Fuser solves the multi-account e-mail juggle
Fuser lets you keep an eye on all your e-mail and social networking activity at once, but can it do it quickly? Read on to find out.
A few weeks ago I got to play around with Orgoo, a multi-client e-mail and IM service that's still in private beta. Right around the same time, another e-mail aggregation service, called Fuser, opened up its doors to everyone. Fuser, like Orgoo, lets you pull in a number of Webmail accounts from popular services, and view them in the same in-box, with handy color coding and several ways to separate which in-box you're looking at. Unlike its competitors however, Orgoo forgoes the instant messaging angle in place of integrating social networks, almost like what Flock offered when it first started out.
For now, Fuser is limited to MySpace and Facebook, although the company intends to expand into Orkut and others in the future. You can check out personal messages, or wall/comment posts for each of your accounts, as well as send new ones out like you would an e-mail. There's also a really neat "leaderboard" that will figure out how many times you've gone back and forth with one of your social networking contacts (for MySpace and Facebook), then place them in hierarchical importance. As Fuser's President Jeff Herman told me, this system trumps MySpace's top friends concept on a statistical level by actually showing you (privately) who you're chatting with the most. In my case, the results were surprising.
As far as an e-mail client goes, I was somewhat underwhelmed. Don't get me wrong, there's a whole lot here, like being able to hot swap which e-mail account you want the message to be from, and a quick autofill of your contact once you start typing out their name--not too shabby considering it's pulling in all that information from all over the Web.
My beef has to do with speed. It's a little bit too slow at this point to ditch your current Webmail provider. My shortest time for opening an e-mail was around 4 seconds, with the longest taking a full 12 seconds from when I clicked on the message to when I first saw text. For one or two messages this is fine, but if you plan on attacking several messages (which you likely are with multiple accounts), the lag puts a damper on the experience.
Despite the speed issue, I really like Fuser's openness. Even Orgoo, for its good looks and slightly faster performance, still required you to have a premium version of Yahoo and Hotmail to get in on the fun, whereas you can do it with any old free account on Fuser. The social networking angle is what's key here, and I think if they can improve on the speed, and add some more social sites, they might be able to do some of the cool things Flock and Plaxo are doing with social contacts and messaging management while maintaining their mailcentric roots.