Taking a page from Google, Netvibes has launched its own labs section that will serve double duty as a place for users to request widgets they want to see, along with a small collection of experimental features that are not yet a part of the main service. These include an organizer that will weed out feeds you don't read, a WYSIWYG theme editor, and a tag cloud generator that reads feed headlines and highlights words that frequently show up.
Of the three new tools, the theme editor is actually a refresh on an existing Netvibes feature. Previously, users could create and edit their own themes, however it required some minor knowledge of XML and Web color codes. The new version simply has drop down menus where you select which elements you want to change and choose from a large selection of colors. If you've used the create-your-own-theme in Gmail, the experience here is similar. As an added bonus you can take whatever theme you've created, and save it locally so other users can apply it to their own pages--something Gmail does not let you do.
The company has also taken a smart direction on the widget feedback and request tool, letting users see what others want from the service, and bundling that with a voting system where people can vote yay or nay on new ideas that get prioritized. Short of using something like Get Satisfaction, this is about as public as a feature request list gets.