks where it used to take me one. There should be a default action…clicking on the gear marks all as read, and only if I click the little arrow does it drop down the entire list of available actions.

  • Reply Nik May 12, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Not annoyed much by Idle Mode, but changes in action buttons make it unusable. Each action now require 2x more clicks. In particular I am talking about:

    – Mark all as read
    – Show all items/Show only unread items switch
    – Previous/Next

    Also on list view – click on the post title used to expand post to feed view and minimize it back to list view. Now it expands only, when its expanded and you click on title – it opens post as new page. It is so annoying. And you can’t collapse post back to list view.

    I hereby ask to revert these changes or at least provide option to choose previous version of layout. Current experience using netvibes is awful.

    • Reply Anonymous May 12, 2011 at 5:17 pm

      You wrote exactly what I wanted to say.
      Mosaic view has like a million options now.

      When you expand a post, there’s no ” >> ” to go to the site.

      I agree on having at least the option to go back to the previous version.

    • Reply Steve Hurst May 13, 2011 at 6:11 pm

      Yes, these are my feelings exactly. I’m having to click twice to mark all as read, something i do at least 20 times every time I use netvibes, and it’s quite frustrating. A change I would recommend is that each of those dropdowns  default to a button of the first option, while providing the dropdown to select the remaining options.

  • Reply Anonymous May 12, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    I agree with many comments here.

    – Idle mode is not necessary
    – It takes more clicks to do any action
    – In the mosaic mode when over the post now there are tons of actions
    – When a post is expanded you don’t have the “>>” to go to the site (pressing L)

    I think the usability was not improved with this changes and you should give us the option to have the previous version (2 days ago)

  • Reply Anonymous May 12, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Don’t like idle mode. I have a screen that does nothing but display Netvibes — it’s my information display all day and part of the night. I’m there, reading stuff as it pops up. You really need a way to disable this, or I’m going to need to find an alternative.

    • Reply Anonymous May 12, 2011 at 5:36 pm

      To add to this a little — you call this a “dashboard” but what if while driving for 15 minutes, your dashboard didn’t shut off because you’d not used your directional, changed your radio station, etc for a while. Dashboards are supposed to be passive most of the time. Just because you’re not using the controls doesn’t mean you’re not using it.

  • Reply Callimaco May 12, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Energy saving mode is the most annoying, stupidest idea ever.

    God, what idiot designed this stupid thing?

    I join the calls to make it transparent to the user.

  • Reply Dave May 12, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Is anybody listening? Idle Mode needs to go away, or needs a kill switch. I’ve been using NV religiously for 5+ years, but I’m outta here if this isn’t addressed.

  • Reply MichiK May 12, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    The Idle Mode is a pain in the ass – an extra click every time I switch to the Netvibes tab to see, if there is new stuff. That is everything but usability.

    Another thing i miss desperately: The radio button to mark items as read. When I had three new items or so, I used to read over them quickly while marking everything as read, what is not so interesting. Now, that requires an extra click too – also not very user-friendly!

    • Reply Hampus May 12, 2011 at 8:47 pm

      Usually do just the same thing, why would the remove those boxes? so stupid…

      Just like moving mark all as unread in to a menu instead of having it as a button (with a menu) as before

  • Reply Hampus May 12, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Well, wow, this is a mess…

    Why did you remove the checkbox that could be clicked to mark a single item as read (or unread)in reader mode?!

    How is first having to go to select (1 click) choose “2 days ago and older” (2 clicks) then go to actions (3 clicks) and choose “Mark as read” (4 clicks) better than that same action being in the submenu of the button that marked all as read, which brings to question why was “Mark all as read” move in to a menu instead of left as a button now that needs two clicks? You’re doubling the amount of clicks needed for simple and I would say common actions, I doubt anyone wants that…

    Idle mode? While I can kinda understand the idea of this it goes against the whole idea as using netvibes as an rss read if it isnt updating in the background Ill have to go check if there are any updates every now and then instead of just looking at the number in the tabs header.

    Please, just make it easy to mark single items as read, give me a button to mark all as read and give me back the quick option to mark items of a certain age as read, do that and I might just be able to stand the Idle mode…

    Continue to be the best RSS reader around!

  • Reply Andy May 12, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    I simply love the new idle mode. I just hated having Netvibes always updating from nothing when I was not reading it.

    • Reply Jean Fabre May 16, 2011 at 12:39 pm

      Again, Netvibes being a such good service, doesn’t listen to users and provide a new feature without the ability to disable it.

       This green thing is a joke. We don’t really care during our daily usage of netvibes to be reminded how good and “green” you are… Computing is not about being green…. far from it, and its’ not by making an obtrusive banner that you will fool us. You just make us want to look at alternatives… Is it what you are after?

       Preferences is the way to go, be it green: good on you ( for the fools that believe this…, at least be up front, and say you save some money out of it!).

       I still want to use your system, only if you allow me to be conservative with the way I like netvibes. Sorry, don’t want any fancyness, I want transparent access to the infos, rss and media I want to see.

      Regards,

      Jean,

      • Reply Davepegz May 16, 2011 at 12:48 pm

        …..it would be interesting to see the figures for the power surge on the Google servers caused by Netvibes users desperately searching for an alternative……… 😀 

  • Reply Ian May 12, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    I’ve started looking at alternatives to Netvibe because the idle mode completely screws up my reasons for using it. I use it as my homepage with constantly updating feeds in the background. Idle mode means I have to click several hundred times a day more – talk about user unfriendly. If I don’t get the option to permanently switch it off then I’m out of here in the next few days after years of being a perfectly happy user.

  • Reply Hitex May 13, 2011 at 12:18 am

    Idle Mode cuts Radio ! How to disable it ?

  • Reply Davepegz May 13, 2011 at 12:30 am

    Idle mode is an absolute nightmare, and seems to cut in even if you are actively working on something! I also have a lot of audio and film services on netvibes tabs, many of which stop working when it cuts in.
    Can you at least make it a user selectable process as soon as possible please, as this is seriously affecting my work.

  • Reply s. May 13, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Idle mode just made it a lot harder to use netvibes. How do I disable it?

  • Reply JF May 13, 2011 at 3:35 am

    Please give the option of returning the next/last post buttons to the top and flattening out actions list.

    Those extra clicks are terrible.

  • Reply Idleisstoopid May 13, 2011 at 3:41 am

    how do you disable this idle mode crap???
     

  • Reply Problemuser May 13, 2011 at 4:06 am

    I like the idea of an energy saving mode, however this implementation is not efficient.  It goes idle too quickly and it takes more time to re-awaken it.  I have my netvibes page open on one monitor while I work on web page design on another monitor.  When I see the update on netvibes, I check out the new feed.  Just because I am not actively clicking on the netvibes, page, does not mean that I’m not using it.  Give us the option to select a time frame for the idle to kick in.  I came here looking for how to change the setting and now find that isn’t possible.  🙁

  • Reply Wes May 13, 2011 at 4:12 am

    Have to add my dislike of idle mode.  It is annoying.  Everytime I click back to my netvibes tab, I’m confronted with it again and I get annoyed.  Can’t use Netvibes anymore if this isn’t allowed to be turned off.

  • Reply Robin Pfeifer May 13, 2011 at 6:35 am

    +1 for removing idle mode. It’s useless and annoying.

  • Reply Anonymous May 13, 2011 at 7:06 am

    Completely agree with everyone here. Idle mode is a complete waste of time & effort. It’s a usability nightmare and to even think Netvibes thought this was a good idea and the implementation of it was good is ridiculous.
    What I find even worse though is that Netvibes have updated the service & posted this blog post to let everyone know about the new features (not the right word, seriously) – which has then been followed by a whole host of negative comments from passionate users and Netvibes themselves haven’t had the courtesy to reply or at least acknowledge the users concerns.

    Come on Netvibes, there’s got to be someone with an idea around.

  • Reply Guest May 13, 2011 at 8:31 am

    -1 for idle mode.  Please implement a way to disable it.

  • Reply Waynehughes May 13, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Idle mode is a really, really poor idea badly implemented and is totally in contradiction of how  people generally use Netvibes. If it is not gone, or cannot be disabled, in a day or so then I’ll be using something else instead.

  • Reply Kai May 13, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Idle Mode does not improve my daily Dashboard experience, it deteriorates it, so please reconsider it or at least make it an option for me to turn on or off, else I fail to understand how this is a “new way of improving your daily Dashboard experience.”

    “Constantly listening to your suggestions”? Please show me the mail/tweet/whatever of the user who asked for Idle Mode – I’m fine if you black out the name, I just seriously doubt that a user wanted this…

  • Reply Balabushka May 13, 2011 at 9:16 am

     Idle mode is the worst thing since the invention of flashing banners, flash and popups.

  • Reply grahamjones May 13, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Just imported my Netvibes dashboards into Feedly – and can access it all on my iPhone. (See http://www.feedly.com). Would never have looked for this if Netvibes had not made the useless change of the “Idle Mode”. 

    Netvibes may say this is a “step towards a greener Netvibes” but actually it appears to be a “step towards a less popular Netvibes”.

    Thank you Netvibes for alerting me to how much better your competition is.

  • Reply Guest May 13, 2011 at 9:33 am

    please give an option to disable  energy-saving mode it’s useless and annoying.

  • Reply Bishop Hill May 13, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Idle mode is awful. Completely awful.  You need to get rid of it quickly because it is seriously irritating.  I will not stick around long if this stays in place.

  • Reply Jacob Lund May 13, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Yes please get rid of idle mode as it is today… Very annoying indeed.

  • Reply Jacob Lund May 13, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Yes please get rid of idle mode as it is today… Very annoying indeed.

  • Reply Johnnie May 13, 2011 at 10:20 am

     +1 for hating idle mode. Please allow us to disable it.

  • Reply Richardcanoe May 13, 2011 at 10:58 am

    An appalling unwanted and annoying feature. The usefulness of Netvibes has been removed in an instant. iGoogle awaits….

  • Reply Cledwyn Clegg May 13, 2011 at 11:05 am

    I have loved Netvibes up until idle mode. If it’s not gone in 48hrs I will be. Can anyone suggest a better alternative? I know @grahamjones:disqus suggested Feedly. Are there any others apart from iGoogle?

  • Reply Netvibes May 13, 2011 at 12:10 pm

     Hi and thank you for your feedbacks. We have planned to modify energy saving mode soon 🙂

    • Reply Hampus May 13, 2011 at 12:22 pm

      Nice, how about things like the checkboxes used to mark things as read/unread? Can we get those back?

  • Reply Sean Vater May 13, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Thanx grahamjones for the link to feedly, will be using that unless Netvibes gets its act together….

  • Reply Peter Weiss May 13, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Hi,
    funny to see NOBODY actually likes idle mode …

    Would be interesting to know though why this actually was introduced and how this is supposed to save energy. When netvibes goes to idle in the browser behind my other windows – it won´t affect anything.
    If it is in the front window and goes to idle my LCD shows a darker grey area instead of a brighter one … so what? Does not affect my LCD backlight – thus it does not save energy.

    Come on guys – explain us how this sneaked into your roadmap – there must be a funny story (maybe not for you) behind this.

    Hope BMW does not come up with the same ideas: “We noticed you haven´t touched your car navigation for some time – so we have put it into idle mode to save fuel” 🙂

    • Reply Robin May 16, 2011 at 10:22 am

       RTFA. It is to conserve power on their side, on their servers. This is a free service and they’re probably serving millions of users at any one time. The point of idle mode (like it or not – I’m undecided) is to stop idle clients (us, when idle) from pulling data through their servers. Less CPU cycles for them = saves unrequired power at the end of the day.

  • Reply Stephen Paulger May 13, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Greener nonsense and niggles involving things I’ve read being re-marked unread have come to a head. Exporting my feeds and comparing the competition.

     http://alternativeto.net/software/netvibes/?exactmatch=true

  • Reply Bishop Hill May 13, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Please take idle mode away!

  • Reply Former Netvibes Fan May 13, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    I guess I need to find a new start page to use. Thanks idle mode!

  • Reply Anonymous May 13, 2011 at 5:32 pm

     I’m having two issues since this update.

    – All feeds that are from a day before (yesterday) are dated “may 1”
    – I put ‘web view’ in a post and now even when I went back to ‘feed view’. The web view in that feed seems to be a default every time i refresh.

  • Reply Matt May 13, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Energy Saving Mode?  U gotta be kidding me…  Please provide a disable switch!

  • Reply Dave May 13, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    So what exactly is this “transparent idle mode” you plan to push Monday? If it’s going to interfere with all my feeds/widgets constantly updating, I still don’t want it! Can you simply put a kill switch on the whole thing, so we can make it behave exactly as it did prior to this “feature” being introduced?

  • Reply Davepegz May 13, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Er, bit of a misconception on how a feed reader can be useful here………..
    If you are actively reading all your feeds, you probably don’t need them updated there and then. It’s when you FINISH reading and are waiting for the next stuff, THAT’s when you need them to be updated.
    Basically, you’ve got it backwards!
    I presume the ‘transparent idle mode’ is simply taking away the irritating ‘we’re green and cool’ screen, and feeds will still not function correctly. The idea that this is in some way ‘greener’ is nonsense – all your servers will be chuntering away as normal, and any tiny power savings (and I mean tiny!) from not updating the feeds will be easily offset by the extra computing power consumed monitoring and starting/stopping the system. And you can be sure it will only be a few days before someone writes a chrome/firefox script that disables the whole system by sending bursts of suitable data at suitable intervals – you can already get one to disable the idle mode screen!
    It has to be either a kill switch, or complete removal, otherwise Netvibes becomes a useless waste of screen space and, sadly, will have to be replaced.

    • Reply Robin May 16, 2011 at 10:32 am

      Agree with the requiring feeds to update in the background. However, disagree with your analysis on power savings being lost due to a system being powered on/off. Not if the additional CPU power comes from a virtual instance of an OS (depending on the setup).

  • Reply Davepegz May 13, 2011 at 9:17 pm

     P.S. – Facebook widgets still not working.Might be a better idea to channel resources into getting that sorted………………….

  • Reply Peter Weiss May 13, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Hi,
    please explain in more detail how “transparent idle mode” will be working. If it just means the screen won´t dim anymore – but feeds still don´t update then I guess that´s not what users are looking for.
    I want to see new stuff coming in while I do different things … if this is overload for your servers then I guess it´s either time to upgrade your servers or accept less users.
    Without netvibes working like before, you at least have one user less … me.

    Hope you will explain in more detail and consider your users way of using NV.

    Regards – Peter

  • Reply Freddy Mini May 14, 2011 at 5:50 am

    Thanks everyone for your feedback.
    As written in the edit of this post, as early as Monday, we are going to update the Idle mode to make it transparent in a similar way Facebook does. No click will be necessary to get out of the idle mode which will be triggered after 20 minutes without any activity on Netvibes. We expect this feature will help us save on energy, mainly on our servers. Beyond being of interest to us, it also helps our environment.

    Again, thanks for using Netvibes.

    Freddy Mini
    CEO, Netvibes

  • Reply Bishop Hill May 14, 2011 at 6:55 am

    I don’t think this “transparent” idle mode is what I am looking for. I want to look up and see what has changed, not move my mouse or anything else. Netvibes is not Facebook. The purpose and way you interact with it are completely different.

  • Reply Dave May 14, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Well, it certainly appears that you are hell-bent on “saving energy” at the expense of losing users. You will certainly save energy when users abandon Netvibes, I guess. I think you’re missing the point that we want our dashboards to be updating constantly, in real time. Your statements seem to indicate this will no longer be the case. Hopefully I’m wrong.

    • Reply Freddy Mini May 14, 2011 at 9:53 pm

      fortunately, yes you are 🙂 we are piling up updates ready to be displayed when you are back to your Netvibes. so, yes, your dashboard continues to be updated constantly, it just saves on displaying when you’re not looking at it 🙂 Today, a click delivers all updates immediately, Monday, it will be transparent.
      The service remains the same and we save on server activity and thus also saves on energy. 

      We believe it makes sense.

      oh, and another good news, we’ve seen an increase in traffic yesterday which seems to confirm we are not losing users. 

      good week end.

      • Reply Dave May 14, 2011 at 10:53 pm

        I’ll stop sniping for now and see what Monday brings.

  • Reply Davepegz May 14, 2011 at 1:54 pm

     Well, seems you have no interest in keeping this as a useful viable service for your users, so it’s time to look for an alternative.By the way, facebook does NOT stop updating itself if you’re not actively using it, I have it on all day every day, and only open the tab when the indicator tells me there is an update. Possibly a good idea to check things before announcing them as facts, ruins your credibility……….

    • Reply Freddy Mini May 14, 2011 at 9:42 pm

      you might want to check we do continue to update tabs as well, even in current idle mode, which proves we do continue to pile up your updates. all we are doing here is not updating your screen when you don’t look at it. your updates are available and delivered when you click and on Monday when you move the mouse. we aim at improving our product as much as possible which is free and without ads. I hope you’ll continue to find it valuable but let me know whatalternative you end up choosing

      • Reply MW May 16, 2011 at 12:55 am

        Freddy – I keep netvibes open in a separate tab and when at work, on another separate monitor. Stop assuming that people only interact with netvibes when they want to open it – I actually only interact with netvibes when I see new items added to the feeds. It’s an rss reader and when I see it’s been updated visually, that’s when I mouse over to use it. It will no longer work for me because I use the keyboard to navigate more than the mouse.

        You’re completely ignoring what your users are telling you. Netvibes is not useful if you don’t allow us to have the info we want, when we want it.

        Please stop saying this is any kind of “eco-savings”. It’s not going to save you anything other than bandwidth and that is more about money savings than the environment. You’re alienating your loyal user base by preventing us from having the dashboards updated constantly and expecting that we need to constantly be doing something on the tab otherwise we lose access to our feeds. You don’t penalize your users for not using the site the way you expect them and making your site time out after 20 minutes when you’ve encouraged people to make their netvibes their homepage makes netvibes completely useless.

  • Reply Tamás May 14, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Energy saving mode = annoying!!!

  • Reply Oliv May 14, 2011 at 11:55 pm

     I know we don’t pay fot Netvibes but we love it, this kind of “feature” (idle mode) is very very annoying.

    Netvibes is always on a tab and I expect up to date RSS feeds when I come back after a while. That’s the purpose of a RSS reader.

    You might find other ways to optimize the rss processing and save money, because killing your main feature is a bad idea…

    Regards

  • Reply Netvibesuser May 15, 2011 at 2:37 am

     Please remove the idle mode or make it optional, is extremely annoying and requires an extra click to activate. This is a huge step back in the usability of the product and the user experience. 

    Thank you.

  • Reply Davepegz May 15, 2011 at 8:46 am

    @Freddy Mini Er, of course you are showing an increase in traffic, think about what your doing! Obvious once you’ve worked it out isn’t it 🙂
    Netvibes must be the only company on the internet to take recent goings on at Facebook as a sensible business model, unless of course customer dissatisfaction is the new goal to aim at. And as for the greenwashing, no one is fooled by that any more. We’re all too used to seeing major companies using “the environment” as an excuse for reducing services. If you really want to save the planet, sell your car and buy a bicycle!
    As for me I probably won’t leave Netvibes, as I’ve invested too much time in setting it up, and a simple user script will sort out this new ‘feature’. I already have to run 5 scripts on Netvibes pages to put right past ‘improvements’, so one more won’t hurt 😉
    But it does mean I won’t be recommending it to anyone else any more. 

    • Reply Freddy Mini May 15, 2011 at 9:18 pm

      We are saving on our server time to display updates only when you look at them. this, on its own, would makes sense. add to it, we are a free service with no ads, which would makes even more sense in being optimal. and then, we are saying this is an energy saving. and all this drives you to say I should sell my car and you won’t recommend Netvibes anymore? this surprises me.

      • Reply Davepegz May 15, 2011 at 11:48 pm

        For a start, lets get the ‘ad free’ argument out of the way. It’s irrelevant. Your service is ad free because, like any other sensible company on the net you’ve found an alternative income stream, in your case, VIP and corporate users, which incidentally, would have certainly included me in the next few months. (I was going to run my new music agency through Netvibes, but I’ve sort of lost all faith in you now.) Advertising is a much overstretched revenue stream these days, and far too easy to block.
        Next the ‘greeness’ of doing this (the reason your’e trumpeting at the top of the page!)
        This will have NO significant impact on your energy usage at all. The only way it could do would be if you had every user on a separate server and you powered down each server after 20 mins, and I doubt very much that that’s the case! Your data pipes consume the same amount of energy whether they are sending data or not. What you probably mean is that you are saving a bit of bandwidth (I.E. money). So why try and dress it up as something else?
        The car analogy was relevant as an example of relevant ‘greeness’. It’s an easily provable fact that the electrical energy used to deliver 1 gallon of petrol to your car will keep a digital tv tuner on standby for approx. 73 years! So for most people a whole lifetime of switching it on and off every day will only save the same amount of energy as walking to work and back once. ‘Every little counts’ is not a valid ecological answer! It doesn’t.
        The third point is basic functionality. Your unique selling point has always been real-time updating, and that has now gone, to the point where even some streaming media is cut off abruptly. Hardly transparent! Your new system would work if people only interacted with their computers using a mouse. Unfortunately for you, most people use their eyes and their ears instead. Have a look through the posts here – how many happy people? How many unhappy? Doesn’t that give you some indication as to the success of the changes?
        Most feeds don’t update that often anyway – (the vast majority of range between 24 hours and 1 week!), and even the major news feeds are seldom more often than once an hour, or headlines only if they’re more frequent, So letting them update when they need to is hardly going to change your server loads at all, and, if the system is actually going to work, will easily be more than made up for by the streams of data coming IN telling you whether a page is currently ‘active’ or not. At the end of the day, the same amount of data is going to be sent to the same number of computers, so the drop in overall outgoing server loads is going to be negligible at best, and loads could well be much higher at peak usage times. Try using facebook in Europe between 6pm and 8pm to see what that can lead to 🙂
          
        Oh, and why won’t I recommend Netvibes to anyone any more? Quite simply because it no longer works properly. Fix it, and I’ll start recommending it again. At the moment it’s broken, and I don’t recommend broken things to my friends

        • Reply Davepegz May 16, 2011 at 12:18 am

          P.S.
           
          “We are saving on our server time to display updates only when you look at them”
           
          No you’re not, you are saving on your server time to display updates only when we move a mouse over them. 
          Totally different thing………..

        • Reply Freddy Mini May 16, 2011 at 12:35 am

          Thanks for the long writing. Let say we agree to disagree :)We will continue to improve Netvibes and hopefully will count you as a faithful advocate again soon. 

          • MW May 16, 2011 at 1:16 am

            Freddy – can you please explain how this forced idle mode is any kind of improvement or benefit for your users? This seems like only a minor benefit for your bandwidth savings at the expense of usability.

            Currently you have rendered netvibes unusable for a lot of people.

          • Robin May 16, 2011 at 10:30 am

             It is not unusable. What a stupid exaggeration

          • MW May 16, 2011 at 11:46 am

            Seriously? You don’t have to read very many comments here to see that it has changed the usability for a lot of people, and not for the better.

          • Robin May 16, 2011 at 11:48 am

            I will say it again. It is not unusable. The site being offline would make it unusable, hence you grossly exaggerated.

          • Davepegz May 16, 2011 at 12:44 pm

             You can say it as often as you like, your still hopelessly wrong………

          • Robin May 16, 2011 at 12:55 pm

            You make a good point regarding what people class as usable! The Sinclair comment made me laugh. However in terms of the provision of a service, Netvibes is still functioning (you *are* able to pull in content just in a different fashion at times) and therefore usable. It’s usability may have been affected to most end users, but it isn’t unusable – they are different things in usability engineering afaik (I could be wrong). I’m being a pedant in defense of Netvibes admittedly, but this is just due to some over reactive statements 🙂

          • Davepegz May 16, 2011 at 12:35 pm

            I’ve got a Sinclair ZX80 that’s still usable – it’s the perfect shape and size to wedge my workshop door open :-)’Usable’ means different things to different people. If you want real time updates or streaming media, Netvibes in it’s current form is now unusable 

        • Reply Robin May 16, 2011 at 10:26 am

          LOL at people who always say “you came so close to having my money and now you won’t!!!”. They always come out of the woodwork furious when things don’t go the way they want haha.

          BTW Dave, you’re wrong about power saving. Sorry. Virtualization techniques (distributed resource scheduling and data power management etc) can bring about power saving in this scenario. Do you work with any virtual infrastructure at all?

          • Davepegz May 16, 2011 at 12:29 pm

            I think the people at Netvibes are well aware of my negotiations with them. Even if they don’t recognise my private screen name, they’re probably bright enough to work it out 😉 And anyway,that actually has nothing to do with you. I also administer 3 other Netvibes sites, on two of which  I am now actively seeking alternatives, so it’s not just one case of ‘you nearly got my money’, but also three cases of ‘you’re getting my money, but I’m probably going to take it away………..’
             
            As for virtualization, you obviously know a lot about a tiny part of how things work, but you need see the bigger picture, to look at the knock-on effects both up and down the line. This is nothing to do with world ecology, it’s to do with saving money! All this is doing is sending some of the energy usage elsewhere. From a global perspective, the need to collect data about whether a particular screen is in use or not means that every single computer using a Netvibes page is using more energy, and every other device on the line is using more energy. Simple high school physics will tell you that this will add up to far more than anything saved on the servers. (Remember all that stuff about ‘conservation of energy’ and ‘inertia’? Ring any bells?)
            The upshot of all this is that Netvibes has been nominated for The Greenwash Blacklist (not by me, I might add), which is a shame, because there may well have been a genuine desire to do some good on someone’s part. Just not properly thought through. From my perspective, there is no way I can continue to use Netvibes for ecological sites while all this nonsense is going on. I care about my credibility, even if Netvibes don’t.
             
            But all this aside, the bottom line is that Netvibes no longer does what it says on the tin, and people don’t like it, and will go elsewhere. This is a fast-growing market, and there are new alternatives springing up every week……….
             

      • Reply Guest1 May 16, 2011 at 1:42 pm

        > We are saving on our server time to display updates only when you look at them.

        No, since you are not checking whether we are looking at the page. Just because i’m not clicking, or switching to a tab and back, doesn’t mean i’m not looking.

        A better idea would’ve been an ‘ECO’ mode which doesn’t display a popup, but lowers the refresh rate to 5-10 minutes if it detects no clicking. Then if the user starts clicking, it should refresh more rapidly, again.

  • Reply MW May 15, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    If “idle transparent mode” still prevents the feeds from updating visually when a user is on another tab, it’s still not a good solution. We want the dashboard to be constantly updating without needing to mouse over or click in the tab. I doubt there really are any “green savings” to doing this unless by green you mean cash savings to prevent you from needing more servers. Making a dynamic product static is not a good solution when you’re changing the way your users have been using it for years.

  • Reply Guest May 15, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    The idle mode is very annoying as I listen to music streams and it cuts hem out when the idle mode kicks in. Can we the ability to disable this new function.

  • Reply Dave May 16, 2011 at 12:44 am

    If it’ll make idle mode go away, I say bring on the ads.

  • Reply Kalmatthew May 16, 2011 at 8:45 am

     Like many others I only mouse over netvibes if it is showing new feeds to read, not updating if I’m not interacting seems to defeat the point.  I guess I will just have to increase my commitment to google

  • Reply KH May 16, 2011 at 8:46 am

    Idle mode switches itself on when I delete tasks from the to-do list widget.  It’s a pain in the backside, and I’ll be looking elsewhere if there isn’t an option to switch it off soon.  There are ways you could implement this to reduce load on your server without it being noticeable to the user.

  • Reply Arglwydd Mawr May 16, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Energy saving is a function performed very well by my laptop. It is not something  I expect or need in a feed aggregator service! 

    This is extremely annoying. I use tabbed browsing – and every time I switch back to my Netvibes tab (which consumes zero energy whilst hidden) it is disabled. 

    Please get rid of this feature – or at least let me diable it ASAP. I can’t live with this annoyance and will need to switch if ti continues. 

  • Reply Davepegz May 16, 2011 at 11:28 am

     Well, that’s me politely brushed off then 🙂
    For Chrome users who want to persist, – I’ve written a user script that should solve the problem, that I will release through the Stylish Chrome extension in a day or two once I’ve thoroughly tested it. Someone else is doing the same foe Firefox users through Greasemonkey. For those who want to write their own, it’s nothing complicated – just sends a tiny bit of random spurious mouseover data at random intervals between 5 – 10 mins. 🙂 
    Kills the ‘we’re green and cool’ box stone dead, just go to wait and see what comes next….
     
    Users like Sean Vater (and me!) who have found their beautifully crafted pages messed up by random repadding should also consider installing stylish. Once it’s there, you can download a simple script called ‘Minimal Netvibes (remove extra margins). This resets all the margins to zero, (which is a bit drastic), but if you look through the script, and wherever you see a border, margin or padding set to ‘0’ px, change it to 2px, that will take it back to just about how it was. Don’t worry, it takes well under a minute :-).
     There are over 40 instantly downloadable scripts there that change Netvibes in all sorts of ways, removing header and footer sections, tabs, changing fonts and font sizes (yes, you can use ANY fonts you have installed on your computer) etc, etc.  Interestingly, the most popular one is called ‘Kill The Big Green Button’, that changes the Add Content button to match the rest of the toolbar. Greasemonkey provides a similar service for Firefox, and most other browsers have their own scripting add-ons. You will also find a willing and able army of geeks just itching to sort out all your problems for you if you ask them.
    Alas, internet explorer users have to put up with what they are given……..

  • Reply Guest1 May 16, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Idle Mode is annoying and it’s idiotic!
    I have netvibes running in a TAB in Firefox! And it still goes to ‘powersave mode’. Then I’m browsing the web with other tabs, only to click back on the netvibes tab to get the annoying message…

  • Reply pablothehat May 16, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Idle Mode is causing problems on my partners laptop. If her Netvibes page is left open to monitor her emails for example, whilst watching streamed media in another TAB, the screen goes dark and won’t brighten up until rebooted! I finally conviced her that having Netvibes as your home page is great and now she thinks I am an idiot. Well she thought that anyway but didn’t need any extra help! LOL!  Please sort this!
    PS. I don’t like it either!

  • Reply Baz May 16, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Terrible. I only go to my Netvibes tab if that tab shows there are updates to be read. If it doesn’t show them, then why would i go to that tab? Therefore it will always be in energy saving mode, always displaying zero new posts and i’ll never go to that tab thus rendering netvibes completely pointless. 

  • Reply Dale Cooper May 17, 2011 at 8:06 am

    always good to see if someone tries to improve their product.

    what i really don’t like: since the last update “next” and “previous” article moved from top to buttom of the article, which is very annoying.
    why? before that change you could let rest the mouse pointer on those links and switch through articles easily. now you always have to find the link by scrolling manually. plus you removed “previous” i’ve just realized…are you crazy?
    and you have removed auto-scrolling. what for? the experience was really nicer before those changes.

    i know, ppl tend to complain about changes but in my opinion this was some sort of a step backwards. not all of it, but the things i mentioned.

    please go back!

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