What is an iGoogle?

I understood the branding reason for de-branding Froogle into Google Product Search. And I understood why Google Search History became Google Web History. But I’m not exactly understanding the re-branding of Google’s Personalized Homepage into iGoogle. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been a user of Google/ig (which is what I’ve called it because I didn’t know what else to) since it was launched two years ago. It is my start-page. I go to it several times each day. I evangelize it (along with a few other Ajax-type start pages) to those who I discover don’t use a newsreader, as it is a great way to experience RSS with training wheels.

I just don’t get the “i” part. Like it or not, the “i” prefix has been captured in the minds of consumers by another company noted for its branding acumen. I’m not talking here about a “copyright” issue — I’m sure the other company will not “go there” on claiming prefixes. I’m merely talking about branding at a Rorschach-test level: “What do you think when you see the prefix ‘i’?”

I don’t know, but when I saw the term iGoogle, all I could think of was the recent skit (embedded on left) on MadTV that has become popular on YouTube.

Bonus link: Great background on the evolution of iGoogle at Search Engine Land.