As more and more people engage with more and more social media outlets developers are creating more and more aggregators to pull all that information into one place. The latest and probably the best one I have seen in a long time has been released by the ad agency Fallon out of Minneapolis of all places. Their new desktop application is called Skimmer and aggregates Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and Blogger in one very nicely designed social network dashboard. It gives you the ability to organize, search and view all the feeds the way you want to and also has nice functionality like the ability to browse your Flickr photos in a full screen mode. Publishing content is limited to Twitter and Facebook status updates and being able to respond or email your friends posts on Twitter. You can also create your own home page that aggregates all of your information that can can them embed where ever you want to.
At a time when Facebook seems to be content to continue to dilute and screw up the the interface of their site solutions like this are a nice alternative. I had tried using other solutions like the Flock social web browser but found the browser interface and performance too problematic to make a full time switch to using it. I tried other application like Nomee that aggregates over 100 services and your RSS feeds but found the interface and the time needed to get it up and running too much for me to use it every day. It is the simplicity and adaptability of Skimmer that actually has me using it every day so I don’t have to switch between multiple sites to see what people are up to. I need something simple that will make it easier for me to get this information than switching between who knows how many different web pages. The fact that you can also customize the layout and the colors of Skimmer also appears to my inner design whore who needs things to be functional and look good too.
I don’t know if this marks the return of what what we saw 4 or 5 years ago when every agency you can in contact with, including my former employer, all had their own custom intranets, software solutions and productivity tools they would sell to their clients to try and generate an additional revenue stream. I think in large part this practice died away because good project management software was created at an affordable price and Adobe finally got their act together to create consistently support platforms that didn’t require everyone going off to invent their own worlds all the time. Both Skimmer and Nomee are developed on the Adobe Air platform which I think has a tremendous amount of potential that hasn’t even begun to be realized.