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Organize your chat stream

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, a prompt to add accounts helps you 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.

Single-click or mouse-over the name of the person you want to chat with to access IM options, including SMS, e-mail, and file transfer. Double-click to initiate an IM chat, while the context menu offers those options as well as buddy-specific history logs. The e-mail service will open your default e-mail client, although you can preview your Webmail in-box through the Digsby contact list. Facebook users can update their feeds, check their friends' feeds, and get full feed streams in Digsby, and the program now supports MySpace IM, as well. If you have a lot of IM accounts to keep in one place, this freeware tool can help keep you organized.

Users should be aware that Digsby now calls out all of its bundleware during the installation process, so install with caution if you don't want the Ask.com toolbar or the grid computing protocol. This is a marked improvement from when Digsby only allowed opting out after the program was installed, so we're more comfortable recommending the program once again.

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