Why I have given up on Trillian and switched to Digsby

April 15, 2008

Hopefully I can do this justice – because it really does deserve it.

I have been a faithful Trillian user for quite some time – probably pushing 3 years which is an eternity in the software world. I really had no issues with Trillian, it served me well. But as my use of Twitter and Facebook increased I needed to change they way I conducted public and private conversations.

So I have now officially switched to Digsby. And if you do not follow me on Twitter (shame on you) then you don’t know how annoying I have become. One recent post I got was that me “… and Digsby: [should] get a room!“.

Let me start with the features I see as being paramount for Digsby

1.) True integration – I have one client that integrates all of my IM accounts (except Skype =( ), my Gmail account, my Facebook and the two Twitter (and) accounts that I use. One application. Nice

Manage your twitter posts and responses quickly

2.) Quick access to Twitter – The Twitter Icon sits in my task bar (1 for each account). Clicking one of the icons displays the recent history in a very nice window with a scroll bar and little images next to the individuals that have made the post.

3) Send Twitter updates quickly – An “update” link is located at the top with my latest update, which allows me to make easy posts to either Twitter account.

4.) Automatic URL inserting – you can easily insert links (it doesn’t use the usual TinyURL but it works just the same) just click on the Insert Link button and away you go…

Easily linking within a Twitter post

5.) Pop-Up notification – Twitter is a conversation piece (and a resource hog) – it allows me to follow conversations (when i want to). Even if I just laugh as a funny statement flies by or file it under – “Hmm got to take a look at that later. Really, really nice.Popups keep you in on the conversation

6.) Twitter management features – you also get the normal “Star”, “Reply” and “Trash” features you would get with your web based Twitter application. Each Twitter post by someone you are following appears with their name first which is clickable to their profile page. In addition, you can click on your name to go to the standard Twitter page for your profile. I no longer need quick links in my browser toolbar. In addition at the top of the toolbar I can click on a “tab” to see the different categories of Twitter posts like: Responses, Favorites, Direct Messages etc…

7.) Mini Gmail management – when an email pops up (just like Twitter) I can click on the pop up and it will take me to that e-mail. However, the real nice feature here is that when you click on the Gmail icon you can quickly delete messages that are useless without going to Gmail (which continues to take longer and longer to run lately) – very nice.Easily manage new e-mails from your Gmail account

8.) All Facebook notifications – pokes, messages, walls, alerts even the news feed is updated. From here you can click and get to your Facebook profile. Again – really nice.

9.) IM Management – so ok yeah – first and foremost this is an IM application. For those that have multiple IM accounts and that have not used applications like Trillian – this will seem like an amazing thing. All of my IM accounts in one place? There are no real advantages over Trillian (and I am sad to say that I have reported a bug in Digsby related to contacts that I think is associated with the fact that I had two MSN accounts and it got a bit confused. However, I relinked those contacts that were missing and I am off and running again.

For those users that have Twitter, Facebook and Gmail accounts (along with the plethora of IM accounts you surely own) – this is a great application. Right now it is in beta and they seem to be putting out consistent releases (I have had 3 updates since I started using this about 2 weeks ago). Each update went off without a hitch.

The developers seem keen on adding in features. I would have to say that my feature list would be:

1.) When adding an update to Twitter and type in “@” – give me a suggestion list of people that I can go to. I cannot remember everyones Twitter account and it gets annoying trying to remember them.

2.) Integrate Search. This would be the killer feature and I think it would then win this software some awards.

3.) Gmail – let me compose an e-mail (and/or reply to an e-mail) directly from the client. It is a pain in the butt to go to Gmail through the web – soooo slow. Even Bill and Karolyn Slowsky think it’s slow.

4.) Oh yeah and for those less fortunate (ProfeC) I would love to see Mac support.


13 Responses to “Why I have given up on Trillian and switched to Digsby”

  1. Jeffrey R Says:

    Just so you know we are listening! We enjoy the thing you enjoy about digsby, but we really find the, “what we can do better” parts to be more useful.

    As for composing emails right from digsby, have you tried clicking the “Email” tab from the capabilities bar in the IM Window?

  2. notronwest Says:

    Thanks Jeffrey,

    You really do have a good program here.

    As far as the e-mail from Digsby – the link you are referring to brings me to Gmail. I am saying that if I have an email that comes in, and I see the Subject and options like, Delete, Mark as Read etc….

    It would be cool (or maybe not =) to just have a “Reply” that pops up a window (in Digsby) that will allow me to quickly Reply to that email – without loading Gmail into my Web browser.

    On a scale of 1 to 10 in difficulty this is probably an 8 – on the value scale – maybe a 4. So not that important.

    Anyways – thanks and keep up the good work.

  3. mikull Says:

    Firstly, I would like to see it for mac so I too, could actually try it. Sorry, I don’t start up my vm unless I have to.

    As for twitter, sounds cool — although there are clients that already do all that. My interest comes in the addition / integration of chat, mail, and facebook.

    About all I could imagine adding would be some wordpress and flickr api magic. Make a mac version and I’d say more.

  4. notronwest Says:


    It truly is the integration of all of those applications in one nice neat place that makes this application stand out.

    I thought about the WordPress integration too – not sure it’s worth it. Most of the time you are blogging from ideas you have read on the web. At this point, I can not see me blogging anywhere but in my browser.

    I have tried the Word Plug-In, OneNote Plug-In and Firefox Plug-In – none really do it for me. With the enhancements to WordPress that came recently, I see that application as being the premiere tool for managing your WordPress blog.

    I am sure they will be producing a Mac client soon. If not, it would be a shame.

  5. mikull Says:

    I envision a publishing/communication client that allows me to run ‘theory’ CMS via external, potentially hosted services in ways that serve all my online interactions.

    Say I’ve got something to say. Do I have a pic? A list? A link to reference? Something more? A form to suck it all in locally, then push it out selectively:

    Highlight or write a teaser, push it to twitter, wisdm, and myspace blog. Highlight or select the body, push it to blogger, wordpess/typepad, and drop the full body on facebook. Add the links to delicious? add the pics to flickr? Check, submit, go…

    I know it’s insane, for all intents and purposes- but this is the third party app/service world i find myself swimming in. That is to say, I have all these great places and services so I don’t have to rock them on my own server, with the bonus of pre-existing online social community – but I am forced to clumsily integrate them all the time, anyways –

    Just like in your other blog entry (https://notronwest.wordpress.com/2008/04/13/im-with-louis), if I’m dividing time between posting on my boards, or my blog, or other people’s blog and boards, and I’m trying to do something interesting and relevant on twitter or flickr this week, I’m not really effectively communicating.

    There’s got to be an app coming to replace all the platform targeted plug-ins, no?

  6. notronwest Says:


    I posted about this here https://notronwest.wordpress.com/2007/01/19/i-want-it-all-back/.

    This is exactly how the world should be. I own my information, and I distribute it out to all of the places I want it. I keep it.

    If I am communicating on a blog with someone, I don’t have to remember – my system will remind me. My biggest issue with the blogosphere is that if I find a new post on some blog that I don’t frequent and I post a response there, I have to remember where I posted it and then go back and visit. Totally prevents me from efficiently participating in different networks.

    I too see this coming – eventually. It would flip the communication world upside down, so it will be slow.

  7. Scott Says:

    If 3 years is an eternity, then how would you describe my use of CuteFTP 2.0 for 12 years? LOL! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. notronwest Says:

    Well I guess the only difference I see here is that FTP is still FTP always has been – always will be. When a software vendor hits the mark on a non-moving target – you might be ok sticking with them.

    IM and communication in general, is still a moving target. So it isn’t necessarily the first product to market that lasts. It is the product that continues to improve their platform to meet the ever-changing needs of its customers.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  9. Ed Says:

    Do you know if Digsby will work with a corporate Jabber account? I can use Trillian in that way (work Jabber, + all of my personal IM on Talk, MSN, AIM, Yahoo) and not upset corporate IT in any way…

    If I can do the same PLUS integrate Twitter and Facebook, I might just have to laugh uncontrollably for a few minutes (during the download).

  10. notronwest Says:

    While I haven’t tried it with a corporate account, Digsby does allow Jabber based IM accounts – so I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for you.

  11. Todesreiter Says:

    New Trillian Astra is out for public beta now, and runs fantastic… it seems that many of the Options are avaible in Astra, perhaps you take a look ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. mat Says:

    Things I’d love to see in Digsby:

    1. ability to set IM status per individual contact or group like in Yahoo mess

    2. ability to set conversation window size to a default and the minimal version of should be stripped of all toolbars, menus, etc

    3. ability to enable bigger pictures in conversation window like in msn messenger (in case u’re talking to a loved one and u wanna see their pic big at least if not video and audio)

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