Google Personalized homepage API

My first Google homepage widget

Yesterday Google announced an API to add content to the Google personalized homepage using a custom XML file. Last night I coded my first Google homepage widget to display a Technorati Mini on my personalized homepage with a pre-populated value of my blog URL.

Here’s how you can check it out:

  1. Go to the Google personalized homepage and sign-in.
  2. Click on “Add Content” in the top-left corner.
  3. Create a developer section by adding a feed URL of “developer.xml.” You will now see a new “My Modules” section.
  4. Add a module by entering with in the URL field.
  5. You should now have a Technorati Mini section!

If you run into problems try deselecting caching and/or inline in your “My Modules” settings.

There are many different possibilities for additional content to add to this page and different ways I could have coded my module. Google allows you to prompt a user to set preferences and pass in variables to your content. I could have prompted the user for a search term when he or she first loads the module.

These new modules are very different than adding just text or a RSS feed to the homepage. Think of the Google homepage as web version of Konfabulator or Apple’s Desktop widgets with preferences, rich interactions, and the ability to carve yourself a slice of someone’s personal start page.

While you are playing with the Google homepage API you may also want to check out Microsoft Gadgets, Microsoft’s homepage modules to reach that set of users that will use as their homepage with the next versions of Internet Explorer and Windows Vista.

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Commentary on "Google Personalized homepage API":

  1. Steve on wrote:

    Cool. Is there any way we can customise it if we want to run a search on something other than your blog?

  2. Anthony Graddy on wrote:

    Just wanted to let you know that you can upload your module to It is a Google Homepage Module Directory.

  3. Scott Lerner on wrote:

    Just checked out Google modules as well. The dev info is great. I was up and running with a new widget built in a few minutes thanks to their helpful one page doc. Check out my SAT Prep module: and let me know what you think.