Many organizations block access to Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn and other social networks. NutshellMail can deliver your friends’ updates to you in an email digest, which neatly sidesteps corporate blocking software, and could also useful if you just prefer keeping tabs on your social networks via email. Additionally, it can pull messages from other email accounts via POP or IMAP. NutshellMail collects the updates and messages into a digest and emails it to you.
Setting up the service is simple. NutshellMail connects directly to Facebook, Twitter and MySpace using their authorization schemes; you’ll need to provide usernames and passwords for LinkedIn and for email accounts.
You can specify when you want to receive messages — both by time of day and day of the week. You can also specify the order in which sources are presented within the emails NutshellMail send to you. You can even select a particular email message, and have it forward to you separately.
NutshellMail doesn’t operate like webmail: there doesn’t appear to be any way to view messages through its web site. You can, however, ask it to send you a digest at any time, showing activity covering one to five days.
Nutshell is in beta, but seems to work well. The service is offered at no charge; NutshellMail’s materials indicate that it will continue to be a free service. Privacy concerns are covered in detail on the NutshellMail web site; the service also makes it easy to suspend or delete an account.
NutshellMail will be appealing to those who cannot get web access to social networks because such sites are blocked at their workplace. It might also be useful for those using mobile devices, although the emails it sends are pretty heavily formatted and include such elements as Facebook photos. NutshellMail could also be another useful way of focusing on work during business hours; a daily digest could be less distracting that visiting various social sites during the day.
Would a daily digest of social network activity be less distracting than visiting sites for you?