December 2, 2008

Social Networks, IMs and tying things together

I’m using a variety of social networks and instant messengers. But it took me some time before I found a way to make it work in practice.

Take Twitter as an example. I don’t think many people use twitter from the Twitter web page. They use one of the many available twitter clients. But now things get complicated – some social networks work best with a client, others work best from their web page (but it can be difficult to remember to check the web page). So you can easily end up with a line of clients installed that take up memory, and a few social network sites that you forget to check (or maybe these sites are spamming your inbox with notifications instead).

Of course it’s all about the tools used. In my case things started to fit together when I discovered Digsby. In short Digsby is the one IM and social network client to rule them all. In my case I was able to handle all this in one client application:
  • · MSN Messenger
  • · Google Talk
  • · Gmail notifier
  • · LinkedIn feeds
  • · Facebook feeds
  • · Twitter feeds
And I am just using some of the many mail/IM/social networks supported. If you don’t know Digsby, go check it out now.

But the problem is only half solved. Now I have a single point to receive feeds and notifications. I can also use Digsby to post a twitter message, set my Facebook status or set my LinkedIn status. But what if I want to post to multiple services at once? We need a multiplier, so it’s time to introduce is a service that allows you to send status updates, micro blogging and ordinary blog posts to, and it will automatically distribute these to a group of your social networks or other services.

You can have different distribution groups ( calls them triggers). You set up all of this at the web site. But now for the important part: I don’t want to pop open a new browser each time I need to do a micro blog or status update. So, use’s IM service. It works this way: You set up as another IM buddy of yours. Each time you need to post/update something, you just write an IM message to

In this example I first set my status using a customer trigger (which sets status on LinkedIn, Plaxo and Facebook). Then I use another trigger to post a micro blog entry to Twitter, Yammer and my private log.

This way I can still control everything from Digsby. Creative? Definitely. But it works.

Now recently Yammer emerged. supports Yammer (so I can distribute posts to Yammer as well), but Digsby doesn’t support Yammer (yet?), and I would hate to install another client and break my principles just to receive Yammer feeds. We need a workaround – this time a solution can be found in Yammer’s IM feature: You can set up Yammer to post all tweets to your IM account (supported are AIM, Google Talk and Jabber, hopefully more to come), and you can reply and make new posts by writing an IM message to Yammer.

So, it all works for me using only one client. I had to be a little creative in tying everything together – hopefully this will be easier the day Digsby implements Yammer support and merges with

No comments:

Post a Comment