Sunday, May 26, 2024

Four Useful Tools for Social Networkers

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What do the services,, and have in common? All four are tools that I can’t live
without these days and didn’t even know existed a few months ago.

is how fast the Internets are changing. I suggest you give each of the
four a quick try out and see if you agree that you can save yourself a
lot of time with each of them.

Pixelpipe is a service much like It allows you to post the
same piece of content to multiple sites. Whether it is a status update
(which is just what Ping does), a blog entry, a video, or a series of
photos, it is a very useful service and handles more than 80 different
sites. Look for a review to come soon in Computerworld next month.

downside is that you have to store your authentication credentials
with the service for each site, which may make you nervous if you
care. And if you mess up, your typos will be immediately sent out to
the world for many of your correspondents to see, because there is no
easy way to recall the messages without visiting each site

I like it mainly because I post my blog entries to
multiple platforms, part for redundancy’s sake, part because I don’t
trust WordPress to be the sole repository of my work product.

Next is Etherpad, a service that allows multiple people to
concurrently edit a document using just a Web browser. You create an
unique URL and then send that to your collaborators via email. Once
someone knows the URL, they can make changes to your document, and
each author’s changes can be tracked with different colored

I used this today with a client – even though we were
sitting around a conference table in the same room, we were able to
agree on the edits of a document within a few minutes, it was
incredibly productive. is a URL shortening service with a twist: you can post the
shortened link directly to your Twitter account. And while that is
convenient, wait there is something that I really like. It will track
all the people who have clicked on the shortened link and show you
which client (browser, Twitter third party app, or service) was used
in the process, along with time-series data on the clicks.

You can
really see the immediacy of Twitter, but you can also use it to track
referrals on other services too.

Namechk is a very simple service that will lookup a particular
username on more than 120 different social networking, blog and video
sharing sites. It will see if it is taken or available. This is a very
useful tool that you can show your clients how tuned in you are to
that scene.

Let me know what you think about each of these services, and if you
have others that you have recently found that could be useful.

David Strom is an expert on Internet and networking technologies who
was the former editor-in-chief at Network Computing, Tom’s, and He currently writes regularly
for PC World, Baseline Magazine, and the New York Times and is also a
professional speaker, podcaster and blogs at and

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