The Search for the Perfect Social Network AggregatorBy Alyssa Gregory
Earlier in the month, I posted Strategies for Managing Social Networks and a Full-Time Job, and one of the strategies I mentioned was using a social network aggregator to stay on top of activity in your networks. I decided to take my own advice and recently started a search for the “perfect” aggregator. I’m just in the beginning stages of the process, but I thought my research might be useful to others, so here is a list of what I’m looking for and the apps I plan to try out.
Despite it being a staple of most aggregators, I don’t need to be able to post one update across multiple networks. I tend to use each network differently than the next, so this functionality would be lost on me. Having said that, I do have an optimistic wish list. Here is some of what I want the aggregator to do:
- Provide one place (app, web site, etc.) where I can catch up on all network activity
- Allow me to post (different) updates to all of my networks in one location
- Condense status updates of my connections across Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn
- Show people I am connected to in more than one network
- Present data in a pleasing and easy-on-the-eye interface
The following items would be amazing to have, but I haven’t seen them at work in any of the aggregators I’ve taken a preliminary look at:
- Ability to track drill-down activity, such as Facebook Fan Page posts and LinkedIn Group discussions
- Mobile access
- Integration of RSS feeds
- Flock.com: A social network browser developed by Mozilla.
- FriendFeed: A popular application that allows you to share content across Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and other social networks.
- HootSuite: A web-based social media aggregator for tracking and posting updates.
- Minggl: A browser add-on that lets you manage and interact with all your contacts from one place.
- Netvibes: A web-based start page that lets you personalize the information you want to see, including blogs, weather, email, social networks, and more.
- Orsiso: A social networking tool that lets you organize, simplify and socialize in one place.
- Tweetdeck: An app that provides real-time social web access, allowing users to connect with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace.
- ???: What do you recommend?
I will be installing/signing up with each of the services listed and trying them out to see how they work for me, measured against my wish-list criteria. I plan to report back on my findings over the coming weeks after I give these apps a test drive, so stay tuned.
Do you use an app to aggregate your social network activity? What do you recommend I add to my list of possibilities?