From scrapping and poking to tweeting, social networking sure has come a long way. It no longer remains a tool to connect with friends for occasional chats but has evolved into a powerful medium of communication and also a business tool.
Users simply used to log on to the web through their browsers to access their social networking accounts but nowadays there are a multitude of clients for different platforms from desktop to mobile. There are even online services which let you manage multiple accounts in one place. To start with there is “www.power.com” which lets you access Orkut, Twitter, LinkedIn, hi5 and also MySpace. All in all it is a complete suite to update all your social networking accounts in one place. Power also provides you the facility of updating photos and also URL shortening. Power is more of a netbook option, desktop users would rather go for something like Seesmic Desktop. Powered by Adobe Air, Seesmic Desktop is available for free download at www.seesmic.com. It also features an online counterpart for netbooks. Managing multiple social networking accounts is a breeze. Its features multiple account managing, profile views and auto complete.
For the twitter friendly people there is TweetDeck, also based on Adobe Air, it features multiple account management. Many of its features are quite similar to Seesmic Desktop. For the Mac community there is Tweetie or the Mac Lounge. Both are fun desktop clients for updating your Twitter status. Another interesting client is Brizzly. It has fun features such as grouping and also an unique feature called mute where updates you do not want to know about temporarily can be blocked. There is also support for Facebook. Facebook has launched its own official desktop client called the Facebook Desktop. Powered by Adobe Air, it is simply is a browser with only functionality for Facebook. The prize for the best of all desktop clients however goes to Digsby. It is a complete package deal which offers social networking, email and also IM. It lets you log on to Yahoo!, Gtalk, MSN and Facebook Chat while also accessing your email and updating your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook status. It also features a real time Newsfeed box for notifications.
While desktop clients make social networking easier for those who hate to go through the whole procedure of logging onto every site there are others who are hooked onto the web. A browser add-on would suit them perfectly. For example there is the Facebook Toolbar for Firefox which shows notifications in real time like pokes and messages. There is also a chat icon which can be opened. Echofon is also a famous twitter update browser add-on. With windows for timeline, mentions and direct messages it completes your Twitter experience. It also supports multiple accounts. Yono is another nice browser add-on for Firefox. It lets you update your Facebook, Twitter, MySpace among other social networking sites. It also features an IM client for Yahoo! and Gtalk.
On the mobile front there are innumerable apps which help you in your social networking. Phones such as iPhone and Google Nexus One have a number of apps from third party developers. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Orkut have their own mobile versions which make it easier to access them on the phone. Fring is one of the more popular platform independent social networking tool.
Social networking clients are not just for convenience but also to make your experience fun and exciting. So go ahead and give each one a try.