A look at Webwag, single page aggregator for your phone and PC

Webwag is another single page aggregation service. Is it worth using? Yes, but maybe not instead of some of the big guys.

Webwag is a single-page aggregator that's been around for nearly a year now. Like other similar services, it lets users create one or more customized start pages, filled with modules of content that update continuously throughout the day. These feeds can be searched and browsed through a fairly large directory, along with the capability to drop in any old RSS feed. What's a little cooler, however, is Webwag's Widget-on-Demand tool, which will let you grab a live snippet of any Web page, and turn it into its own widget. If you're familiar with the Webclips service on the upcoming Leopard OS from Apple, this does exactly the same thing.

Webwag's mobile version is a simple smattering of widgets CNET Networks

In addition to displaying widgets on your browser, Webwag also lets its users access widgets on their mobile phone--assuming they have one of the eight supported handsets. There's also the option to send an optimized version to generic phones based on screen resolution. The mobile version provides small, thumbnail-size versions of each widget, which can be rearranged ad hoc via the mobile module on Webwag. Users can click on any of these on their phone to see the entire feed.

I ran into only a few problems trying out the service this morning. The first is that things can be slow going. Having a few of the Widget-on-Demand modules going at a time can get a little laggy, since Webwag is continuously rendering that part of the site, instead of working on something small and simple like an RSS feed. My other quibble is with module rearrangement, which requires users to hover over the zone they want to drop a module until a little red box shows up. If you don't, your module will be relegated to a zone in the bottom of the page where you must pick it back up and restart the process. It may be a small inconvenience, but when you're trying to work with 15 or more modules, the one- to two-second delay is off-putting.

Small quirks aside, Webwag is a really solid aggregation service. It's feature competitive with some of the big boys such as Netvibes and Pageflakes, although it's a bit lacking on some of the extended theme support, module directory, and customization you get on the others. Is it worth using over the other two? While the Widget-on-Demand feature is pretty neat, ultimately it comes down to speed and the module directory--both of which leave me wanting more.

See also: Roundup: single page aggregators

Webwag's Widget-on-Demand service will grab any snippet of a Web site, and turn it into its own widget. In this case, it's the front door of CNET.com CNET Networks

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About the author

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.

 

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