There once was a day when I was a social animal. Then came a job, a husband, and children. Now my social animalism is digital.
Email. Twitter. Facebook. RSS feeds. But, hey, at least I’m not on My Space. Wouldn’t it be great to have a single Mac app that handled my online social notifications? Of course it would. I’m not getting younger. Anything that saves time is worthy.
Find? Or, Be Notified?
Most of my social apps bring items to me. Email fetches and I’m forced to check it from time to time. Twitter fetches and I scan the stream when I have time.
Facebook? Same thing. I check it when I can remember.
If you’re into free and need a single place to check your own online social life, try Boxcar.
It’s the Mac version of a popular iPhone app which blends a bunch of different social media into a single set of notifications. My experience with the iPhone version is positive, but I spend more time on my Mac.
Boxcar’s claim to fame is a healthy list of push notifications from social media you know and love (except My Space, which doesn’t have as much love these days).
Pushing A List Of Services
Granted, I don’t understand the business logic behind Boxcar, but it’s free and it’s handy. That’s close enough for a try, no?
Here’s the gotcha, right up front. You have to join Boxcar to use Boxcar. I don’t know what it is about joining online, but all these social app wannabe folks want us to join something, Boxcar included.
Boxcar for Mac works like Boxcar for the iPhone. Join up, add the services you use from the list, then, get
annoyed notified when something happens online.
The interface is easy enough to use. Once each account is setup, Growl notifications take over and pop up on screen whenever new email arrives, or someone you follow tweets, or someone posts to Facebook, and a dozen more.
Boxcar gives you options to receive push notifications of Twitter trends (and List and Search), Foursquare, Gowalla, Reddit, and even the geeky Github (geeks like to save time, too).
To show they’re really hip to what’s hot online these days, Boxcar also does Google Voice. But it also does Google Buzz. I hear the buzz about Buzz wasn’t all that good.
Fortunately, for all you RSS fans, Boxcar also does RSS and Atom feeds so you’ll be notified whenever your favorite web site is updated.
The list goes on, including personalized app recommendations (don’t you just wait for that?), OMGFacts (some kind of fact source on Twitter).
Still, I wonder about the value of all these push notifications showing up throughout the day. It’s not as though I don’t have enough distractions already. Adulthood. Spouse. Kids. Job. See?
Boxcar is eye candy-like, easy to setup, should satisfy your innate hunger to belong to yet another online service that can’t figure out how to make any money and may not be around to serve your needs with free apps this time next year. Now I’m beginning to wonder what all these social apps are doing with the information they collect about what I’m doing online.