Digsby = IM +Email + Social Network in one app

I’ve been meaning to write about this for the longest time. For some of my Facebook friends, you would probably have seen some of the announcements on my Newsfeed. Digsby is an application (or software, whatever you want to call it) that you download to your PC to manage all your IM, email and social network feeds in one window.

I came across Digsby one day when I was looking for small and light applications to install on my netbook. You know how netbooks are under-powered? Well, I need light and integrated apps to make my netbook work faster. Digsby is highly regarded and receive great reviews from a lot of tech sites.

There are, of course, other competitors, such as Trillian Astra, Pidgin, etc. But Digsby has the simplest and nicest design and is the easiest to use. I feel Trillian may look good (fancy skin and colours), have all the money in the world to create multiple device support, but the navigation is very confusing. I downloaded and uninstalled in less than 30 minutes playing with it. Seriously…

I love to support the underdog. Digsby does not have million dollar funds and is basically a bunch of developers who love their product and asks for your support through donations, while offering you this application to download for free from its website here.

So, what is so great about Digsby? Let me tell you from a true user’s (for over a year now) perspective…

Instant Messenger – for all your accounts

If you’re still using IM and maintaining multiple accounts – one app for Yahoo Messenger, one app for MSN (or Windows Live) Messenger, one app for ICQ (if anybody still use this), one app for Google Talk, Digsby is for you. You don’t have to download so many anymore (it slows down your PC, you know), now you just need to download one app – DIGSBY!!! You can uninstall all your other apps and maintain just one.

The other best thing is that you can also manage your Facebook Chat on this application, too. So, for those of you wondering why I’m always online on Facebook, well, I’m using Digsby, that’s why.

Additionally, Digsby allows you to combine all your contacts with multiple IM / chat accounts under one name. For example, I have one Yahoo IM, one MSN IM, one Google Talk and one FB account. Now, if you add me on all these accounts, you can merge my contact to show only one name. You will see me online on either one of these accounts and can choose to chat with me on either one of these accounts, too.

You get all the features you would get from your regular chat application. You can use emoticons, send files, do video calls and even group chats. Digsby has always been very open to user feedback, so if there’s a feature that you want, shoot them a ail and they will look into including that into their next version.

Email – view them all in one window

My primary personal email is Gmail. I even have multiple Gmail address for different needs – personal, work, blog, etc. I also have a Yahoo mail and a Hotmail account (from years ago) that I still keep, just in case. Now, everytime I receive an email to either one of these accounts, I will see it on my Digsby app. I can just view / delete these mails straight from the app, without having to open the web browser.

However, if I want to Open to read or Reply to these mails, I just click on the link on the app and it will open the web browser of that email. Cool and convenient, huh?

Social Network – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace feeds

This is a new feature that got included in the recent years due to the overwhelming adoption of Social Networking. Digsby already integrated your Facebook Chat into your integrated IM list. Now, you can view all the NewsFeed from Facebook into a separate window. All you need to do is mouse over to the Facebook account and a separate window will pop-up showing you your NewsFeed.

It will also show you any alerts that you might have – Notifications, Inbox messages, Friend Requests, etc. When you click on these links, it will take you to the respective page on your Facebook through your web browser.

However, there are certain actions that you can already perform within this application without opening your browser. When you browse through your NewsFeed, you can already “Like” and Comment on these feeds right from the app.

Digsby has even added a “Dislike” option based on their user’s popular demand.

I find myself reading the feeds here, “Like”-ing and commenting from Digsby that I hardly ever go to the Facebook site these days.

As for Twitter, Digsby might not be as powerful as the Tweetdeck or Seesmic clients out there for the power users who loves to monitor Trending Topics, etc. I find Digsby good enough for my use.

When you click on Twitter (it can also manage multiple Twitter user accounts), it will launch a separate window. It will highlight all your new updates in your Timeline, new @Mentions and Direct Messages. As you can see from the screenshot on the right, there are only 3 tabs at the top of the window for these.

The only missing piece is for List management and Trending Topic monitoring.

Nevertheless, you can see that my tweets are highlighted in RED. @Mentioned and Direct Messages are in different colours, so you can differentiate them in your Timeline.

The Retweet function is the old RT type. Not the new Retweet introduced by Twitter where you can’t add / edit the updates. Which I like.

LinkedIn is also cool for all you professionals out there. I come across a lot of integrated clients like this that lacks the LinkedIn integration. If you’re like me who’s relatively active on this business social network as well, you’d love this application.

Additional cool features…

The other cool thing is that Digsby has it’s own URL shortener for the whole client. When you paste a URL on the status update bar, it will automatically shorten the URL for you. It looks like http://digs.by/XXXX

There is a feature called Global Status. This pops open a window for you to update your status for all accounts on Digsby. This can be either your IM status or your social network status. Sharing images and links via this is also a breeze.

I cross-promote Digsby on my blog (at the right navigations) and also allow Digsby to occasionally do announcements on my behalf on my achievements using the application. Friends and followers occasionally see that I announce stuff like, “I have tweeted more than 100+ tweets using Digsby”, “I maintain over 10 accounts with Digsby”, “I have updated 50+ Facebook status via Digsby”.

I can’t promote this anymore than I already do. It is indeed one of the greater applications I have ever installed on my laptop. I urge you to check it out and do the same. If you don’t like it, you can always uninstall, right? No harm trying. Trust me, you’ll like it.

The only thing I wish is on Digsby developer team’s to do list is to create a mobile application. Specifically an Android application. I use Nimbuzz to manage all my IM now on the phone. If Digsby need help raising donations or awareness to start working on it, I am so there for them!!!

Go to Digsby website and download it now HERE

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