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If you want instant message aggregation, there are a number of applications. You could try Trillian, Pidgin or any number of other lightweight multi-messaging applications. Or you could check out Digsby and for me there is no choice.

I have been using Digsby since it was in early beta, and it has rapidly became a favourite of mine. Digsby is a messaging application that integrates instant messaging with easy access to your email and social networks:

Here are some of the best features of Digsby in my opinion:

Customisation

The Digsby team encourages people to customize the application how they wish. This includes skins, themes, layout, notifications and conversations.

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Most elements can be modified in some way. This includes status
(the coloured dots), messaging network logos, buddy avatars and names.

If you are using a number of major messaging networks then you have the options to control what information to be displayed to contacts on each, such as an “away” status for MSN contacts and a status showing ‘available’ for Google Talk.

Messaging + Email + Social Networks

The biggest problem with bringing social networks to the desktop is often the hugely disruptive notifications you constantly receive (ahem… Twitter).

Out of the applications I have tried, Digsby has maybe the least disruptive way of providing notifications. If you would prefer no pop-up notifications at all, you can choose to have them displayed down on your task bar which is pretty handy.image

Conversations are logged and archived if you choose. If you need to find something later you can search for text or browse dates.

A contact on two of your networks can become one merged contact, and re-named if you wish, so you no longer have to put up with people changing their display names every 2 minutes.

Digsby can also be synchronized between installations so any preferences and themes are not lost.

Digsby is still in beta, and not the trendy Web 2.0 beta. You may notice occasional dropouts and bugs, but updates are frequent – sometimes as often as once a week, and performance has been steadily improving with time. Well worth having a look at.

Are you using Digsby for instant messaging or have you used it? What do you think of it? Is it a worthy contender to Trillian and Pidgin? What do you like and hate about it? What features do you like the best? Tell us in the comments!

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