If you're the type of person who communicates with friends, co-workers, relatives, and such via several different IM services, e-mail, and Facebook--and you know you are--software could soon offer you one of the cleanest ways ever to link them all together.
The software, called Digsby, went into private beta Tuesday, and its goal is to give people a way to organize their contacts from Yahoo Messenger, AOL IM, ICQ, Google Talk, Jabber, and Windows Live Messenger, as well as e-mail, Facebook, and MySpace.com into a single client.
According to Jeff Hester, who runs instant message community site BigBlueBall.com and who wrote about Digsby late Wednesday night, the service is the smoothest integration of all the various communications tools that it links together.
Digsby offers the ability to have a single buddy list for all your (major) IM clients and to carry on several IM conversations via tabbed windows. Furthermore, you can create new aliases for each contact for convenience.
It also allows you to work with Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, Gmail, and other major Web-based e-mail services and to "stay up to date with everything happening on your Facebook or MySpace accounts," including friend requests, messages, group invites, and other communications.
Currently, Digsby only works with Facebook and MySpace, but it hints at other social network support in the near future.
Hester said he thinks it works better with Facebook.
"The integration with Facebook is best," Hester wrote on BigBlueBall.com, "and (there) is even a Digsby widget for your Facebook profile. With Myspace, you get the status and updates, but to take an action, Digsby launches a browser and takes you to the full Myspace Web site. It might be nice if they used a mini-browser and the mobile version of the site, but only as an option."
Hester told me late Wednesday night by instant message that the integration with Facebook is cleaner because of the API.
For now, Digsby is closed to general public sign-ups, but a visit to BigBlueBall might net you an invite.
I have to admit, I'm not sure whether there are other services that can do all of this, but even if there are, this may be the best yet.