Social networking tip: the benefits of NutshellMail

Back in March I blogged about the benefits of using NutshellMail to keep on top of social networks. The free service has just been updated, with some very useful extra features added.

But first, why use it?

What I wrote in March still applies:

One of the most common reasons I hear people give for not joining a social network site such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn is, “I know it’s useful, but where would I find the time to keep up with what’s happening?”

A typical way of tackling, at least in party, this dilemma is to go through carefully tweaking your email alert settings on each service, so that you get emails for the information you want to know about – but nothing more. Then you can set up some rules and a folder in your email program to file these alerts conveniently together in one place, away from the immediate urgent items in the inbox.

It’s what I’ve been doing, but it can take a bit of time to create and refine the setup. And for many people saying “set up an email rule” is rather off-putting. It may not be nearly as hard as they think, but whatever the reason, if they’ve been put off then that’s that.

Enter then, stage left, NutshellMail. It’s a simple and free service that lets you get all your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn alerts in one place, along with messages from many other services (such as many web-based email accounts). Use the system and this different information is rolled into one message, appearing in your inbox at a time and frequency you chose.

What’s changed since then? The hiccups with LinkedIn have been smoothed out and the system has been running reliably and securely for another nine months – an important consideration given that you have to trust it with some of your passwords.

But the latest round of updates lets you refine exactly what you want to get in your email updates. For example, you can group some friends together on Facebook and get their status updates through the email alerts, but not status updates from anyone else.

The level of control is so great that it almost risks losing the simplicity of the original system, but the options are easy to set and clearly laid out.

You can view some Nutshell Mail screenshots in this slideshow. If you like what you see you can sign up here.

Finally, here are the details of what’s included in the latest update:

Facebook Users

  • Track feeds from your Friend Lists
  • Track your favorite pages and blogs
  • See your new inbox messages
  • See threaded conversations anytime someone replies to a feed story you commented on
  • Change limits to the number of messages you see any section

Twitter Users

  • Track and Manage Twitter Lists
  • Track search phrases
  • Change limits to the number of messages you see any section

Reply through email

“Now you can reply to any Facebook post or Twitter feed, wish a friend happy birthday, update your status and so much more directly through NutshellMail. Just click any of the action buttons in your email update and you will be taken to a page where you can quickly respond to friends or share what’s on your mind. Close the page and you will be taken right back to your email inbox” says the firm.

Hope you find it as useful a tool as I do.

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