Web Apps Manage Social Networking Overload
Tuesday, June 3, 2008; 10:19 AM
With Sprout, you can create widgets to hold the content that you like best, and then put them in your MySpace or Facebook profile or on your blog.Whether you're a social butterfly constantly seeking new sites to cross-pollinate, or a caterpillar creeping after your friends from one network to the next, you have likely experienced social-site fatigue by now. Even if your buddy lists consist entirely of people you actually know, keeping up with the endless stream of Flickr photos, Twitter tweets, and Facebook-dwelling zombie hunters is practically a full-time job. To put the fun back in friendship, social network management services--some of them still in beta--are rapidly evolving online.
Yoonois a browser plug-in designed to keep tabs on all your friends on most social networks, including AIM, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and Yahoo. Yoono, which sits in the left side of your browser window, alerts you when messages come in and gives you a single place to go to post new blog entries, IM a friend, or poke someone who just has it coming.
Other services add their own features to the social sites you visit. UK-basedRummble.com, for instance, lets you use a Google Maps-powered interface to record where you are and what you're doing, and post that info to Bebo, Facebook, Flicker, Twitter, WordPress, or YouTube.Sproutgives you tools for creating a customized widget populated with content from all your favorite sites, and then embedding your widget on your blog or your MySpace or Facebook profile.
Oosahhelps you manage the multimedia content you've spread across the Web. This site gathers the pictures, video, and music you've posted to Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, and YouTube, and makes them accessible via a single interface. You can easily add and delete media to and from the various sites with a single log-on.
Among recent trends in Web information management, mashup tools like Intel'sMash Makermay have the most potential for bringing your favorite sites together. This plug-in lets you build custom pages out of any content you find online, whether it's a buddy's profile or a news feed. Using Mash Maker is a lot more complicated than popping open a Yoono sidebar, but it's far more customizable, too.
The ever-expanding glut of social networking sites has become too much for most of us to manage, and it's unclear whether this year's batch of social site aggregators will actually solve the problem. While some of them do consolidate your buddy lists into a single interface, having all of the lists crammed into one working space can be just as unmanageable as trying to keep track of ten different sites on your own.
Some files are too big to send by e-mail. Drop.io lets you create a container on the Internet for pictures, documents, and other data that you want to share.If you are suffering from extreme social site burn-out, a simple site calledDrop.iomay offer the relief you need from the overpersonalized, overnetworked sharing sites. With no profiles to manage and no buddy lists to prune, Drop.io focuses on keeping your communications private. Set up a free drop box on this site, and you can share 100MB of pictures, music, and videos--and even receive voicemail messages and faxes, or conduct a free conference call--with only the people you choose to share your drop box with. And no zombies will pester you.