My Top 5 Most Used Social Web Tools of 2011 [List]
Another year has come and gone and now we move into 2012. As the year closes, I wanted to share my top 5 most used Web tools of 2011. This year I’ve had the pleasure of trying out and reviewing so many tools that it was really hard to choose just five. Honestly, I do use way more than five Web tools on a weekly basis, but these are definitely the ones that are used more than any others.
As an added bonus, I also include 5 tools that I’m looking forward to using in 2012.
So, let’s get started!
I reviewed this Web tool back in early 2011 and it’s still exceeding my expectations. ifttt is like having your own personal assistant on the Web because you can create tasks and make custom triggers. Whenever those triggers are activated, an action will take place. It may seem a bit confusing, but it’s really not once you get started.
Here are a few examples:
- Automatically post new blog posts to Twitter or to your Posterous
- Automatically save all Instagram photos to Dropbox or share them on Twitter
- Get email notifications of Craigslist ads based on a specific search query
- Whenever you star an item on Google Reader, send it to Evernote or add it to your Read it Later list
- Get SMS notifications for the daily weather
- Get a phone call whenever your stocks have gone up
These are just a few examples of tasks that you can create on ifttt; the possibilities are literally endless!
I did a review of Buffer back in March. This tool, along with a similar tool named Timely, has probably been my most used tool because it makes it super easy to schedule tweets and Facebook page updates. First you have to set up a schedule with the times that you want your tweets to go out. It’s best to set a consistent interval like every 2-3 hours. Next you have to get one of their “goodies” such as a browser extension, bookmarklet, or mobile app.
Once you pick a tool, you can then add tweets and updates to your queue. Free accounts can have a maximum of 10 posts in their queue at any time. Buffer will then automatically post a tweet or Facebook page update according to the schedule you set up. This is also an easy way to keep your accounts active with updates — just keep your queue full and you’ll be all set.
Timely is kind of like Buffer, but you don’t have to set a schedule. Timely automatically sends out tweets and Facebook page updates based on the best time of day — for maximum impact. With Timely, you won’t have posts going out at times when no one is around to read them; instead you’ll have them posted strategically throughout the day when your followers are active.
This tool is nothing new, it’s been around a while and is one of the easiest ways of syncing your bookmarks across multiple browsers. If you’re someone like me who doesn’t use just one Web browser, then Xmarks will come in handy for you.
On any given day I switch back and forth between Chrome, Aurora (aka Firefox’s browser for experimental and pre-beta features) and Safari on my Mac, while using Iron (aka Chrome – no affiliation to Google and without the privacy concerns) and Firefox on my PC. So I really needed an easy way to keep my bookmarks synced across all browsers and platforms.
Xmarks is available for Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. You can even access your bookmarks on your mobile device with their mobile app (if you have a Premium account). It also includes a backup and restore feature, tab syncing, bookmark sharing, history syncing, and smarter search.
I used to be a person who tried out a different Twitter client every other week, but now I just stick to using Twitter.com (and the Twitter iOS app every now and then). I also get easily annoyed with tweets about things that I have no interest in, but thanks to this little tool I can hide those irrelevant tweets. Slipstream is basically a tweet filter that lets you filter out all tweets based on a word or phrase.
You can filter that word or phrase based on tweets from a specific user or every user. You can even specify where to filter the tweet (your timeline, in replies, etc). It’s just a tool that makes your timeline easier to read and more enjoyable. You can see more details about it in my review (link in header).
Yes, once again here is another tool that I’ve reviewed and is also one of my favorites. Boomerang is a tool that was definitely more useful when it first came out because it didn’t have as many limitations; yet it is still one of my most used productivity Web tools.
Boomerang is basically a snooze button for Gmail. It’s an email follow-up reminder service that can also send emails at a later time, and remind you about an email that you don’t hear back from after a certain amount of time.
I mainly user Boomerang as a tool for cleaning out my inbox. If I’m in a hurry and don’t have time to respond back to a message or just want to read it later, I can Boomerang it (set up a reminder) and have it sent to the top of my inbox a few days or a week later. In the beginning there was a no limit to the amount of emails that you could get reminders for, but now there’s only a maximum of 10 per month for free accounts.
As an added bonus, I also wanted to mention 5 social web tools that I’m looking forward to using in 2012.
I just started using this tool a few days ago, but so far I’m liking it. It’s a lot like Read it Later and Instapaper. You can save images, videos, articles, and Web pages to view later on your computer or mobile device. It also removes all of the clutter from articles so that you get a Readability-like experience.
I’ve only used this tool once, but I do want to use it more often because I like how easy it is to be an online publisher! Flockler lets you create your own online magazine based on your desired niche or topic. It includes a curation tool so that you can quickly add content from the Web, Twitter, or via a direct link. Be sure to check out my first Issue of Social Web Tools, the magazine!
Being that app addict that I am, Quixey really excites me because it’s a search engine specifically for apps. You can search for apps on Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Chrome, Firefox, Facebook, the Web and more. No matter what you’re looking to do, you can probably find an app for it on Quixey. Again, I haven’t been using it much, but I plan to use it more in 2012 – especially when looking for things to write about!
I haven’t had the chance to get into this tool like I’ve wanted to, but it definitely looks promising. Bottlenose is a Web client for Twitter and Facebook. You can view your timeline in a single column or with multiple columns (much like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck). Bottlenose filters your timeline posts into news, videos, and pictures and it also suggests posts to you based on your interests (which you can specify in settings).
Spindex is kind of like Bottlenose, with the addition of RSS and Bing. It’s meant to let you view all of your content in one feed and helps you find out the topics that your friends are talking about. Spindex is a product of Microsoft, so that gives you a bit of an idea already as to how this tool might work. Again, I’ve signed up, but haven’t had the chance to dig in deeper.
Now it’s your turn!
I’m really looking forward to hearing what your top used social web tools were for 2011! What tools did you use most? Also, which tools are you looking forward to using more and learning more about in 2012? I’m all ears!
Post Tags: bookmarklet, browser extension, facebook, productivity, social media, tools, twitter, web tools