Review: Spokeo

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Posted 27 Jul 2007 in Reviews

Hey – is your index finger tired from clicking from one social networking site to another all day long? Spokeo is a new social network aggregator that solves most, if not all, of your social networking problems! From their website:

Stay up to date with friends all over the Web – Spokeo checks on your friends to see who’s favorited new videos on Youtube, uploaded photos to MySpace, or blogged on Blogger. Spokeo tracks friends for you, so you won’t miss an update.

Instantly see what has changed in your network – Spokeo remembers what you’ve read and highlights what you haven’t read. You can get an overview of all the newest updates from your friends, and avoid reading the same old content.

Organize friends in a AIM-like buddy list – Spokeo aggregates your friends from different social networks into a central buddy list. You can group, reorder, merge, and delete friends with simple drag-and-drop actions.

Track friends alongside RSS feeds -In addition to tracking photos, videos, and music on social networks, Spokeo is a full RSS/Atom reader. Import friends and feeds to get all the latest news in one place.

Signing up was extremely easy and I was pleased to see that the site allowed me to create a password upon signing up, rather than waiting on an email to arrive, then creating it. Click on the image below for a larger screenshot of the Spokeo website.

The selection of social networks is a little limited, but some of the major ones are there, like MySpace, YouTube and Digg. I’d love to see Facebook, Technorati, Pownce and Twitter added in the future.

The site is beautiful and easy to navigate. Because I was lacking “buddies”, I wasn’t able to use the site at first. However, there is a feature that allows you to import .opml files from your newsreader (i.e. Google Reader or Bloglines). Well, the importer got stuck on 48 of 109 feeds. Even after 10 minutes, they still aren’t all there.

However, some of my favorite feeds did import. Reading was so easy and far better than Google Reader in some aspects. When I move my mouse over the title of a feed, an icon appears. If the site has an icon set, I can see that – or the default Spokeo icon, which is pretty “cute”.

The interface for the buddy list is cool – you can drag and drop people into new categories, as well as “mark all items as read,” “rename” buddies and more!

I moved around a few feeds, renamed them and without any problems. Because the site uses Ajax, I was quite pleased with the speed and appearance. No slow dragging or loading! Click on the image below for a larger screenshot of the Spokeo buddy list and user screen.

Clicking on a feed marks all items as read. Only snippets of articles are shown, but pressing “more” drops the rest of the article text in the page, Ajax style (no page reloading). Fan-freaking-tastic!

Overall, Spokeo has some great strengths and as it evolves, it has the potential to become a Google Reader killer! ❗

Spokeo is a new social website aggregator. Spokeo aims to organize the overflow of information on the Internet to help you keep track of everything that’s relevant to you.

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  1. RuggerDucky

    Yeah, I actually decided that Spokeo at this point is more like spyware on all my friends.

    I have over 900 business and friends contacts in my email, which it imported all of, without giving me an option to choose anyone. It’s all or nothing. So needless to say, I spent nearly an hour deleting records I never wanted after they were all imported.

    Then it pulls up all sorts of information–like one of my friends has a naughty book on Amazon she wants to read, as well as a recent order for more underwear. These aren’t the sorts of things I want or need to know. Seriously.

    After 30 minutes of looking through the friends I wanted to keep track of, I decided that Spokeo must be in league with the NSA, because nobody else could possibly want that much information about people.

    Creepy. Seriously creepy at this point.

    Oh, and when it scans for contacts from your address book, IT SPAMS THEM ALL AND SAYS THAT SOMEBODY WAS LOOKING FOR YOU ON SPOKEO.

    Seriously, I didn’t try it to spam and spy on my friends. If that’s what it continues to be, I’ll never use it again. And I’ll encourage others not to as well.

    • Wow! I hadn’t had any problems with Spokeo, but I will definitely keep an eye out for these types of issues. Thanks for the heads up. :) Do you know of any other social media type sites that you’d suggest?