There are applications that attempt to combine all your social networking accounts and activity into one package. The first two that come to mind are FriendFeed and Flock. FriendFeed is a web-based service that aggregates all your social networking feeds into one single feed, and also provides self-contained conversational commenting. Flock is a desktop application that allows complete interaction with all of your social networking accounts, and includes a web browser to boot. Both handle a wide variety of services and work very well at what they do, but I’ve never found I like to use them on a day-to-day basis.
Multiple IM Clients
Then there are the multiple IM clients that have been popular for a few years. The most popular of these are the Pidgin open source project, formerly known as Gaim, and Trillian, an application that comes in both free and paid versions. Pidgin has a vanilla interface but handles all the popular IM protocols in one IM client. They recently came out with a plug-in for Facebook chat, as well. By comparison, Trillian is a very slick and skinnable application that also handles many IM protocols in one spot. Both of them also offer an interface to IRC (Internet Relay Chat). I used the Pidgin client as my only multiple IM client for many years.
The Best of Both Worlds
Then I discovered Digsby. Digsby aims to do the best of both types of applications. You get the multiple IM goodness of Pidgin and Trillian, along with lightweight interfaces for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and MySpace. You can have it notify you on varying and configurable levels any time there’s a new update in any of the feeds, as well as post your own updates. It will also notify of you new email for any email accounts that you specify.
Surely different people have different needs, and there may be those who still prefer to run each IM client and Social Network interface individually. But I’ve found that Digsby handles the perfect combination of what I do every day, and has made for a great everyday IM/Social Networking client.
(syndicated from blog.netcrafters.com)