Menu Close

Tag: social networks (page 2 of 3)

Find Updates, Files, Connections Quickly: Search Your Personal Cloud with Greplin

Greplin: Find Updates, Files, Connections Quickly: Search Your Personal Cloud | 40Tech

With all of the information, files and, well… stuff we have stored online, it can be a bit complicated to sift through it all when you need to go back and find something. Greplin makes that sort of search a whole lot easier. It indexes several of your online accounts, not the least of which are Facebook, Dropbox, and Gmail, and works like your own personal Google.

Greplin Using the Twitter Search Filter | 40Tech

Greplin has been around since the latter part of 2010, and entered public beta in February of this year. Since then, they have been adding more and more services, and have even developed a Chrome extension that plugs them right into your Gmail — for a search experience that is arguably better than Google’s built in functionality.

Greplin is free to use for the most part, indexing up to 10GB worth of data from services like Twitter, Gmail, and other personal Google services like Gcal, Docs and Contacts, as well as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Dropbox. If you want to index accounts like Evernote, Google Apps, and business-related services like Basecamp and Salesforce, however, you will need a premium subscription — which is only $4.99 per month ($49.99/year). There are also a few services that are unlockable via recommendations to friends, such as Tumblr, Google Reader, and Del.icio.us.

Greplin Indexes, Searches Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, and More | 40Tech

If you have a need to search through your online files and life in general, it doesn’t get better than Greplin. The interface is fantastic, the instant search feature saves time, and it actually performs better and faster than Google even in the search giant’s own services. The Chrome extension is a nice touch, as well, as it also plugs into the Omnibar, allowing you to search your data by simply typing the letter g, followed by a space and your search term.

Check it out here.

Want to help me unlock the unlockables? Get Greplin via this link.

What do you think of Greplin?

Too Many Facebook Friends May Cause Stress, Anxiety

Too Many Facebook Friends May Cause Stress, Anxiety | 40Tech

Having many friends is classically considered a desirable thing, leading to things like wealth of spirit, a good self-image, and a generally happy life. Not so in the modern days of the internet, where terms like “friend” are used as a label for the barest acquaintance, and sometimes even for enemies. In fact, in a recent study by psychologists from Edinburgh Napier University, it was discovered that the amount of “friends” you keep on Facebook may be linked to heightened feelings of anxiety and stress.

Scream image by Robbert van der Steeg

200 students were surveyed, and it was discovered that at least 12% of them felt that Facebook made them anxious. Each of those 12% maintained an average of 117 “friends,” while the remaining 88% kept an average of 75. Some other interesting findings were as follows:

  • Many felt a great pressure to be on Facebook, but there was “considerable ambivalence” as to its benefits.
  • Stress from Facebook use was caused by many different stimuli, including “feelings of exclusion, pressure to be entertaining, paranoia, or envy of others’ lifestyles.”
  • 63% would delay replying to friend requests.
  • 32% felt guilty rejecting friend requests.
  • 10% didn’t like receiving friend requests at all.

The word “friend” could be the main cause of Facebook-related stresses. Perhaps the social media giant should come up with a proprietary name they can trademark, or use something closer to the word “acquaintance” as opposed to a word that is meant to engender feelings of warmth, familiarity, and long term trust. Keeping things as they are, however helps to foster an environment where users, who are still emotionally tied to the meaning of the word friend (no matter how watered down it has become), feel compelled to log on, invite others, and be a part of the service — and maybe more due to its negative aspects instead of the purported positives.

Perhaps we should all just bite the bullet and prune our lists down to our actual friends?

What do you think?

Does Facebook Stress You Out? [WebProNews]

Meet Rockmelt, Your New Social Browser

RockMelt | Social Browser for Google Chrome

Okay, so hands up if you’ve heard of RockMelt.

If you are one of the people who put up your hand — stop that. This is text and I can’t see you. Know, however, that you are quite possibly more connected and in tune with the techieverse than your now shame-faced tech-writer. Somehow, for reasons unknown to all but the almighty Goog itself, my keenly developed tech senses missed this wonder entirely! But, that’s all behind me, now. I’ve seen the light, got an invite, and have been playing with the world’s latest, greatest — and Google Chrome based — social browser for several days now.

Here’s what I’ve discovered:

RockMelt does for Chrome what Flock did for Firefox, but where I found Flock a bit overwhelming in its attempt to integrate social elements into the browser, RockMelt has what feels like it might be just the right mix. One almost has to wonder why Google didn’t think to do this in the first place. If they had integrated Sidewiki and Google Buzz in with the configurable social elements that RockMelt has brought into play, making them a part of the Chrome browser (and by extension, the OS) itself, both of those tools might have seen a much stronger and longer term user base.

In any case, RockMelt, which is still in beta, has a lot of good going for it. There are still a few hiccups, as is to be expected, but even so, the social Chrome is pretty appealing. This is a good thing — it means that Netscape founder Marc Andreesen’s money has been well spent.

Key Features of RockMelt

Collapsible Sidebars

Rockmelt Chrome-Based Social Browser | 40Tech

The primary difference between RockMelt and Chrome, aside from the fact that you have to log into Facebook to use the browser, is the left and right sidebars. Both are collapsible, about a centimetre in width and contain pretty buttons, often full of people’s faces. On the left, is the Facebook chat column, which shows you which of your Facebook friends are online, allows you to view their latest activity with a hover or a click, chat with them, send them a message, or post on their wall. You can also set up a favourites list in this column, and switch between it and the general tab with a single click.

All of this Facebooking takes place just below a miniature of your own profile picture (top left), which, when clicked, allows you to toggle your Facebook Chat availability, as well as update your social network status — including multiple Twitter accounts, if you decide to add them.

On the right edge of the page, you really get to dig in and configure RockMelt to suit both your browsing and social networking needs. Facebook and Twitter buttons give you access to both of those services, showing your feeds in real time. You can interact with items in the feeds as you would expect to be able to, liking, commenting, retweeting, etc. In Twitter, you can access all of your lists and your @messages, but I didn’t see anything for saved searches or DM’s. Also, if you have a lot of lists, you currently are not able to scroll to the ones that get cut off at the bottom of the page. The Facebook button gives access to people in both your main and custom profile lists, and your profile button right below it gives access to your notifications, photos and wall. I found the limited nature of the Facebook access — no pages, message centre, groups, or places — a bit surprising, but it will likely improve as the browser gets closer to official launch.

RockMelt Facebook Integration in Google Chrome | 40Tech

The right sidebar also serves two other important functions, it has a few other already integrated networks, like YouTube, and it allows you to add custom feeds so you can keep track of your favourite websites — it even makes suggestions based on the sites you visit most — and it is the home of your Chrome extensions. I like the way RockMelt handles extensions much better than the way Google does it. For one, I can decide on optimal placement of my extensions — and they will stay that way. Google’s insistence in making things rearrange themselves based on their perceptions of my usage has always driven me crazy. I also like the fact that the sidebar is collapsible, and it doesn’t shrink the size of the URL bar. Finally, If I am not using an extension that often, but don’t want to uninstall or disable it, it is simple to just remove it from the column/dock.

The main problem with RockMelt at the moment, especially if you have a lot of Facebook friends in your favourites, or a lot of extensions, is that the sidebars don’t scroll. Any more than 15 items, total, in either sidebar, and the ones furthest down can not be accessed. Also, the floating window that appears when most extension buttons are clicked is a fixed width element. This causes a problem with some extensions that are too wide for RockMelt. Hopefully these are things that will be rectified in a near-future update.

RockMelt also shares most other major features of Google Chrome, such as the new web apps area and browser synchronization. The apps are not as thoroughly integrated as they are with Chrome, being little more than just shortcuts, and browser sync is only available between other RockMelt implementations. It was a little bit annoying having to search out and re-add all of my apps and extensions, but wasn’t that difficult.

Social Sharing

Sharing what you find while surfing in RockMelt is an extremely easy process. There is a giant button to the immediate right of the URL bar, and it allows for Facebook and Twitter sharing with ridiculous ease. I wish there were a send by email button, though, then I could drop the Shareaholic extension; free up some space. Speaking of email, there is what looks like an email button on the top right of the browser. Don’t be fooled. It is not for your email at all. It is really just a suggestion list of who to send your invites to. I find this choice on RockMelt’s part to be kind of confusing.


RockMelt is a fantastic spin on the Google Chrome browser, packing in most of Chrome’s features and all of its speed. The collapsible social features are a fantastic addition, considering you spend most of your internet time in the browser, and most people spend most browser time on a social network or two. It just makes sense, you know? There are still a few odd issues like the lack of sidebar scrolling, and the fact that, at least for me, embedded flash videos show up as blank spaces, but these issues are the sort of thing you expect in a beta test. RockMelt still has time to make things perfect, and I think it very likely that I will keep using it as it matures.


Tell us what you think of RockMelt.

An Unfortunate Victim of Timing


In everything, balance. That’s the truth of the universe, I think. Heady stuff for a tech blog, but it has seen a proving in the circles we run in just the past few weeks. Yesterday, I posted about the rapid improvement and positive forward traction of Springpad. Unfortunately, at approximately the same time, another service that I have become particularly fond of, especially for its potential to improve the web experience as a whole, has had to close its doors. Unless something drastic happens in the next bit, it is very likely that Cliqset has closed its doors for good.


Cliqset is – or was – a social aggregator that attempted to take the social web to another level. They were one of the first to embrace technologies like Pubsubhubbub for real-time updating, and they also were one of the forerunners to adopt the Salmon protocol, which allows for cross-network comment conversations. Cliqset showed a lot of promise, but with the juggernaut that is Facebook and the beast that is Twitter commanding people’s attention, not to mention the harshness of the world economy, the founders, Darren Bounds and Charlie Cauthen, just weren’t able to pull together another round of funding. They announced that they were leaving the company in late November, which I heard about through the “grapevine” – but there was still some hope that Cliqset might remain open. I caught up with Darren on Twitter (I’m aware of the irony) and he informed me they had closed the doors just the day before, on December 7, 2010.


In a post on Louis Gray’s blog, Darren is quoted as follows:

“A federated social Web agenda at Cliqset is something we chose to promote,” he said. “The open standards aspect is something I believe is still the future. The roadmap to getting there is going to be a little longer than we would have liked. But where these standards can be implemented and improve efficiencies, they deliver real value.”

Hopefully, someone will be able to further what Cliqset was trying to accomplish, an open social web that can see people conversing with one another in real time, regardless of their networks of choice, where content and people are the focus, not a closed network infrastructure. Maybe it’s a bit pie in the sky what with Facebook, Google, and others each trying to be the web’s evil overlord, but it’s a hope, nonetheless.


Cliqset Adds More Facebook, a Bit of Digg, and Social Search

Cliqset Adds More Facebook, Digg, Social Search | 40Tech

When I last wrote about Cliqset, users were able to fully integrate a Twitter and Google Buzz account, but services like Facebook were one-way only. You could share something from your various connected streams to Facebook, as well as to a multitude of other services, but you couldn’t pull content from Facebook and interact with it. Now you can.

Read more