Top Ten Social Media Aggregators
As the popularity of social media has grown, so have the number of networks to update and track across platforms. What is right for you? How can you better manage all your content and networks under one umbrella service? For the hundreds of thousands of businesses that have made the move toward incorporating social media into their business - the guiding principle should be - streamline, streamline, streamline. This TOP TEN list of social media aggregators will provide users with some insight as to which one(s) are currently gaining traction and those that might work best for you and/or your company.
At the end of the blog, please take our POLL and let us know which aggregator(s) you prefer.
1- Google BuzzWith all the flack Google Buzz received at launch regarding crossing the line on some privacy issues (see "Google Buzz Superstar"), Buzz is a social media aggregator of consequence and should be considered as one of your choices when determining which aggregator(s) on this list will work best for you. With over 5 million views, this YouTube video is the most comprehensive overview of the infamous and controversial Buzz.
When the service is accessed with a supported mobile device, Buzz will tag posts with the user's current location. Users are only permitted to use the actual physical location reported by the device for their Buzz posts; unlike the Google Latitude location- based social network (LBS), Buzz does not allow users to manually specify an arbitrary location.
2- Microsoft's SpindexSpindex, just launched this week is one of the latest social media aggregators to add to the fold. Unlike other aggregation tools, Spindex works on the basis of personalized trending topics. Similar somewhat to Google Buzz it seeks out useful information based on users' interests in their friends' messages and comments. In addition to Bing, it includes a social feed stream, supports RSS as well as Twitter, Facebook, and Evernote and allows items to be bookmarked for future reference.
"As you increasingly tweet, post to Facebook, and capture ideas with tools like Evernote, we want to help you get the most out of your social activity by exposing the right information, at the right time, in a way that’s meaningful," says Lili Cheng, general manager of Microsoft's Fuse Labs. Spindex is currently in close beta here, but should be expanding soon. It requires a Microsoft Live account.
3- ConvoTrackConvoTrack is an online comment aggregation tool that collects discussions surrounding any blog article from Twitter, FriendFeed, Digg, Reddit and HackerNews. It also offers a very handy bookmarklet that opens a sidebar and can actually be dragged to one's browser toolbar. The major advantage with this aggregator is you never have to leave the Web site where the article was published. And there is also a small embeddable script which allows Web site owners to place a select button on their site, enabling visitors to access the conversation on the social web in just one click.
YackTrack aggregates opinions on any post from a number of social media sites. By entering URLs (including Tiny URL backlinks), users can view Twitter mentions, comments on Mixx, on-site comments to a post, Google reader comments, and comments on Digg. It also offers and IE and Firefox bookmarklet.
"Yackability" is YackTrack's tool to measure how much conversation is occurring for a particular search. It quantifies the number of votes and comments emanating from each service that YackTrack supports. It also tallies the number of comments and votes or likes. This number may not equal the total as YackTrack searches only returns the most recent search results. However, all votes and comments are not created equal. Mostly, the votes required to make a difference is highly dependent on the amount of traffic a site gets.
Flavors.me is a sleek tool for aggregating your social medial life. It offers the standard services of Twitter, Facebook, but also includes Flickr, Tumblr, Vimeo, Last.fm, Blogger, LinkedIn, any RSS feed, and a number of others. FlavorsMe allows users to gather social networking profiles and create a personal start-page. Once you create your free account, you can choose which services to add. For each new add-on up to 15 in total, users will also need to authorize FlavorsMe to connect with that specific service.
6- Social Radar
Social Radar has been collecting billions of messages and articles 24/7 from millions of sources all over the Internet, providing historical content spanning back through 2007. Their proprietary crawler collects social content from people who are sharing thoughts, opinions, reviews, and information. These sources can be anything from blogs and news outlets to forums and social networks. With this aggregator, users can track a product launch, measure response of an ad campaign, listen to the thoughts and opinions of consumers, analyze buzz, strategize a marketing campaign effectively - and bottom line, know where to target your ads and manage a company's brand reputation.
is one of the most robust tools available, and its continually updating
and enhancing its interface and capabilities. This tool is web-based so
installation is relatively simple.
Online access lets you login to your account from any location to update and monitor conveniently. Users are able to connect to multiple social media accounts from the application’s dashboard. Presently, there’s support for Twitter, Facebook Pages, Facebook, LinkedIn, Ping.fm, Wordpress.com, MySpace and even the location-based social network, Foursquare. Here's a video guided tour that highlights some of its major features and benefits.
Netvibes is a free Web site that allows you to personalize your Web experience with everything that matters to you online - newspapers, blogs, weather, email, search, videos, photos, social networks, podcasts, widgets, games and other applications. Once added to your personalized dashboard, it makes it very simple to position widgets and modules exactly where you want them with built-in drag and drop capabilities. Tabs can be created to organize and tailor your dashboard to keep all things Facebook in one location and similarly for all the other services. There are more than 180 000 widgets available for Netvibes, covering every use and every subject matter: sport, movies, technology, gossip, cooking, showbiz, books, cars, locale news, politics, etc.
Profilactic is a social media aggregator/lifestreaming service that pulls together anything a user and his friends or followers are creating online. Supporting 190 social sites by default, users can add as many custom sites as they like, including a seamless integration with WordPress to allow for lifestreaming from a blog. Users interact with two functions including the update feed and a digest of what’s occurring on all the other platforms. There’s also an auto-clipping component that is similar to a digital scrapbook. Auto-clipping can be used to identify, tag and track social entries about the user or his or her followers or friends. (Have no idea why they chose the name - perhaps it has something to do with 'safe social discourse'!)
differing from some of the others is a full-fledged Web browser built
from the same open-source code that powers the popular Firefox
browser. Differing from Firefox, however, Flock is a 'social Web
browser' designed to integrate seamlessly with over 20 social media
sites, including Delicious, Facebook, Twitter, FLickr, MySpace, YouTube
and Gmail accounts.
The People Sidebar also distinguishes this service. Each time you log into a new supported account, that account appears in the People sidebar. From there, you can click on any of the account icons to see each service individually, or you can click on the ALL button to see every status update from all of your services, aggregated into one chronological feed. Downside to Flock, since it is not Web-based, you can only access your aggregated social media from whichever computer you uploaded and installed the application.
# # #
There are several other social media aggregators available today like FriendFeed, Socialite and Tweetdeck that offer other unique services, and you may know others yet still that are doing a good job for you. Suffice it to say, this is my subjective analysis for a TOP TEN list. Please take our POLL and let us know which ones on this TOP TEN gets your vote(s). You may vote for more than once, if you are using a number of them for different purposes.
Also, don't forget to comment and provide us with your feedback on any those listed here, or if we missed one of your favorites. Would also like to know if you have experienced any deficiencies with the aggregators on this list. Our readers would like to know those personal experiences as well. Thanks. Happy Aggregating!