Zude, a new Web site by Fifth Generation Systems (5g), lets you make a collage of all your favorite items from the Web and present them in one spot.
The site took down its password-only entrance and went into "soft launch" last week. In other words, it's testing the waters to see who in the public sphere will find and use it.
Similar to Paggi.com, Zude allows you to create your own, personalized Web pages or profile page--called a "Zudescape"--with text, photos, videos, audio files, widgets, gadgets, Web sites and feeds. As of now, the company is offering registered users an unlimited amount of pages.
Viewing access to your pages can be granted to the general public, limited to you only, or limited to Zude users designated by you.
The nice thing about Zude is that it offers the type of freedom many people probably wish their MySpace or Facbook pages allowed.
But the site is a little busy at first glance and may intimidate the average user.
It also took some time to figure out exactly how its page-building tools work. Zude currently works with Firefox and Internet Explorer, with support for the Safari and Opera Web browsers in the works. However, you must modify your browser to allow pop-ups from the Zude.com site and download the Zude extensions in order for the tool to work. No, really. The drag-and-drop feature that allows you to add objects to your pages will not work at all unless you make a pop-up exception for the site and download the software.
Even then, the site does take some getting used to, and adding content beyond the immediate offerings is very tricky.
This is one of those sites we'll probably check back with in a few months to see where it's gone after some deep, public user-testing and, based on user recommendations, some tinkering with the interface.