Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Digsby Review

First, let me start by saying I've been using Digsby for the last couple of months to meet my IM and Social Networking needs. I absolutely love it. For those who haven't heard of Digsby, it combines an IM client, Email Notifications and Social Networks into one, easy to use client.

To get started with Digsby you must first visit their website at to create an account and download their software. The account you create is used to access the settings, including login information, for all of your accounts. Because of this, no matter where you log into digsby your accounts will automatically be imported..a very cool feature.

Going through the setup wizard, you'll be prompted to install a lot of "crapware", make sure to decline the installs. While this is annoying in the install, this prevents ads from being posted in the software during use, which is one thing I can't stand about other IM clients.

Once you get the software installed you can add in all of your accounts. Digsby supports AIM, MSN, Yahoo, Google Talk, ICQ, Jabber and Facebook chat. For email, it can support any POP or IMAP account, as well as Gmail, Yahoo and MSN. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Myspace are the supported social networking accounts.

The graphical display, as shown below, lists all of your IM accounts and contacts in a top window, with all of the social networks listed at the bottom in tabs. I like the configuration, and this can be edited and resized as needed. There are a few skins available by default, the best of which is the new Windows 7 skin. The chat windows are also customizable with skins, fonts, etc, like other IM clients. By mousing over each of the social networks you can get updates, like status updates on Myspace and Facebook and Tweets from people you follow on Twitter. You can also update your status for all accounts at the same time - a new and great timesaving feature.

One of the things that many people have been griping about is some grid computing software that gets installed with Digsby that uses your CPU when the computer is idle. This is turned on by default but Digsby allows you to disable it. Personally I don't mind, but there are a lot of people who object to this. They say that it was dishonest, even though this was in the license agreement that no one reads. If people object, I say turn it off. These guys need to make money too, and being that this is free software, with no ads (with the exception of the install) I'd say give them a pass.

Overall, I think it is the best multifunctional client on the market. It's slick interface and great features beat any other client hands down. Check it out!