I’ve just completed a series about “lifestyle data management”, which loosely translated means how can I keep dibs on all my e-mail, tweets, facebook updates, friend’s blogs, and news/tech/coding blogs without going insane. You can read the introduction here. My first entry on Netvibes Wasabi can be found here. My second entry on Streamy can be found here. My third entry on Threadsy/Feedly can be found here.
After spending the weekend and a half day yesterday snowed in about the apps I’ve reviewed, I wanted to wrap the three up with a nice one word summary of my opinions on each web app and a few pros and cons:
Netvibes Wasabi (link)
Pros: The use of widgets and an open developer network gives you access to nearly anything you can think of to customize your home page. The new “smart reader” lives up to its name and allows you to keep good dibs on all your feeds.
Cons: Having a lot of feeds spread across multiple tabs (or even a single tab) beings to infringe upon the usability and efficiency of your home page.
Pros: The home page is well organized for all of the core functionality you need between your feeds and networks. The added widget for e-mail and the mini IM chat features are a big bonus.
Cons: The suggested reading column had few “relevant” items to me. It could not be minimized or removed for me to fill my own content. Lack of individual feed layout customization started to lead to usability issues to to a massive list of feed items.
Pros: The quick and simple way to respond inline to comments in Threadsy (both Inbound and Unbound) really makes this app run fast and smooth. Feedly’s various layout approaches makes it easy to customize a layout for your feed group that maximizes readability.
Cons: Threadsy still has some beta bugs that can cause some interaction problems at times. The lack of auto-refresh (outside of the 10 minute browser cache) starts to impose upon the continuous feel of news browsing.
Overall there are no major setbacks that should keep you from using any of these applications. That’s probably part of my dilemma. I’ll use one app for a month or so, then get enamored with a feature of another application, and then switch over there for a while. The endless cycle ensues. 8^D
So which app have I chosen as my personal setup? Oddly enough, I’ve chosen a blend of Threadsy and Wasabi. After the initial curve of setting things up and understanding the interface (this took maybe a day) I really became excited about the productivity I found being able to quickly answer an e-mail, or post a comment to Facebook without having to scroll through a long history log of changes. Similarly, the way Netvibes Wasabi has their smart reader organized, I’ve been able to easily navigate around to specific groups or just go up to “All Feeds” and see a nice timeline of things coming in, refreshed in a prompt manner with easy visual cues to the updates.
I hope this series has been helpful in helping you look into some solutions for your own “lifestyle data management.” If you’ve settled into one of these, or something else, share your experiences so I have something else to peek at and pass along.