5 Free Tools to Cure Your Social Network Fatigue and get Your Life Back! 8 Comments

5 (free) tools to cure your Social Network Fatigue and get your life back!

Are you… Busy? Someone who finds value in Social web stuff? Overwhelmed with the myriad of social networks and web 2.0 doodads? Not wanting to be left out, but want a life too? Feel slightly guilty even taking time to read this?

Fear not gentle traveler, SNF (social network fatigue) is not incurable. You can have your cake and eat it too. Here are 5 (free) tools to soothe the conflict between your work and your social (net)works.

WARNING: setting up these tools requires a small time investment initially. If you do it, you will have time returned to you by tenfold. If you enjoy complaining about not having enough time, then don’t do it, you won’t have anything to complain about.

Flock – a ‘social browser’ built on the Firefox platform.

Aside from the easy download and transition from IE, tabbed browsing, intuitive interface and better protection against spyware/malware, with Flock you’ll wield webnipotence as with one or two clicks you can:

  1. E-mail the page you’re on to a friend
  2. Search Yahoo, Live, Google, Amazon (or any search engine you add to flock) from the upper corner of the screen
  3. Drag and drop sites to your favorites toolbar
  4. Drag and drop RSS feeds to Flock’s integrated RSS reader
  5. Share content to your social bookmarking sites, or favorite media sites
  6. Create a blog post using anything you’re viewing
  7. There’s a lot more, but I only get 850 words for this thing


When treating SNF one of the things you should strive for is a ‘write once, post everywhere’ capability. Ping.fm does exactly this. I can put a message into either IM or email that will reach my Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN, Plaxo, Plurk, Friendfeed, Myspace, Bebo, Hi5, and Pownce accounts all in one stroke. It’s also reaching every other place I have connected to Twitter.

I can broadcast jobs, news about my company or me to all my people in less than 30 seconds. Ahh, feel that? Its your shoulders relaxing because now you know that with Ping.fm you’ll never have to actually go to Plaxo.

Ping.fm is in beta right now, so if you don’t want to wait for a beta code, email me, and I’ll get you one.

Xobni: pronounced ‘Zobnee’, its inbox backwards. Xobni is a free download that plugs in to your outlook. Ever search for anything in your email folders like a person, a phone number, a document, a conversation or thread? Watch this video (3:45 mins) then do all that in a fraction of the time with Xobni.

Gonzo ain’t it? The video doesn’t show the integration with LinkedIN which helps uncover the LinkedIN connections of the people with whom you exchange messages.

RSS – Really Simple Syndication

If you’re a complete newbie to RSS and techie acronyms scare you, take a quick look at this and feel better. (Old way – boo! New way – yay!).

So now you know that RSS brings your commonly visited sites to you in your RSS reader (in Flock if you follow tip #1.) With your reader you can browse, look deeper or ignore completely all your desired content at once in a fraction of the time.

Once you’ve got your reader set with a few feeds you can start down the road toward becoming an RSS ninja. Here are two things to set your mind on fire with the possibilities.

  1. Use feedmysearch.com to turn your Google search strings into an RSS feed. Have a great string that you use regularly to find candidates or maybe information on competitors? Take the string to feedmysearch.com, create a feed then pull it into your Flock RSS reader.
  2. Use Twitterfeed.com to push content to your Twitter people. Recruiting? Go find or create an RSS feed for your jobs, then automatically broadcast them to your network. Automatically. That means you spend zero time doing it. Zero.

Diigo: (Dee-go) your web-based brain.

Like Video > words? Here’s a short video on how Diigo works.

If you watched the video you’re probably already blown away. In case not, read on…

You ever see stuff while browsing at work that you want to…

  • Access later?
  • Add to a list of things to access later?
  • Share with someone or a group to access later?
  • Quickly create a slide presentation from your bookmarks?

Diigo does all that and quite a bit more. Watch the video.

Like gardening, getting value from social tools takes time. If you do it right, the most significant time is spent on the front. The time thereafter is spent harvesting the rewards.

If you can’t figure it out, or get stuck, let me know and I’ll help you out.

So now, go do it, get your time back, be productive again, re-introduce yourself to your kids, your wife, your pets, your bridge club and your sanity.

Submitted by Josh Kahn for the August 2008 Talent Buzz blog contest.

About Jason Buss

Talent HQ’s creator and editor is Recruiting & Diversity Leader, Jason Buss. Talent HQ is a premier online news and information channel for the Recruiting and Human Resources community.

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  • Posted on: Monday, August 25th, 2008