A few days ago I posted a blog entry about sobees - a social networking aggregator. As I mentioned, it has come a long way in the past year, moving from a shaky beta system to what I’m finding to be a good social networking platform. I live on the typical social platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and follow numerous RSS feeds. No MySpace (why ride a dead horse?). During the course of the day I found myself wandering back and forth among the multiple portals. Granted, I have all my Twitter and RSS feeds aggregated under MS Outlook, but I don’t like the interface too much. To give credit though, TwInbox does a good job of Twitter integration with Outlook.
After playing with Sobees for a few days I have really started liking its features and flexibility. What I didn’t highlight during my first post was some of the additional information that is available beyond the high-level feeds from each of the social networking platforms. Take a look at the attached screen shot. By clicking on various links you can obtain more information about the person or article. For example, by clicking on the Facebook name or picture, I can get the basic profile information on the person and see the information posted on their wall. By clicking on the various links I can go directly to their Facebook page, “Like” their entries, post comments, etc. Same holds true for the Twitter panel. I can click on the name of the Twitter’er and get their profile information, go to the Twitter page or home page, etc.
Clicking on the RSS feeds gives you an expanded version of the article, but unfortunately none of the links in the articles are clickable. This would be a nice feature. But the “Go To Website” button makes it pretty easy to view the article. Same holds true for the Linkedin panel. By clicking on the person’s name I can get a summary of their profile. I do like the Linkedin feed in that it gives me a streaming update of activity versus the weekly summary I now get from Linkedin. I can see in near real time who’s connecting to whom.
Adding and deleting feeds can be a little tricky. Deleting and then re-adding Facebook takes some work to get it done correctly, but Sobees gives a pretty good explanation on their website. Adding RSS feeds is simple and works well – something Linkedin should take note of…
One minor irritant, that really is just a nit on my part, but I would like to see changed is to add a “Close” button to the top of each additional information panel. This would make it just a tad easier… I have submitted this request to the Sobees forum, which is another feature I like. They have opened up their development roadmap to their community, who can submit and vote on features and enhancements. Good job Sobees!
I now keep the Sobees window open on my second monitor which makes it nice to view my primary social feeds all in one place. When an update occurs I get a notification message in the lower right-hand corner of my primary monitor, so I don’t have to continually check for new updates.
So… net result is that I’m sold on Sobees for now. Based on their forum/community-based approach to feature/function development I think they will continue to make good progress. I will continue to update this thread as I see new features that I like.