Product Type: dotSyntax in Communication
Newest Review: ... and Social Networks and to keep you posted "instantly" about all of the updates to each. Your starting point is the Digsby web... more
My Mate Digsby
Member Name: cmh4135
Date: 20/07/09, updated on 20/07/09 (113 review reads)
Advantages: Superb collator of my web contacts and communications
Disadvantages: Are there any?
I started off using Yahoo! Messenger as my preferred platform for no reason other than the fact that that was where I held my main email account. Then a need arose to catch someone with a hotmail address... that required another IM client to be downloaded and an earful from my husband who wanted to know what I got up to all day and why I was clogging up the computer with downloads. Then, a conversation with a very good friend led me to Digsby....
Digsby is now a permanent feature of my computer desktop and a great piece of software. Digsby is straightforward, simple and friendly yet offers a comprehensive functionality that should make the bigger players blush. If you have multiple emails, IMs or memberships of social sites then Digsby is a must.
Available as a free download from http://www.digsby.com the programme is a breeze to install and run, even for technophobes. Digsby, for want of a better description, is a collator or aggregator of IMs, e-mail and social networking data. It's a one-stop-shop that will draw together all of your favourite communications and present them to you in one rather natty window without requiring you to log in and out of the sites all day long just to see whether there is anything new. What's more, you can update your own status' or reply to emails without actually going to the sources themselves!
Digsby will collate IMs from Yahoo! MSN, AOL, Google and AIM. It will collect status updates from Facebook, Twitter and My Space and will allow you to process emails in a single click from all of the major online providers together with IMAP and POP accounts. You'll be able to see, at a glance, which contacts are online across all of the IM platforms.
Once downloaded the programme is a breeze to run (and download for me was very very rapid over a broadband connection). You establish a user name and then import your existing IM clients, email addresses and social networking sites. You will be led, step by step, through the process and by entering your details and passwords you'll have a live feed in a matter of minutes. I've not found any security issues and the integrity of my data is apparently intact at all times.
If you are one of those people for who form is more important than function you'll love Digsby's ability to be personalised. If you enjoy altering the look of your mobile phone you can change the Digsby set up in a similar manner. A variety of skins is available for both the programme and chat windows. You can chose to chat in a pop-up window or in the main window according to your needs (I quite like the pop ups for some tasks but prefer the background window if I'm trying to concentrate). You can chose to auto start the programme or do it manually. You can log your conversations or just forget them. You can choose to log into all or just some of your IM clients. You can even group your contacts and have single point contact for those social butterflies who IM you from a variety of clients. And it's all a breeze.
Personalisation of individual chat messages is, perhaps, not as good as personalisation of the whole programme. If you like to format your messages and, for example, italicise or embolden individual words then you won't manage it here. However, for those who need to convey a tone of voice the ubiquitous smileys are available! If you are used to auto spell correction you won't get it with Digsby (although it does have a spell check so you will be aware of your mistakes)
Lest you think it's all about text you'd be wrong. You can video mail from your account and, in general this seems to work - something that would, no doubt, be handy for those who have family a long way away. One of the other surprising features is the ability to extend Digsby to your social networking sites, not just by collecting the information for you, but also allowing you to place a widget on such sites (or your blog, website etc) to allow chat direct from that platform making Digsby accessible to those who don't have it on their machine.
Digsby appears to be a constantly evolving programme and updates are checked for on every log in. If an update is found the programme will update automatically (although if you are a Vista user you will be prompted to allow the update to occur (unless you've turned that functionality of Vista off)). The other great thing about Digsby is the fact that it is account based. This means that you can have Digsby running on multiple machines without having to go through the whole set up on each one - you just download the application and you're off.
The Digsby website is, in the first few days, a resource not to be underestimated. It will show you far more functionality than you ever thought possible (and far more than I have described) in an easily accessible way. Help screens (both on the site and the programme itself) are universally helpful and easy to follow. I'd probably challenge you to find something about the programme that wasn't easy - it's that simple.
To be honest I'm rather surprised that we don't hear or see more about Digsby. It really packs a punch and makes a web of connections much easier to navigate. I've found the Windows-based platform (it is now available for Linux and Mac) to be very stable and any temporary issues are ironed out very, very quickly. Bearing in mind that I'm not paying for the service, nor am I subjected to adverts, this is remarkable in the extreme. Taking up a mere 15MB this is one application that won't bung up your computer but will allow great functionality.
Summary: A free tool that would probably be worth paying for!
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