Organize chat options

Keep chat, e-mail, and social networking options in one convenient place.

With so many ways to network and socialize online, you may find it difficult to keep track of everything. Digsby promises to help keep chat, e-mail, and social networking conversations in one convenient place, but it didn't work exactly as we expected.

This freeware program looks a great deal like other popular chat programs, such as AIM. With a skinny rectangular box running along the side of your computer, you can simply click the prompt to add accounts to get started. From here you will find a menu of seven different IM programs to choose from, six different e-mail programs, and four different social networking sites. When selected, each simply asks for your log-in and password and connects to the system. Your various programs are displayed, with IM buddy icons separate from e-mail and social networking e-mails.

Users simply click on the name of the person they want to chat with and they can use Digsby exactly as they would any chat program. However, if the user wants to check e-mails, they will be taken to their Web browser and directly to their e-mail service. If you could write and check e-mails directly from Digsby, we'd be much happier with this download. That being said, if you have a lot of IM accounts to keep in one place, this freeware tool can help keep you organized.

Unfortunately, Digsby users need to be aware of two problems with the installation. One is that you must opt-out of several engine overrides and be on the lookout for other opt-out advertisements. Buried in its EULA is the announcement that Digsby will commandeer your CPU cycles when your computer is idle for "research" purposes. The only way to deactivate it is to support the program under Help/Support Digsby. Some of these options are free, but this type of user coercion is not appropriate.

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