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Essential Social Networking Tools

If you use social networking, bookmarking, or blogging sites these profile management tools will save you time by pushing your updates to multiple social sites.

With the hundreds of social networking and social bookmarking sites available today, it's not surprising that people find is difficult to manage their social media accounts. While you want to have a presence on many of these different sites, it can be time-consuming to update your status and profiles on each site — especially if you also use blogs, social bookmarking sites and instant messaging platforms to promote yourself or your brand.

Four Free Social Tools

Here are ten free social networking tools that can help you manage numerous social networking and bookmarking accounts, plus save you time by aggregating your updates — that is publishing one update across multiple social sites. 

DandyID

DandyID is a profile management service that lets you add your info (name and ID) from more than 300 social networking and media sites. The basic free DandyID account will allow you to collect and identify all your online profiles, prevent others from impersonating you online, send messages and more. The Pro account ($4.99 month) includes additional features such as the ability to track how people are connecting with your identity online, and also increase your visibility in Web search engines.

AddThis

AddThis is is a tool that can help increase exposure to your blog posts or Web articles by giving your readers one-click access to share your content with their friends on social networking and social bookmarking sites. It is a free service and includes support for a number of social media sites. After creating an AddThis account, you choose where the button will be used (e.g, Web site, Blogger, WordPress or MySpace), select a style of button to share, and choose if you want analytics to track the performance of the button — if you create a button without registering on the site then you cannot view button analytics. When you have entered in those details you get easy cut-and-paste code to add to your site or blog post. It takes only seconds to create an AddThis button.

Bookmark and Share  
Example AddThis button

FriendFeed

FriendFeed is used to share and discuss the interesting things you (and your friends) discover online. After signing up for a free FriendFeed account or sign in using Facebook, Google or Twitter accounts. FriendFeed works like other social networking sites in that you find contacts and friends from within that service, but you can also publish your FriendFeed out to a number of other sites including Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, and Twitter.

TwitterFeed

Twitter and blogs are a powerful combination and the free online service, TwitterFeed will automatically feed your blog updates to Twitter, Laconica, Ping.fm, or HelloTxt. After signing up on TwitterFeed you need to connect TwitterFeed with your Twitter (or other) account, provide a feed name and enter in the URL to your RSS blog feed. TwitterFeed also lets you choose how often to Tweet an update and you can also select a service to shorten the URL (e.g., bit.ly, TinyURL and others), and other customable options. If you maintain multiple blogs, you can add additional blog RSS feeds under one TwitterFeed account.




Based in Nova Scotia, Vangie Beal is has been writing about technology for more than a decade. She is a frequent contributor to EcommerceGuide and managing editor at Webopedia. You can tweet her online @AuroraGG.




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