I’m trying out Chrome for a bit, and liking it enough to get over my dislike of using products from the Man: it’s clean and fast, and seems to do everything I ask it well. It’s like a web butler. But one of the things I’ve noticed about it is that its default homepage is changing the way I browse.
Like Opera, the homepage has nine slots in it, for screenshots of pages you find useful so you can click on them and get going. I like it in Opera, and thought quite hard about which sites I wanted to include (mail and twitter, obviously, and this blog, and work webmail, and a couple of other things). But in Chrome I don’t think I have that choice: it looks at my history and decides which ones I like most.
And as a result I’ve noticed that I spend less time on trivial or just plain uncool sites, in case someone sees my homepage and thinks that what I like. I’m sure that over time my “most visited” will be a genuine reflection of the sites that are most useful to me. But in the meantime, I’m a bit disturbed to find how easily I regulate my behaviour if I think other people will see it.