Commentary

Part 1 of 3: Summer Contact - Digsby

For the second summer in a row, I’m spending the summer in Washington DC. Unlike last summer however, I don’t have classes and homework so I have a bunch of free time. As a result, I announced plans at the end of the spring semester to keep in close touch with my college friends during the summer. I was planning on keeping my GChat, AIM and Facebook open while cycling between all three in order to use each site’s chat function to communicate.

Then I discovered a gift from the internet gods: Digsby.

(By the way, I feel the internet gods should have names, like Greek myth did)

Anywho, about Digsby. Digsby integrates Facebook, AIM, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, Google Talk, and Jabber into one chat function. So by using the same buddy list, I can contact people from each site as well as receive instant messages from each and have them feed into one text box. No more cycling between several sites on my browser and several buddy lists. It also has a pop-up option, so if my text box is minimized and someone messages my, it’ll pop up in the lower right hand corner of my screen (although you can set it for the corner of your choosing). The neat part about it is there is a small text box in the pop up so I can respond without ever having to bring up the whole conversation if need be.

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In addition to integrating chat functions, Digsby also integrates GMail, AOL, MSN, Yahoo, POP and IMAP email accounts. Not in the way GMail does where everything goes to one site, but in the way where if I get an email from any of those sources, an alert will pop up and inform me. Using Digsby, I can then read, delete or reply to that email in either the pop up or by going to the source.

Lastly, Digsby integrates alerts for Myspace, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. If someone posts a comment, link, photo, etc; Digsby alerts me. From the alert, I can read the posting as well as access the site to respond.

So, by using Digsby, I can know what my email, social networking and chat accounts are doing without ever using a web browser. That’s the functionality of 16 different tabs in my browser in one single tiny buddy list.

However, the best thing about Digsby is that it is fully customizable. If I only want certain alerts to play certain sounds, then I can. If I only want to know when someone posted on my Facebook wall but not when they post on my Myspace wall, I can have that. Overall, Digsby is the tool for those who wish to cut down on the amount of tabs open in their browser, have an easier way to chat with others, and not have to check their social networking sites constantly for new updates.

1 comment about "Part 1 of 3: Summer Contact - Digsby".
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  1. Monica Bower, May 26, 2009 at 12:08 p.m.

    Chat aggregators are great, and I've been a fan of trillian and meebo for years. Funny thing though - they encourage me to not even bother with the source site itself, which on any large scale is crippling to business models built on advertising alone (as virtually all of these are - as are the aggregators, for that matter).

    Its the open API dilemma to the nth degree - some other site is increasing your traffic and usage but at the same time it's decreasing your revenue potential with the individuals using it. All the twitter aggregators are a case in point - twitter is great but only 1 in 6 of its users actually use it directly; everyone else exclusively gets to it via twhirl, tweetdeck, etc etc etc and those sites own the users; twitter famously doesn't advertise but at this point advertising as a revenue stream would be pointless for them regardless. Unfortunately the 'free' we have all come to love on the internet only works if someone - advertisers, basically - are footing the bill.

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