Simon’s Backup Weblog

The Five Social Media Technologies You Couldn’t Do Without

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on July 19, 2006

Drew Benvie at Lewis PR was wondering what social media tools various folk use. His list is pretty decent and has given me a new tool to try out…

So what are my five tools?

Newsgator: it’s my standard RSS reader thanks to its Outlook integration, and it synchronises with its online reader well. The online side needs a bit of work to catch up with Bloglines or NewsAlloy, but it’s pretty decent all the same. On the road I tend to use RSS Bandit, as it’s small and fast. However, I’m looking forward to what the Newsgator folk do with the RSS technologies in Windows Vista and 2007 Office System. I keep a local archive of my RSS feeds and index it with Lookout. That gives me a whole long tail on RSS that turns it into an excellent research tool.

Trillian: IM is the ultimate in social media tools. While I use Skype and Skylook for work purposes, most of my social network is managed through IM (friends, colleagues, contacts, folk from previous jobs), and having a single tool that gives me access to MSN, AIM, Y!, ICQ and Jabber is vital. Its metacontact tools make managing all my many IM contacts incredibly easy. Now that my main blogging tool has turned on a Jabber server it’s opened up a whole new layer of interaction – that’s already more than proved its worth.

LiveJournal: my main blogging platform with a built in social network tool. LJ’s “friends” model may be a combination RSS reader and buddy list on steroids, but it does give the LJ platform something lacking from other blogging tools – a community. As I’ve got a permanent LJ account bought several years ago when the service was needing new servers urgently, I get a lot of benefits that have more than paid for my $100 contribution to the service – and I’ve mapped my LJ blog to a personal domain. I also use WordPress for a more esoteric occasional technical blog that I really must do more with… LJ’s also blessed with a whole range of offline blog editing tools, which leads me neatly on to…

Semagic: an excellent free blog post editing tool. It works with LJ, Blogger, and WordPress (even MSN Spaces!) – and also links to online photo hosting services. An excellent little tool, with a lot of powerful features. It’s also free. It’s not the only tool I use. I keep a copy of PocketPoster on my Windows Mobile 5.0 device for moblogging, and I occasionally use the Firefox Performancing extension for quick blog posts without leaving my browser.

Flickr: I photoblog a lot, and a good image hosting service is important – and it needs to be social media friendly. Flickr wins out by a long way here. It also has good tool support – and API that lets me do and find out interesting things with and about my pictures.

So there you have it – five social media tools (and combinations of tools) that are an essential part of my day.

What do you use?


10 Responses to 'The Five Social Media Technologies You Couldn’t Do Without'

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  1. insomnia said,

    It would be hard not to also mention, and, both of which I use daily to sift through the mounds of generic MSM news to find out the finer details of what’s going on out there.

  2. sbisson said,

    True. Right up there on my bookmarks!

  3. anonymous said,

    What’s the tool from my list you’re going to try out then Simon? 😉

  4. sbisson said,

    Click the link!

  5. anonymous said,

    Oh yeah!

  6. dsgood said,

    Note that Google News has a number of editions (36 last time I checked). Whichever one you usually consult, you can find the others at the bottom of the page. The India version is good for news in that region, for example.

    If you can read languages other than English, there are several versions each in Spanish (one covering the US), French, Portuguese, German, and Chinese.

  7. anonymous said,

    You should definitely check out Attensa’s rss feed reader. It has more capabilities then Newsgator or FeedDemon.

  8. dsgood said,

    This first batch is about US politics:; among other info, has descriptions (and links, if available) for every US political party the owner knows about. Including several which may have only one member each, and one which he suspects is a hoax. — very good roundup of political news. samples left/Democratic blogs;, right/Republican blogs.

    commentary rather than news:, Science press releases.


  9. man4prez said,

    If you use Trillian, Newsgator, and Google News, you might want to check out Spokeo. It’s a souped-up, multimedia reader that supports RSS, photos, videos, and social networks.

  10. ext_59709 said,

    Nice list,

    For the mac users out there I’d recommend Adium for an IM client and NetNewsWire for an RSS reader.


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