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General

The Reality of Real-Time Web Services

To all our users, thank you for your quick feedback about our new idle mode. I wanted to take a brief moment to discuss a little bit about why we created this feature, a workaround for those that don’t want it, and what our commitment is to you and all our users.

The real-time Web is a balancing act. Everyone remembers Twitter’s early days with frequent service interruptions. Speed often comes at an expense, obviously, in server costs, but also in terms of reliability. In the not too distant past, traditional websites only had to serve one page per pageview. Today, real-time Web services and live updates can mean continually serving hundreds or thousands of updates for each pageview.

Our challenge:What makes Netvibes so great is that we ping all your feeds and services for updates minute by minute, so you can see a live river of content. We aggregate multiple real-time Web services, from Twitter to Facebook, and more than 1,000,000 different newsfeeds – all constantly updated automatically for our users. This represents about 10,000,000 new items to collect, every day.

Our solution: idle mode. We wanted to create a solution that would be transparent (so our users are aware) and invisible (so as not to cause annoyance). In our first iteration last week, idle mode would kick in after 20 min of inactivity and required users to click to reconnect. Thanks to your feedback, we quickly realized that this was interrupting the user experience – we heard ya!

Our dev team immediately worked around the clock to make it more unobtrusive. Now users can restore their session simply by moving their mouse. Moreover, we continue to count and update your feeds in the background–you can still see the number of new articles climb, even when in idle mode.

This is a critical issue of fairness for all users. Without idle mode, our inactive or “away” users would inadvertently slow down the network for active users. We feel this is the best and fairest solution for maintaining speed and reliability all our users.

Why did Netvibes implement idle mode?

  1. Speed. Less load means greater speed and reliability for users that are active. By implementing idle mode for users that are inactive for 20 min or more, we can save nearly 2/3 of our server load – which means more resources are liberated for our active users.
  2. Sustainability. Less load means fewer watts being burned by our servers.
  3. Economics. We are committed to keeping Netvibes.com free and ad free. We do this in by generating revenue from our business Dashboard Intelligence products. And we do this by being efficient with our bandwidth and distributing it fairly to active users who need it most.

Workaround?
We realize that there is an elite population of Netvibes users who need idle mode turned off. This includes professionals and organizations who want to monitor feeds all day on dedicated second monitors. These types of users would benefit from the Netvibes VIP service. Netvibes VIP members can disable idle mode and they also benefit from personalized project support and guaranteed service agreements – for only €29,90/year, which is just $0.10/day.

Let’s be perfectly clear: This is by no means an attempt to brick our service and force users to become Netvibes VIPs (especially at 10 cents a day!). This is an issue of fairness, speed, sustainability and economics to continue to provide our free users with an ad free service and to empower professional users who want customized support to get what they need. By so doing, we hope to meet the needs of all our different types of users.

Again, thank you for all your patience, understanding and honest feedback.

Freddy Mini
CEO Netvibes

General

Idle mode update

The recently implemented “Idle mode” have undoubtedly caused a lot of reactions, which we took into consideration to improve our service and meet your expectations. 

From now on, this mode is silently activated after a while and instantly turned off as soon as you  get back to Netvibes by moving your mouse or return to any tab on your Dashboard.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to remind you that this “Idle mode” means in no way an interruption of service: it does not “stop updating your feeds”, and the fact that the counter in your browser tab keeps being incremented is a testimony of that ongoing activity.

We hope you’ll find these adjustments to your liking. Anyway, feel free to give us your feedback by commenting on this blog post, or via our Twitter or Facebook accounts.

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.

General

Some issues with Facebook…

EDIT : Everything is now back to normal, Facebook and Netvibes are again working hand in hand without a glitch.

These past few days, some of our users have been experiencing difficulties connecting their Netvibes dashboard with Facebook. These issues include: signing up on Netvibes via Facebook Connect, adding a Facebook widget on a Netvibes dashboard and posting Netvibes links on a Facebook wall.

We are aware of the situation and are working closely with the Facebook teams to find a solution as quickly as possible.

We will of course keep you informed of any progress made towards a resolution of these issues. Thank you for your understanding.

General

New Netvibes mobile and tablet version

Eight months ago, we launched the first Netvibes mobile version dubbed “Dashboard Anywhere”. Many of you showed interest in the project and gave us interesting feedback that we took into account to make it evolve.

A native look & feel user interface, a new design with split and floating views for tablets, touch functions, menus with icons, a lot of optimizations… and much more! Watch the trailer:

This new version adapts itself to your device automatically. Wanna try it out? It’s very easy:

  • Launch your device’s browser
  • Go to “netvibes.com
  • Use your login and password: you now have access to your dashboards!

Want to enable offline mode to read and flag your articles? It’s possible with the settings button in the bottom right corner (More about offline mode: “Introducing new Offline mobile access“).

Dashboard Everything and now Dashboard Anywhere, with or without internet connection. Available for all users and customers today, for free, on netvibes.com.

To add Netvibes on your iPhone/iPad springboard

  • Run Safari
  • Go to “netvibes.com”
  • Click on option button
  • Select “Add to Home Screen”

On your Android phone/tablet

  • Run your browser
  • Go to “netvibes.com”
  • Add it to your bookmarks
  • Go back to home screen, make a long click on your background
  • Select Shortcuts, Bookmark and Netvibes

Feel free to discuss it and send us feedback via Twitter and Facebook!

General, Partners

(Opening) Netvibes Live Dashboard: LeWeb 2010

As we announced a few days ago, Netvibes is taking part of LeWeb 2010 with a dedicated portal allowing everyone to follow the event in real time: pictures, events schedule, conferences, articles and blogs, conversations, speakers, videos and podcasts produced on site. Everything about LeWeb 2010 is on leweb.netvibesbusiness.com ! Join now.

Netvies Live Dashboard: LeWeb 2010

Don’t forget to follow us on twitter and facebook!

General

Dashboard Anytime. Introducing new Offline mobile access.

First we promised to help you “dashboard everything” on the real-time Web and fulfilled this promise with 1-Click Dashboards and Wasabi’s 2-in-1 Smart Reader. Then we helped you “dashboard anywhere” with new mobile versions for Android, iPad and iPhone, featuring real read/unread syncing across all platforms.

Starting today, now you can “dashboard anytime” and continue to read your favorite feeds even when you’re offline. Now when you go offline, you will see a special notification that you’re in “offline mode” and you can still continue to read articles. Even better, you can organize articles and mark posts to read them later when you get back online.

The next time you go back online, your read/unread counts and Read Later lists will automatically be synced to your account and all of your other devices. This means that even if you’re in a subway under the ocean or on a plane up in the sky, you can continue to read all your feeds, and when you get back to your home or office, it will all be synced up! How cool is that?

As you know, Netvibes is not a startpage. It’s an enterprise strength real-time dashboard that’s also used by agencies, brands, governments and enterprises around the world. Our latest innovations this year enable world-class organizations to “dashboard everything, anywhere, anytime across all devices”, even while traveling in locations without Internet access. This makes sure that you can be always on, even when you’re on the go.

Let us know what you think on Twitter and Facebook!