If you're a widget fan, you'll probably want to know how to use those simple apps to stay up-to-date with all your friends on social networks. Yahoo widgets can help.
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Yahoo widgets are designed to bridge the gap between the Web and your desktop. After you search through the company's listing of widgets and find what you like, you can download them onto your desktop.
But what if you're a social-networking fanatic? Certainly, being on the Web works fine for you, but Yahoo widgets might make it just a little easier to satisfy your desire to stay connected. Here are some Yahoo widgets that help you network with your friends right on your desktop.
Yahoo widgets for social networkers
Facebook Notifier Facebook Notifier tells you what's going on with your friends so you don't have to keep checking the social network to find out.
After you install Facebook Notifier, you'll need to authenticate your profile. From there, you can see status updates from all your friends. You'll also get real-time updates when messages filter in, you're poked, or you have some wall posts to check out. Whenever you click on one of those options, you'll be brought to the appropriate Facebook page in your browser to perform the desired action. Facebook Notifier won't give you as much control as other services in this roundup, but if all you want to do is see what's up with your friends, it's a good place to start.
Facebook(er) Facebook(er) is a neat app. After you install it on your computer, the widget allows you to change your Facebook status, check your messages, update your friends with events, and more. You can also view pokes, requests, and group invites. It's like having Facebook on your desktop. Plus, thanks to a nice design, you should be relatively happy with how easy it is to perform those basic tasks.
Flickr Widget Yahoo's Flickr Widget is designed specifically for your Flickr photos. Once you install the app, you're asked to input your Flickr credentials. The widget will then immediately start displaying all your images. Even better, you can upload images into the app with a simple drag-and-drop feature. You can also tag photos. Flickr Widget is a great app.
Picture Frame Picture Frame is a really neat widget. It allows you to view photos running on your computer or photos you've shared with friends on Flickr. After you authorize the widget to access your Flickr account, all your pictures will be displayed as a slideshow. If you want to see what your friends have added to their profiles lately, you can also watch a slideshow of their pictures. It works quite well. If you're a picture lover, this is an app worth trying out.
Twitter_Client Although Twitter_Client promises outstanding functionality, it doesn't quite deliver. It took me a while to finally get my Twitter account to display in the widget. That was annoying.
But once it did work, I was generally pleased with Twitter_Client's customization options. Everything from the app's design to how often it updates my stream could be customized. The app also automatically adds a TinyURL link to your tweets, if it deems it too long. You'll be happy with the customization. Just be aware that it may take some time to get it up and running.
TwitterMoms Blog Network The TwitterMoms Blog Network is a great place to see a variety of interesting blog posts from the social network's users.
The Yahoo TwitterMoms Blog Network widget lists all of the latest posts made on the TwitterMoms Blog Network. Once you find something you want to check out, you can click on the link, and it will bring you to the post. To write comments on the many network blogs or simply network with the users, you'll need to sign up on the TwitterMoms Blog Network.
TwittY TwittY is a really great Twitter widget (and a much better one than Twitter_Client).
After you install the widget, TwittY will ask that you input both your Twitter username and password. The widget will then populate with your current stream. If you want to update your status, you need only to click the "toggle status" option, and you can say whatever you'd like (in 140 or fewer characters). The app also displays replies, direct messages, and the public timeline. If you want to use a Yahoo widget, TwittY should be at the top of your list.
My top 3
1. TwittY: TwittY deserves the top spot, thanks to an outstanding interface.
2. Facebook(er): It has some minor flaws, but Facebook(er) is the best Facebook widget in this roundup.
3. Flickr Widget: Flickr Widget is full of features that make it simple to use and worth checking out, when you're not using your browser.