With Myspace, Facebook and other social networks all vying for attention, what can the average Joe do to maintain his sanity? This week’s Sunday Funny is a video that wouldn’t be funny if it weren’t so true: Social Network Wars.
Digsby is a multi-protocol instant messaging program that adds social networking and email notification integration. Digsby’s IM support is extensive. Digsby connects to AIM, WLM (MSN), Yahoo, ICQ, Google Talk, Jabber and Facebook Chat.
Social network support includes Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and LinkedIn, giving you the ability to update your status and get live updates from your contacts.
And Digsby gives you email notifications for Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, AOL, IMAP and POP3 mail accounts. If you need to connect to multiple networks, Digsby is worth a closer look.
Digsby began as Steve Shapiro’s school project as he worked on his MBA at Rochester Institute of Technology. The project grew to a team of developers, now operating as dotSyntax LLC. After two years of development, Digsby was first released in a private beta in February 2008, and to the public in March 2008. Since that time, Digsby has quickly grown to become one of the most popular multi-protocol IM programs on Windows.
One of Digsby’s great features is the ability to personalize the look. You can create or download new skins to change the entire look of Digsby. You can switch the chat theme, load custom emoticon and sound sets.
Currently Digsby is only available on Windows (XP or Vista), but Mac OS X and Linux versions have been promised.
In late 2008, the Digsby installer was changed to include a number of “utilities” of dubious value. Most of these additional utilities are adware supported. Installation of these additional programs is fortunately optional, but be cautious to read each installation screen carefully and choose decline for these “extras.”
- Digsby – official site
- Digsby Blog – official Digsby company blog
- Digsby Forums – official Digsby support forums
- Digsbies.org – fan site with a feature wish list, skins, conversation themes, emoticon and sound sets
- irc://irc.freenode.net/digsby – IRC chat with the digsbies; frequented by the developers
- Digsby Widget – embed this on your blog and visitors can chat directly with you
Yahoo! Pingbox, their embeddable IM application for web pages, is now available for Facebook. You can add a Pingbox to your Facebook profile and visitors will be able to IM you without downloading or even signing on to Yahoo! Messenger. And if you use Yahoo! Messenger, you can receive IMs from your Pingbox even when you are not signed into Facebook.
This new Facebook application has the same customization tools available in other Pingbox versions. You can personalize your greetings, change the look and optionally require visitors to give themselves a nickname before they IM you.
Adding the Pingbox application to your Facebook profile works differently than adding it to other websites. For Facebook, you visit the Yahoo! Messenger Pingbox application page in Facebook.
- Pingbox now available for Facebook – Yahoo Messenger Blog
- Yahoo! Pingbox
- Yahoo! Pingbox for Facebook
Several months ago, Meebo added an “unofficial” connection to Facebook chat. Backwards engineering Facebook’s chat system proved unstable, and it was later pulled. Well, after working through official channels with Facebook and their API, Meebo has officially added Facebook Chat integration once again.
Facebook chat integration requires that you have a Facebook account (of course) but allows you to connect and chat even when you’re not signed into the Facebook website.
With the addition of Facebook, Meebo now supports a total of ten IM networks:
- Meebo chat rooms
- AIM/AOL Instant Messenger
- Yahoo! Messenger
- Windows Live Messenger (MSN Messenger)
- Google Talk
- and now, Facebook
You can take it for a spin yourself at www.meebo.com.
Criminal hackers now view social networking sites as their best target for attacks, according to Rob Rachwald, director of product marketing at Fortify Software.
Part of the reason is that such sites are designed to be usable by “unsophisticated” consumers, meaning that the barrier to entry for attacks is potentially lower as users are more likely to click on a link that leads to malware.
“A buffer overflow enabled hackers to exploit the Aurigma ActiveX image uploading software used by Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites,” said Rachwald.
“The bad news is that this exploit is being used in a hacker toolkit currently being offered for download on several Chinese language sites, meaning that novices have been able to stage these attacks, and not just professional hackers.”
Yet another reason to hate the zillions of apps and invites.
The BigBlue Crew suggested a blog would be a great way to share what’s going on behind-the-scenes at BigBlueBall.com, so we’ve launched BigBlueBlog. We’ll be posting information about our staff (the BigBlue Crew!); site news and updates; info about new goodies we’re working on at BigBlueBall; and — most of all — listening to your feedback.
Did you know…?
- BigBlueBall.com was originally a site where two web developers showcased their portfolio?
- The BigBlueBall.com domain was originally registered way back in 1998?
- BigBlueBall has been covering instant messaging since March 1991?
- The name “BigBlueBall” refers to the planet earth, as seen from space?
- And… we have our own entry on Wikipedia?
What’s coming up next?
At BigBlueBall, we believe that instant messaging was the original social networking app, and that social networking is here to stay. What is social networking? Simply the connections we make between each other; our friends, family, co-workers and colleagues. Social networking is about strengthening those connections and helping us build richer, more satisfying relationships.
Technology can be a great enabler — helping us build our own social networks. Or technology can get in the way. At BigBlueBall, we want to help you sort through the myriad of tools and options that are out there and find what really works best for you.
So what’s next at BigBlueBall? We’re listening to your feedback, and evolving beyond just IM to cover the broad spectrum of social networking tools, techniques and technologies.
For now, please share your feedback, and stay tuned. Subscribe to our feed and you’ll get all the updates on the changes at BigBlueBall.