Personal content aggregators are nothing new. We recently covered the latest of many services that consolidate your social networking activity into one place. But PageOnce, a company that was on this year’s Israel Web Tour, wants to become the one stop shop for all your web-accessible accounts.
The site is still in private beta and working to expand the number of account types that it supports (TC readers can sign up here). However, you can already use the service to retrieve information from many banking, social networking, airline, email, and shopping accounts such as Citibank, Facebook, American Airlines, Gmail, and Amazon. PageOnce takes the information appropriate to each account (once you give it your username and password, of course) and displays it in a Netvibes/PageFlakes-like layout. If you have lots of accounts to manage, you can choose to view them according to type (finance, shopping, utilities, etc.).
Despite the fact that PageOnce needs to build relationships with many of the account providers in order to retrieve information from them (not everyone has an API like Facebook after all), the company has done a good job digesting information for at-a-glance presentations from a fairly wide range of providers. The “fetch once” technology behind the site, however, only pulls information from elsewhere; it doesn’t push information back, so you can’t actually make changes to your bank account while on PageOnce; you’ll need to follow links to the bank’s website itself.
PageOnce is definitely onto a good idea here, and I particularly like being able to check all my accounts without having to reenter usernames and passwords for each. However, I wonder whether a more established personalized homepage provider like Netvibes won’t swoop in and steal PageOnce’s thunder. Netvibes is already a great place to retrieve information from various web services and RSS feeds. It wouldn’t be a huge leap for them to provide widgets that could display information from a much wider range of personal accounts as well. And in fact, when I asked Netvibe’s founder Tariq Krim whether they planned to provide this functionality, he said that Netvibes is already discussing the possibility with several account providers supported by PageOnce.
PageOnce seems to have the leg up since they’ve already proven that they can aggregate this sort of information. But since they rely on their own efforts to expand support for an inexhaustible number of accounts, a more decentralized approach with Netvibes as the focal point and account providers as the widget developers themselves could win out in the long run.