Yourminis, a Flash-based personalized dashboard of widgets created by Mark Cuban-backed Goowy Media, has been making some aggressive changes since its launch late in 2006. Yourminis offers users one of the most customizable homepage experiences I have seen to date as it leverages Flash to present desktop-like features on the web.
Yourminis, nominated for the 'Best New Site' award at the upcoming SXSW Interactive conference, recently made some changes to focus more on the social aspects of the web by reconfiguring the URL for the personalized homepage from Yourminis.com to Yourminis.com/start. The former URL has been replaced with an html-based “community landing page” which highlights Yourminis’ personalized homepage, desktop widgets, featured pages, widgets and users. The “community landing page” enables users to interact with the widgets as well as with other Yourminis users, thus emphasizing the social aspects of the product. Users can create tabs and share tabs with the rest of the community and I quickly created a tab made up of few Somewhat Frank related items - it can be seen here. Another user configured tab that I am particularly fond of is the Chicago Cubs tab shown below (Go Cubs!).
Of the comparable personalized homepage startups like Netvibes and Pageflakes among others in the space, Yourminis offers the most whiz-bang experience with a number of slick widgets. However, Yourminis could be criticized for being too overwhelming, with its flair and countless configurations, to a first time user. Yourminis’ recent change to a “community landing page” for a first time experience might help to assist overwhelmed users, however it also puts users a click further away from adopting the personalized homepage.
Aesthetic shimmer aside, performance and accessibility are still important aspects of a personalized homepage. With Yourminis I have encountered a couple of hiccups in respect to both as I have had to re-save changes upon returning to see them reverted, and I also have tried to access Yourminis from a public computer and found it inaccessible due to the absence of a Flash browser plug-in. That aside I still find Yourminis a compelling dashboard experience.
Bottom-line: Yourminis offers a Flash-based personalized homepage experience that might be your cup of tea if you are looking for a flashy approach.
The History of the Personal Homepage
Widgets Live! Everywhere
Widgets and Web 2.0