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When you think about it, this is really going against the grain. But if turn of events are taking software to the “˜clouds’ a.k.a cloud computing, this shouldn’t be beyond reason (or reach).

So prepare to be surprised by Scrapboy, a desktop client for some of the popular social networks like Facebook, Orkut, and MySpace.

Common sense says that ‘social networking’ is synonymous with the web. But a little jiggling of the senses and a desktop app does have a certain appeal.

The first benefit that comes to mind is that Scrapboy helps to provide a common interface to handle multiple sites. No more logging in individually.

I downloaded and configured Scrapboy for my Facebook and Orkut accounts (I don’t have a presence in MySpace).  I then dug in and took a closer look at whether Scrapboy is worth a shout.

Logging into Facebook


I must say I really liked the interface – clean cut and cute. The log-in is straight through with the respective social accounts. For instance, as soon as I logged into my Facebook account, the social network asked for my permission to let Scrapboy access my data. With a yes, a small floating slideshow featured the profile pics of my circle of friends.

From the Scrapboy chat box, you can see your wall posts, check your inbox, view your pokes, events and check out your groups. Checking the inbox and your groups though involves logging into Facebook through the browser.

Now I could use this single window to access my circle of friends simultaneously. Chatting with Jane, spying on John’s wall posts and looking at Jim’s tagged photos – all at the same time!

Scrapboy not only transforms social networking into a chat box-like environment, but also takes it a bit further”¦

  • Instant notifications when friends sign-in or when they send a message or receive news.
  • Go offline into a stealth state.
  • Use Facebook emoticons to add “˜emotion’ to your messages.
  • See what you were gabbing about with saved history.
  • Be peer to peer and exchange files with friends who have their own Scrapboy installed.
  • Setting personal preferences for the notifications (pokes, group invites, new photos etc) thus allowing for selective control.
  • Instant check of their profile and current status.
  • A tiny checkmark in the chat window also reminds friends that the user is typing and hasn’t fallen asleep on the keyboard.
  • View photos in a slideshow.
  • Also view wall posts, including the deleted ones on your friends’ walls.
  • Scrapboy serves you reminders about a particular event. Get reminded when you want with the option of a time function. Facebook events are automatically stored in an event viewer.
  • Behind a proxy server? Configure it to work seamlessly with the settings in the options tab.

Logging into Google Orkut”¦

Scrapboy’s other face is its sync with Google Orkut. The interface shows your own and your friends’ scraps. The interface allows you to format and post your scraps, although it does not allow you to delete any offending scraps you might receive or send. Through the interface you can subscribe to the friend updates you want thus filtering the alerts you receive. You can also view your pals – by who is online, who visited you recently or who has an upcoming birthday, etc. Scrapboy allows you to open multiple windows for your friends and view their scraps and photos at the same time.

Scrapboy has its own take on privacy (or lack of it for your friends). You get notified whenever someone deletes a scrap or a photo”¦and more, you can see it too.

An end critique

Here is where I noticed a flaw in the program. If I logged in directly into Facebook and/or Orkut, instead of using Scrapboy and deleted my scraps or checked my events, Scrapboy did not reflect those updates and deletions.  An inability to update my status message also was a bit irksome.

But”¦the final note

Scrapboy did a good job of bringing all my fairly large collection of friends from two social networks into a single window. It also saved me the bother of manually logging into their “˜online’ lives through its frequent alerts. If I have to pick one standout feature over all the others, it would have to be the chat-styled interface.

Call Scrapboy a marriage of instant messaging to scrapping and of course, poking.

Scrapboy is a 7.6 MB download compatible with versions of Windows.

Have you tried Scrapboy for yourself? Let us know what you think with a scrap in the comments.

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