igoogle hooked me in a couple of years ago. I created 6 tabs and filled them up with exciting new widgets.
I am now down to only looking at one tab and two of the 8 widgets within that tab. I stack my gmail above my google reader rss feed.
This is my primary means of consuming the latest and greatest trends and such in the world of user experience, financial services, marketing, design, etc. The only context is time. The most recent stuff followed by progressively older stuff. I have long since ignored the “1000+” drop down. There are just too many feeds and i feel i get the gist. When I see a story fly by 4 or 5 times, i know it is pretty widely covered. Without the preview mode I think this would be less useful, but being able to dip into a headline more deeply is just enough about 90% of the time.
Goal: general consumption
Key Context: time – most recent first (don’t need to see time/date, i assume the top story is the most recent available)
Behavior: check in on headlines every hour or so, use mouse scroll button to load more stories. stop scrolling when i see several stories i’ve already clicked on. Occasionally – ctrl click a headline to see it in original context to bookmark or snip.