December 22, 2007 |
Have you been looking for a place to put all of your Web 2.0 information? A solution to the pressing need to keep track of all of your social networks, RSS feeds, photo streams, calendar items and more? Look no further, OnaSwarm is here.
I've seen a few other Web 2.0 solutions that have claimed to offer the same “all in one place” Web 2.0 service, but OnaSwarm is hands down the most comprehensive. It offers a way to keep track of as many social networks, feeds and accounts as you want. Imagine – all of your Web 2.0 identities all in one convenient place.
OnaSwarm is also OpenID compatible. This means you can enter your OpenID account(s) and associate them with your OnaSwarm account to make your life even easier. One stop shopping for every account requiring a log in that you have online.
OnaSwarm is in beta mode right now. To join you have to either go to their site and request an invitation, or have someone who already belongs to the beta send you one. Once you get your invitation, signing up is a snap. It took me about twenty minutes from signing up to importing all Web 2.0 feeds and sites.
Overall I think OnaSwarm has a clean interface with bright, easy to read colors and a clean layout. It suffers somewhat in the beta mode from a few design issues, mainly in the pop up windows that you use to edit your list of feeds. Long feeds are crowded and don't have any line wrap, and the edit button often gets placed behind the feed title, making you hunt for how to edit an individual feed.
Once you figure out that you can find feeds by user name, though, you are off and running. I've been writing about Web 2.0 for a long time. Long enough to accumulate quite a few accounts in various sites. Accounts I never revisit because I have forgotten them. OnaSwarm will find all of your accounts, forgotten or otherwise. I had a lot of fun rediscovering some of the social networks I'd forgotten I even belonged to.
As you add feeds by user name, RSS address or login information, you get to choose how you see the feed information. OnaSwarm pulls in everything – notifications and events in FaceBook , blog entries and bulletins in MySpace , RSS feeds, Twitter tweets and Pownce comments, iCal and Google Calendar streams, Flickr photos, social bookmarks from sites like del.icio.us and FURL , YouTube videos, favorite Diggs , and more. If it is social, OnaSwarm has a way to grab it and put it in your account. Once a social feed is in your account, you can display the information on your home page for all to see (yourusername.onaswarm.com) or keep it private – only viewable on your own private account page.
OnaSwarm gives you a way to connect with your friends, creating your own social network of social networks. Once you have an account you can search for friends or invite them. Once you find them, you can add them to one of your “Swarms” or keep them only in your friends list. The Swarms are a way for people who don't necessarily know each other to connect.
Swarms consist of groups of people with something in common. You can join an existing one, like the Swarm for your geographical area, or you can create one of your own. I joined my geographical Swarm, and I created a Swarm for Writers, open for anyone to join. I also invited several friends and started a Swarm for Profy. A Swarm pulls in not only your feeds and networks, but also those of your fellow Swarm members. It's a great way to connect with people who like the same Web 2.0 applications you do.
Overall, in spite of a few design glitches and navigation growing pains, I liked OnaSwarm quite a bit. I liked it so much I almost played on it too long to get this review in by deadline. Now that I have so many social networks and Web 2.0 application in one place, it will be much simpler to navigate the social web. Each feed item in OnaSwarm has a link back to the original network, after all, meaning I won't have to bounce back and forth between them any more. I can use OnaSwarm as a one stop train depot of my Web 2.0 information.
Edited to fix a broken link 12/22/07