I am sure many of you of you know the drill: log onto email [check], log onto Twitter [check], log onto Facebook [check], log onto LinkedIn [check], log onto another social network and another one, etc….. Why hasn’t someone come up with an easier way to manage our social networks and aggregate them into one application.
Wait, not all hope is lost!
Over the past few weeks, I have been seeing many more tools offering social networking aggregation or mash up services. I think this will be one of the next ‘big things’ that we see in the social media/networking space.
It made sense that sooner or later we were going to require these services and I think it is great that this need has been addressed. With so many social networks that have been created to communicate with each other, it was becoming time consuming and ineffective to log onto each network individually and check to see who is saying what and where.
These SNS (social network services) mash up sites basically aggregate many of your social networks onto one application or web browser. I have had the chance to try a few of these apps and I think we are still at early adoption stage to say that any one application has it right. Some are too slow, some don’t have access to enough networks, some are not available for mac (disgby.com – hope you see this), etc….
Anyway, here are my thoughts on a few of the Social Networking Aggregate site that I have used or seen available:
Orsiso: http://orsiso.com/ – I downloaded Orsiso this week and have started to use it. My first impression is that I like it, it has a nice user interface that allows me to check and see what is happening on my various social networks. It also has a nice feature where you can group your various contacts into 1st Level through to 4th Level contacts – allowing you to keep track of the people you talk to regularly or want to hear from. On the downside – I find that the service is slow, many updates either do not show up on Orsiso or show up much later then when they are actually posted. Out of the 5 SNS Aggregators listed I would say it is my 2nd favorite at the moment.
Google Wave: http://www.google.com/ – I am waiting on a few invitations to come through before I can actually start using Wave – my initial thought from what I have seen is that you can only communicate with other Google Wave users – the tools look great, but it will be a long time before everyone is using wave. Out of the 5 SNS Aggregators listed I have to give it a NA score as I have not actually used this tool yet.
Digsby: http://www.digsby.com – The first thing that comes to mind is frustration! Digsby is not yet available on Mac so when I tried to use it on my home laptop – no luck. Ok the next day I downloaded it onto my work laptop, but because of my firewall protections I can not use it at work. It is too bad, it looks like a good tool, but in this competitive environment, you have to make things easy for people to use – my initial exposure to Digsby has been difficult and I am not sure I will go back unless it becomes easier to use. Out of the 5 SNS Aggregators listed this was my least favorite out of the 5 listed.
Flock.com: http://flock.com/ – This was interesting, Flock is a web browser which integrates your social networking profiles into your web browser. I only had a quick play with it, but didn’t immediately see the value add in it. It was good you could log onto Twitter or Facebook and have that information on a sidebar, but it seemed to defeat the purpose because it opened up a new webpage with every social network you joined. I was thinking if this is the case why can’t I just do this in Chrome or IE or any other Web Browser. Out of the 5 SNS Aggregators listed this was just ahead of Digsby and well below Orsiso.
Tweetdeck: http://tweetdeck.com/ – I have been using Tweetdeck ever since I started using Twitter over 18 months ago. Tweetdeck is getting better as it now has Facebook and Myspace integration. I like how you can create columns to follow the people or keywords you want to and the results come into Tweetdeck in real time without the same delay that happens with Orsiso. Out of the 5 SNS Aggregators listed this is the original one I used and is still my favorite, it is number 1 for me in the list.
If we could take bits and pieces from each of these apps – I think there would be a great all purpose app to use. I think we will see a good app come out that will stand above the rest and become dominant in this space. It will be fun to see who comes up with that app. I think that someone will get it right in the near future and I think it is great because this will certainly make social networking so much easier to manage for many people.