Universal Inbox – Hanging by a Thread

Essentially Threadsy is trying to solve the problem that most users face with multiple tabs open in a browser window. If you’re the type who has a Twitter and Facebook account, as well as multiple e-mail accounts, you’ve probably got several tabs running throughout the day that keep these sites open. Threadsy’s solution is to aggregate all the messages from those places into one interface using the newest APIs from Twitter and Facebook, the no-sign-in-needed OAuth from Gmail and other webmail offerings.

Interface

The interface – messages on the left, streaming updates on the right – works for you better than individual inbox views. Web mail has been handled with simplicity. When first setting up the service, you give it access to your various e-mail accounts, which at least for Gmail, can be done without giving Threadsy any of your account credentials. Instead, you just authorize it to get access to those messages – just like enabling connections to your Facebook and Twitter profiles.

Threadsy then blends together all the messages from your Web mail accounts along with direct messages in Twitter and Facebook into one big in-box. When you click on a message, you also get a profile view of the sender, compiling everything your social networks and the web knows about them. Social updates from Twitter and Facebook sit on the right of the page, where you can see the latest items from both networks mixed together. If a user has linked to a photo, Threadsy will give you a nice large preview. The same goes for linked audio files and updates from various Facebook applications.

Pros

  • All your accounts in one place.
  • Social updates and e-mail side by side (even Google Buzz).
  • Built-in Twitter and Facebook posting tool.
  • Signature that includes links to all your various social profiles.
  • Features multi-file attachment uploading.
  • Bird’s eye view of somebody’s public profile, including tweets, uploaded photos, and various social-networking profiles.
  • Built-in chat (powered by Meebo).
  • Audio notifications when you get a new message.

Cons

  • Lackluster auto-complete for the addresses in the e-mail app.
  • Does a poor job showing you the addresses of the e-mail account you’re sending from.
  • “Inbound” universal in-box is hard to tell which services messages are from.
  • Missing the feel of each service’s native messaging tools (except for Twitter).

Using Trendistic for Marketing Research

Trendistic is a great tool that is used to follow activity on Twitter. As you are probably aware, there are about 30 million Twitter users in the world, so Twitter trends are a great tool for market researchers.

The problem with using Twitter for research is that it is often difficult to gauge what people are really thinking when they post their tweets. When they are only writing 140 characters, they could mean just about anything. However, if you really look carefully at someone’s tweets you are able to have at least a general understanding of how they feel about a particular topic.

The value that Trendistic has over some other trending apps is that users can actually use a search phrase rather to search within the body of an entire tweet rather than looking at #hashtags. This allows a researcher to get a much better approximation of how many tweets are made on a given topic.

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A new email client for Mac – Sparrow

Sparrow Mail

Screenshot from Sparrow Mail

SparrowThe new simple mail app for Mac.

Email has been by far the most used of all the internet technologies. Hotmail changed the way we looked at internet communication. Gmail altered it to perfection with conversational view, integrated chat, video, sms and now phone calls. Microsoft Exchange has held a strong hold at large businesses in the way they communicate internally.

If you’re a Mac user, you would have sure had a chance to test the default Mail app. If you ever took a deep dive in finding ‘the best’ email client, I am sure you would have come across many more. Microsoft’s very own email client for mac, Entourage stands close to the Outlook’s feature set.

Earlier this week, I came across a new, slick, amateur email client for Mac — Sparrow. I wanted to give it a spin for a couple of days before writing about it.

It’s been a mixed feeling of good and bad with the app. It’s currently in beta and supports only Gmail for now. If you’re a fan of Tweetie for Mac, you would love this app. The interface is pretty close to Tweetie, as in the vertical arrangement of accounts and emails, ability to set the right drawer come out and sneak back, rounded corners on avatars and minimalistic design and functionality.

Gmail has always flaunted it’s threaded view functionality. The same is an integrated feature within Sparrow. Flicking through the threads is seamless. Integration with Growl allows notifications, as and when needed.

While the app allows you to view the a message in a slider that snips out as a right window pane, a double click shall let you open in it a new window, altogether. There is a slick and easy drop-down button on the top right of all messages to reply, reply all, delete, forward, mark as unread and print. On the bottom of all messages, there is a reply and a forward button.

My experience with the app has been good in terms of the simplicity and the user interface. It makes your job of reading and replying to emails, simple. Just that! However, there are times when the email message you would click on the window shall refrain from opening in the right pane. It may also go into an infinite loop of loading a message!

This was typically expected off an app that’s still a beta release. Coming up next, in the future release, it shall support other IMAP email providers and add labels for Gmail into the app.

If you’re a Mac user, I would suggest you to give it a spin and keep an eye on the next release. You may want to check out their blog or follow @sparrowmailapp.

Happy emailing!

The magic of Google

The Google Magic - There are more unfolds to wait!

If we try to find out internet users who would manage to do their job without using a service from Google, it would be a tough search. Today, several product names from Google are vividly used as an adjective amongst the internet users, esp. the kids and teens.

Years ago, Sabeer Bhatia came up with world’s first webmail which Microsoft owns today – Hotmail. It had all goodies one would want to see. Yahoo mail, Rediffmail and others came alongside but Hotmail and Yahoo continued to battle for the number one in this segment. All this continued to happen while Google was known to be a search engine, of course the best in what it does.

Blogger was with Google but it had yet to see its best days ahead. Then came Gmail — fast, intuitive and brand Google! Students, freelancers, internet savvy men and women wanted to have one with their name. (and possibly a “.” to distinguish the first name from the last!) Ever since, we’ve seen masses moving to Gmail. The rest is history. Google Apps was another feather in it’s cap. Today, many of us proudly use Google Apps for email, calender and more! Continue reading

The Twitter Song: You’re No One If You’re Not On Twitter

Here is the awesome Twitter Song from Ben Walker.

If you enjoy this, you might like to watch The Rise and Fall of Twitter.

You’re No One If You’re Not On Twitter (Lyric)

You're no one if you're not on Twitter
And if you aren't there already you've missed it
If you haven't been bookmarked, retweeted and blogged
You might as well not have existed

In the old days it was all about achievements
Collecting all your trophies in a shrine
Then everybody came across the internet
And suddenly you had to be online

A home page was all you really needed
To seem like a success but not a geek
As long as you updated semi-annually
And checked your email once or twice a week

You're no one if you're not on Twitter...

Technology was moving rather quickly
And the next thing you needed was a blog
With intimate and detailed press releases
And now and then a photo of your dog

More recently the students brought us Facebook
And everybody has a hundred friends
The parties in the photos look amazing
They're not so great but everyone pretends

You're no one if you're not on Twitter...

Now you need to publish every movement
And every single thought to cross your mind
I'm told the Twitterverse is full of rubbish
But most of us are actually quite refined

We validate each other's insecurities
And brag about the gadgets that we've bought
We laugh out loud at every hint of jolliness
And try to self-promote without being caught

You're no one if you're not on Twitter...

Twitter client Twhirl acquired by Seesmic

TwhirlThe acquisition of Twhirl, for an undisclosed amount, by Seesmic is an interesting news from many angle, the most interesting being Twhirl an AIR application which can run on both Windows and Mac, and of course on Linux.

Twhirl is a popular desktop Twitter client, based on the Adobe AIR platform, developed by Marco Kaiser. Besides being able to acess Twitter service directly from the Desktop, Twhirl also cross post to other services like Pownce and Jaiku.

Twhirl is one of the best Desktop Twitter clients available, amongst others like Twitterific and Instant Messenger Clients. Seesmic plans to enhance the application further and eventually make it the official Seesmic Desktop Client.

I hope this news made a sudden burst of interest among Windows, Mac and Linux AIR Developers.

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