Have you noticed your digital life getting out of hand recently? Do you have too many feeds from too many services? Well you could cut back on the networks that you subscribe to, but that’s no fun. Hopefully this handy webapp will help you get it all back under control again!
PeopleBrowsr, a clunkily-named service if ever there was one, is deceptively useful. Essentially it is an aggregator for your social networks. PeopleBrowsr organizes different lists into columns that can be moved around horizontally. Even though you’re in a webpage, you’ll swear you’re using a desktop app with all the Ajax in the interface (relieving you of the need to reload your page).
It handles the following services:
* and FriendFeed
The overall interface is a bit hard to describe from scratch, so here’s a visual:
The core of the service is a three-column interface that is completely customizable. By default, Twitter is the primary account, so all the options will be Twitter-centric at first. I believe that you MUST have a Twitter account to use the service at all, though I’m sure that once this moves out of alpha, that will change.
When viewing any particular service (in the above case, Twitter is selected), you will have a list of available windows to add on. Twitter, for instance, has “Everyone,” “Following,” and “Directs.” Each of these will come up in their own separate column that can be scrolled to if more than three are on the screen.
In order to switch to another service, run your mouse over the PeopleBrowsr logo and select one of the services that pops up. Changing services will change the color palate of the template. From there you can choose new columns and add them to those of the other services. For instance, my screenshot above has Twitter, Digg, and YouTube all on the same page.
If you want to get rid of the menu bars, click the tiny “X” button in the upper-right corner. This is very handy for maximizing your screen real estate. Note: To get back to the standard view, click the little white arrow in the upper corner. It can be a bit hard to find.
Clicking on either your own profile or someone else’s will bring up a profile window. This is very handy because you can quickly investigate any user and see all the social networks they are a part of. Also, it can be dragged around the screen with the Ajaxy goodness that I spoke of earlier. You can see their most recent posts as well as their profile and a Gallery View of their friends across the top.
What is the Gallery View you ask? Well essentially it is a pictoral version of any group of people you select on PeopleBrowsr. Here you can see the people I’m following on Twitter. What makes PeopleBrowsr nice is that you can select not only logical groups like following and followers (or friends on Digg, or followers on FriendFeed…..etc), but you can often see more complex groupings, like Top Followers and Outbox (direct messages waiting to be sent). There are even options for custom groupings.
It’s hard to write an article about PeopleBrowsr, because every user will probably use a different part of it and set up their page in a totally unique way. The service will remember which columns or views you have set up so when you log into it again in the future, everything will already be there for you.
Right now the service is in “public alpha,” which can be translated into “tread lightly.” Often alphas are made private by developers because they don’t want bugginess to give their products a bad name. PeopleBrowsr has decided to go public, so if you do test it out, send them some feedback so they can make their beta a strong one!
Speaking of feedback, what do you think of this lovely little webapp? Tell us in the comments!