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September 8, 2007

iGoogle Tab for the Rugby World Cup

The option to share an iGoogle tab is a great promotional mechanism. You can create special gadgets for an event or use existing gadgets and change their settings.

Google created a special tab for the Rugby World Cup that started yesterday in France. The tab is promoted on some of the Google homepages from countries that are involved in the competition (for example: Google Australia). Google also has a special doodle for this event.

The tab consists of five gadgets: two of them show results and news, other two let you support your team by uploading a YouTube video or hearing a cheerful sound and the last one shows satellite images of the stadiums.

Google should now build a directory for tabs and let you easily create themed tabs using popular gadgets as the building blocks. The new Gadget-to-Gadget Communication API could be helpful to create a unified package.

But Google should fix this weird bug before: if you click on the link to add a tab and you're not logged in, the tab is added to a default iGoogle page. When you log in, the tab is nowhere to be found. It would be nice to force a log in before adding the tab to iGoogle.

{ Thank you, Mark. }


  1. It'd also be nice if Google would allow gadgets to have integrated buttons (the top right ones, Down Arrow, - and X ) so that they could look more natural, rather than nice looking gadgets in ugly boxes.

    Also, it's a bummer that with a customized theme Google has turned off default link coloring, so if you click a link in a feed it doesn't change color, indicating to you next time that you've already read that one. :[

  2. I'm working with someone at Google on a project that utilizes preset tabs from iGoogle, and I emailed her to find out if this bug could be fixed.

    Here was the official explanation for why this is happening:

    "A new user comes to the page, adds the tab, we add it to their
    cookie-based page. If the user then creates an account for the first
    time, we take the preferences in the cookie and save them to his/her
    Google account. But, if the user *already* has preferences (gadgets,
    etc.) in their Google account, and adds the tab without being signed in,
    we add those preferences to the cookie-based page, but NOT the
    Google-account based page. This is to prevent you from getting the stuff
    your kids/roommate/spouse/etc. added to your shared computer while you
    were out. We treat the users signed-in page as sacred, and hence you can
    only make changes to it while you are signed in. That's the only way we
    can be 100% sure you wanted to make those changes."

  3. If you are going to use the "special tab" (see blog entry) to add gadgets to you iGoogle page, then make sure you login to iGoogle first. Otherwise, the gadgets will be added to a default iGoogle page, and won't appear on your personal one.

    Obviously, if your don't have a Google/iGoogle account, you should register first.