Advertising
Advertising

Aggregate Your Social Networks with EventBox

Aggregate Your Social Networks with EventBox

    Dealing with social media and networking is a chore. There’s so much going on in too many different places, and keeping track of all that information is hard enough; managing your own is another story. EventBox, a beta application for Mac OS X Leopard, is designed with this problem in mind. The purpose of EventBox is to aggregate the various social networks you utilize in one handy desktop application, much like feed readers did for all the sites you frequent.

    EventBox currently supports Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Reddit, and also possesses RSS aggregation features. EventBox did support Pownce and Digg, but Pownce is shutting down, and Digg have done something to interfere with the way the application uses the API and thus Digg support is temporarily unavailable. So EventBox has a pretty short list of supported websites at this time because of these issues, but it’s important to remember that the app is in beta and growing every day. When it hits the big 1.0, it will support plenty of popular networks, and if it doesn’t, we’ll have a right to ask why the most popular services aren’t there. When software is in early beta, it’s a bit presumptuous and ignorant to complain that there isn’t support for enough services or the app is “complete rubbish” because it doesn’t have Feature X.

    Support for Google Reader, Delicious, Last.fm and Orkut are apparently coming in the future. If this means you can pull your feeds from Google Reader and read them from the application I’ll be very pleased. Last.fm is also a cool service I’ve been using for years and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in this department.

    Advertising

    User Interface

      The user interface is slick and fits in right at home in OS X. It reminds me of Things, the task management application for OS X, which has also been admired by many for its attractive interface. Intuitive, easy on the eyes, everything in its right place and features accessible without looking cluttered — what more could you want?

      Well, there is something I could want — it’s minor but I’d love to see it changed. If you’re running the trial, to the right of the window’s title bar, there’s a little notice that tells you how many days you have left until you’ve got to part with cash. This is great because I always forget about trial expirations and get stuck with an app I’ve been using that won’t load up. But clicking on that text, even when the app is not the window in focus, will open your web browser and take you to the app website, and since the right corner of the window title bar is where most people click to drag the app or call it into focus, you can end up accidentally opening a browser with a saved session of 50 tabs every few minutes out of habit.

      It’s a small gripe in the midst of an excellent interface, but one I’d love to see fixed up (even if it’s fixed after I pay for the application).

      Advertising

      Unread & Recent

      The first two panes available in the sidebar are Unread and Recent. They do what it sounds like they’d do: Unread shows you information and events from the various networks that you haven’t seen yet, and Recent shows you everything both read and unread that happened recently — useful if you saw a Tweet or responded to a Facebook comment recently, and can’t seem to relocate them.

      These two panes do a good job at giving you an overview of what’s happening in each of your networks in one place. It also allows you to power through everything in one view, instead of going by and checking everything out service-by-service. This is much the same approach I take with feed reading; get them all in one list instead of reading feed-by-feed, and power through them faster than should be possible with the help of the good old space bar.

      Social News Sites

      Sites like Digg and Reddit are useful sites for many people, and can be a good way to fill in spare time (hah, like you’ve got spare time to fill!). And while the implementation in EventBox is good, and probably useful to many, I can’t see myself keeping up with these sites in the same application I would like to use to aggregate my social activity. The concepts don’t seem to mesh because there is nothing especially tailored to you about these services; sure, you can check out certain Reddit channels, but there’s still very broad strokes. When it comes to feed reading, you can be selective and subscribe to only the things that interest you. With social news sites, you get what you’re given.

      While these services will be useful to some and it probably would be impossible to deem the app complete without them, I like to think of EventBox as a way to catch up on much more relevant, targeted material — much of it personal — than what these sites provide.

      Advertising

      Twitter & Facebook

      Twitter and Facebook are the features of this app that really make it worthwhile and point to promising things for the future. They show how proper social aggregation should be done. The Facebook pane is a little light on features at the moment, but that will probably change as the application matures; last I checked you could only see people’s statuses and post your own, and view your friend’s pictures.

      Twitter is fairly well-rounded and allows you to do most anything you could do on the site. Twitter Search is right there built-in and that’s pretty useful. There’s a Profile Peek feature that allows you to keep an eye on any individual twitterer’s tweets, and tabs to monitor @replies directed to you and direct messages. TwitPic integration would be a great addition.

      RSS

      The RSS reader is well-implemented and uses the familiar two-pane view to navigate and read posts: on top you can see all the posts in your reader or an individual feed, and in the bottom pane you read the content of that feed. You can get to some basic functions by right clicking a post — email, open or copy the link, delete the entry from the view, and so on. For my tastes, it’s a little basic, as I like to make the most of a reader’s power features to get through the information faster. However, it will suit most people just fine and keeps everything in one place which is well worth the switch on its own.

      Keeping Users in the Loop

      The developers are responsive and listen to the needs of users. They’re active on Twitter and get involved in conversation. This is all great.

      Advertising

      But when it comes to finding information, there’s a bit more difficulty.

      There’s no blog or way of checking recent news. Using Twitter and openly communicating is excellent, but it’s not the best for news and information. When I wondered why the Digg support promised on the application’s website was missing from the application, I had to resort to Twitter Search because there’s not enough info on the site. A blog could’ve made this much easier. Twitter doesn’t allow one to convey information in any amount of detail and it’s hard to find any tweets that are older than a couple of days.

      There’s also no information on using the program. Even a brief, one-page walkthrough on actually using the software would be better than nothing, but you’re entirely left to your own devices and need to figure out which features are and are not there for yourself. I would’ve loved to see release notes, but I couldn’t find them online, or find a way to get to them from within the application.

      The lack of documentation is excusable; this is beta software and time spent writing documentation would be time wasted. But I have to say I think every app needs a blog or some way of conveying information on-site, and if any app needs it most, it’s an app in beta.

      Final Thoughts

      EventBox is a great application. Where it does support services, it supports them well. It’s essential to remember that this is beta software and should be evaluated as such. I’m going to keep using it even if only to aggregate a couple of services in one place, and I know it’s going to be even better with a few more services supported.

      That’s all it would take to make this app awesome: more supported services, a blog, and a bit of documentation. What’s there is great. We just need more of it! Looking forward to the 1.0 release.

      More by this author

      Joel Falconer

      Editor, content marketer, product manager and writer with 12+ years of experience in the startup, design and tech digital media industries.

      How to Master the Art of Prioritization The Importance of Scheduling Downtime How to Make Decisions Under Pressure 11 Free Mind Mapping Applications & Web Services How to Use Parkinson’s Law to Your Advantage

      Trending in Technology

      1 10 Smartest Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance 2 5 Best Language Learning Apps to Master a New Language 3 11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity 4 To Automate or not to Automate Your Personal Productivity System 5 7 Best Project Management Apps to Boost Productivity

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising
      Advertising

      Last Updated on November 19, 2019

      10 Smartest Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

      10 Smartest Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

      Productivity is the ability to perform tasks efficiently and in a timely manner. In today’s busy and competitive business world, productivity is paramount for any business, organization or corporation.

      Productivity is more than just performing tasks successfully. It is about investing and allocating resources, so the company or business can perform to meet its core goals.

      As part of 2019, it is important to commit to new goals. When shopping around for new productivity software keep in mind the following things: cost, reliability, cross-platform compatibility, on the go, technical support, etc.

      In the subsequent sections, we will examine the most recommended productivity software in the marketplace. In addition, we will look at what makes them tick and what separates them from the rest of the pack.

      Projects and Tasks Management

      1. Monday dot com

        Monday dot com was founded to create a team management solution so people connect to workplace processes across any industry. The productivity tool is used in more than 140 countries.

        The user interface is intuitive and impressive. It makes collaboration productive and fun because of its simplicity.

        The tool is deemed to have one of the best user experiences across the mobile and online project and task management platform.

        The product includes usability, customization, admin control, group management and control, private or public control, in-group messaging and more.

        Check out the software here!

        2. Asana

        Advertising

          The mantra behind Asana’s product is to enable teams from across different organizations to work together effortlessly.

          The software comes with lots of customizations. When you create a project as a user, you can choose between a traditional task view and the kanban-style board view. The dashboard allows you to see the progress on a project, and it includes an excellent advanced set of search tools.

          Also, Asana’s Android and iOS apps do retain the web interface’s clean look and feel.

          Check out the software here!

          3. Trello

            Trello was founded in the summer of 2010 and two years later the platform added 500,000 members. Anyone within sales, marketing, HR and operations can collaborate successfully with this product.

            Moreover, the tool has over 100 plus integrations with Google Drive, Slack, Jira and others. The product works flawlessly across various platforms.

            Some of the well-known features includes is speed, easy-to-use, and set up. The interface includes due dates, assignments, file storage, checklists and more.

            Check out the software here!

            4. Jira

              The Jira software is flexible and heralded as the next-generation project.

              Advertising

              The software allows teams to design and adapt the software to an organization’s needs. This includes having visibility into long term goals, project roadmaps, status of work, real-time release information and more. In addition, the interface is customizable.

              The Atlassian Cloud does not support multiple separate domains, subdomains or domain aliases in Google Apps.

              Check out the software here!

              5. Evernote Business

                Evernote was founded in 2008 and reached 11 million users by 2011. The company was founded on the premise that their product should address the ever-increasing volume and speed of information.

                The product helps bring together groups of teams because of versatility and functionality. It creates documents, collaboration on projects, store information all a single location.

                Moreover, you can find information quickly and includes effective search capabilities and integrations with existing tools you may already use.

                Check out the software here!

                Communication

                6. Slack

                  Slack was founded in 2013 and the tool is heralded as a collaboration hub. Slack is where productivity happens. When you start a new project, hire new staff, deploy a code, review a sales contract, finalize on a budget, Slack covers all of these. Some of the major highlights include highly customizable notifications and seamless integrations with other collaboration and office tools. The free version of the software comes loaded with features, but does not archive old message. So, you have to review what are the best options for your organization or business.

                  Check out the software here!

                  Advertising

                  7. Spike

                    Newcomer Spike makes emails more conversational by helping teams maintain productivity, communication, and collaboration. All of these are achieved from within their inbox.

                    Spike works on top of any existing email (O365, G suite, and IMAP) turning it into a real-time messenger and making your communication much more functional and efficient.

                    Spike’s features include built-in groups and channels, voice and video calls, email encryption, instant access to all your files, and much more.

                    Check out the software here!

                    Creation

                    8. Office 365

                      Microsoft’s Office 365 could not be excluded from the conversation and especially as it pertains to productivity software.

                      Of course we are all familiar with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. But there is more capabilities that come with it.

                      You have business-class email, online storage space, and teamwork solutions. These services can be accessed from just about anywhere.

                      Within this suite is Microsoft Sway, which is a presentation software and a step above PowerPoint.

                      Check out the software here!

                      Advertising

                      9. Grammarly

                        Grammarly helps to cut down time on editing. Professionals in several industries like law, healthcare, academia, marketing, engineering and journalism use it to provide instant feedback on the accuracy of writing in English.

                        Once you install the extension from Google Chrome, you can get corrections when you are drafting an email, using social media and other apps.

                        Grammarly is AI powered and it’s a wonderful tool to have to check spelling and grammar before a presentation.

                        Check out the software here!

                        Team Analytics

                        10. ActivTrak

                          ActivTrak is a business intelligence tool that allows you to access team behavior analytics. In other words, it is data-driven.

                          The pros include two-factor authentication with active directory integration. You can also automate your alerts and it has an intuitive interface with easy-to-use admin controls.

                          Furthermore, it comes with Google sign-in, iOS app, productivity track, and more. The bottomline is the product offers employee productivity metrics along with team behavior analytics.

                          Check out the software here!

                          The Bottom Line

                          Depending on the size, budget, resources, and immediate needs of your company, not all productivity software will exactly solve your problem. You will have to contact any of the providers above and probe extensively to find the right product that is made for your business.

                          More Productivity Tools

                          Featured photo credit: Domenico Loia via unsplash.com

                          Read Next