Now there is a new competitor in the field, Digsby. Their multi-protocol client (AIM, MSN, ICQ, Yahoo, and the Jabber protocol) is very similar to the AIM format, has most of the really awesome functions that Pidgin users have come to depend on, but also brings a few other things to the table. Things like message logging (and tools for using the logs), quick status changing, and tabbed chat windows are there like many modern clients. It has built in integration for SMS messaging, pop-up alerts for messages and updates (so you don't have to change windows), email support for most popular webmail providers, social networking integration (Facebook and Myspace for now) which alerts you to whatever is going on in your profile, and a really easy way to reskin the look and feel of the client. On that last one, I feel this is important, because honestly I've never been able to figure out how to easily change the skin of Pidgin on a Windows machine. If it didn't include these new features, it would be rather hum-drum, but I think the new additions may challenge the other messaging clients to rethink their core functions and grow. The whole list of features is on their website.
So, now for the big surprise! Digsby has been kind enough to give Mason Tech Beat its own BETA INVITE CODE. Just enter "mason" into the registration box (after you download and begin installing the program from Digsby.com) and you will have full access to this awesome beta. The code is only good for the first 500 users to take advantage of it, so first come, first serve. I think this is a great new product and am happy to shamefully plug their viral release of it!
One last thing....Broadside Online has kind of gone through the fire and been reborn as Connect Mason, which is separate from Broadside in Student Media now. They have agreed to put up my stories from time to time, just like Broadside Online did before, and I am very grateful to have their support. Everybody should head over to their new site. They are really doing a great job with the campus news and I personally subscribe to their front page feed.
Thanks to dotSyntax (people who run Digsby) for the use of their logo!
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