If you’re looking for a solution that keeps track of various social networks at once, all in one centralized location, EventBox for the Mac was a nice beta program that did the trick. EventBox is no more, but the program still exists. It’s changed names and become Socialite (much more appropriate if you ask me), and come out of beta, too.
I downloaded the demo of the 1.0 release and ran it through its paces. The demo lets you have all the functionality of the full version, but you’re limited to running three different services or accounts. Which, honestly, isn’t much of a limitation for many users, myself included.
All Your Services, One Place
Socialite covers all the major bases, including Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. That would be enough for me, but it also will log you into Digg and Google Reader, or let you track RSS feeds yourself manually. For many people I know, opening Socialite first thing in the morning would clear their to-do list for the day.
Facebook integration lets you access status updates and photo albums, both yours and those of your friends. You can upload photos and update your status, but inbox access is still not a part of the deal, until Facebook opens that up to the API. Twitter gives you access to your timeline, mentions, and direct messages, and allows you to view your lists and lists you subscribe to. You can’t create new lists or modify them in this version of Socialite. Flickr includes contacts photos, but also Interestingness, which is one of my favorite parts of Flickr, so I’m glad it’s included.
Many Features, One Simple UI
None of these services share the same UI in their native formats. That’s why Socialite’s interface is so impressive. It manages to make the process of working with multiple services in the same shell incredibly intuitive and relatively painless. Well-designed icons, and consistent function placement across the board help make this happen.
Best of all, if you’d rather just deal with things as one big mess, you can work with updates from all your services at once in the macro view “Unread” menu, and all of the appropriate actions for each separate service still appears in the options section for each. And clicking on any update automatically brings up the quick input field related to that service.
Jack of All Trades, Master of None?
Socialite is a great program, and well designed, but it can’t take the place of Tweetie on my Mac. The problem is that since starting to use Twitter, I’ve become less and less dependent on other social networks I belong to. Facebook I can check twice a day really, if I feel like it, and Flickr is something I never really used to begin with. No matter how well Socialite does Twitter, Tweetie still does it better, and with a much smaller memory footprint.
Still, if you like to frequent many social sites, and especially if you’re a Google Reader user, Socialite could be the perfect program to help keep things organized and nicely aggregated in one convenient location.