Now that internet uses are finding themselves with several social networking profiles to manage, it is easy for all that content and information to become nothing more than noise; pointless chatter that takes up vital brain cells and gets in the way of important details.
Several filters, extensions and applications made their way online to help discerning social medias to cut out the more banal aspects of the day-to-day dealings with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and the like. Below are several of the best available (with one rubbish one thrown in for good measure).
Social Fixer is here to reclaim Facebook for those who think Zuckerberg has become bored and has tinkered far too much with the site for their liking. You can change a lot of small, nagging details from the layout and chat to timeline and even the theme.
For instance, Social Fixer allows you to decide on the font size and shows a full-size image when you hover over a thumbnail. It seemingly has everything covered and is prepared to tailor Facebook to your every whim. You can edit your preferences using the spanner icon that is embedded in the Facebook banner.
Newsle has a puritanical definition of â€˜noise' and only hosts proper journalistic content written by your Facebook friends and Linkedin contacts; it downplays social and emphasises media.
In addition to browsing the works of your friends and acquaintances, there are also lists of writers that are trending, the most famous and top people, so you can see what politicians and celebrities are up to as well. It's fairly limited beyond that and can be viewed in a feed view or a more awkward grid view.
Stream Filter comes as a Chrome extension for Google+ that allows you to block posts from your stream using keywords. It is very simplistic in that regard and not very nuanced, like swatting a fly with a mallet, but still, it gets the job done.
You simply use the â€˜Exclusion filter list' to eradicate posts with certain words from your stream, or alternatively, you can fill out the â€˜Inclusion list' to filter in posts and keywords you find preferable and making them more prominent.
TweetDeck allows users to easily and clearly organise various Twitter and Facebook feeds onto one page. Downloadable as a desktop programme or as a Google Chrome app, TweetDeck comes with the ability to filter feeds and arrange them in a preferred order. Feeds update automatically and users can also send tweets and make personalised lists of accounts they follow. There's also a filter function which allows you to omit certain keywords, Twitter users and/or sources. TweetDeck is expansive and easy to use; a must for the avid Tweeter.
As a downloadable extension for Google Chrome, Twitter users can enlist Proxlet to help them â€˜mute' hashtags and users they want to avoid. If a number of the people you follow were in conversation about something you'd rather not know about or were saving for later (a sporting event, a TV show etc.), you can click on the Proxlet button – which appears next to â€˜Reply' underneath any Tweet – and choose how long you want to separate a user or tag from your Twitter Feed, whether it's a few minutes or a few months. Proxlet is a concise solution to short-term noise.
By downloading F.B. Purity as extension for Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Opera, you can be comprehensive in deciding what should and will appear in your Facebook news feed as you want.
Once you've applied Purity to your Facebook profile, click on the â€˜F.B Purity' button underneath the status bar at the top of your news feed and select the types of updates you do not wish to be notified of. It's really that simple and nuanced, too: you can choose to ignore anything from photos being tagged to a friend changing their current location.
Retickr doesn't really cancel out the noise; rather, it tries to frame it in a more reverent fashion. By downloading Retickr (for Macs only), you can now have your Twitter and/or Facebook feeds scroll across your screen, like on a news channel, except with less news and more banalities.
You can also litter it with updates from CNN, Time and other respected news sources, but it doesn't refresh automatically. Ultimately, Retickr is nothing more than a novelty; its purpose is purely superficial, but it will entertain any Facebook/Twitter user, however briefly.
Shuu.sh is a filter for Twitter that marginalises the prolific and elevates the begrudging, but really aims to "amplify the people who don't usually get heard.â€
The Shuu.sh feed is largely unchanged from Twitter, except that tweets by frequent tweeters are illegibly small, while infrequent tweeters will dwarf everyone else on screen. That's it. Well, Twitter users are ranked from one to eleven (one being the most sparing user) and, yeah, that's it.
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