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Linux tips and tweaks

Set up Gwibber for social networking

Gwibber describes itself as a microblogging client. It's a Linux program that basically enables you to keep track of what's happening on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Digg and a few other social networking websites.

Instead of having to visit each website with a web browser and log in to see the updates, or to run separate programs to access each one, you can see all your accounts in one simple program window.

You can post messages from the program, it automatically shortens website URLs that you paste in, it has a search facility and so on. It's a great utility that is well worth trying and it's free.

If you've not heard of Gwibber, it's about to get a lot more popular than it used to be because it is now bundled with Ubuntu 10.04. It's not just for Ubuntu though and it can be downloaded for a variety of distros from the Gwibber website. As always though, you are best getting it from your Linux distro's repository, but Ubuntu 10.04 users will find that it is already installed on the Applications, Internet menu.

Start Gwibber and it will prompt you to add accounts and there is a drop-down list of services to choose from. It's assumed that you already have an account with at least one of these services, so select it and click the Add button.


The next step depends on the service you choose, but typically you will have to enter your username and password. Facebook is slightly more complicated and you are asked a series of questions to set permissions to post updates, read your wall and so on.


When you have added your acounts, the program starts and all the latest updates are displayed. Updates from all accounts are shown on the home screen (click the home button in the left panel), but you can display a single service, such as Twitter, by clicking it in the left panel. There is an input panel for entering messages at the bottom and there are icons for each service so you can choose which one(s) to update.


Something that's not obvious is that you can update your Facebook, Twitter and other accounts without even running Gwibber. Click your name in the top panel and you'll see an input box where you can type a message. When you hit enter, the message is posted to all your accounts. Which accounts? Click the Broadcast Accounts menu option and you'll see the screen where you set up Gwibber accounts. When you enter a message into the panel, you broadcast it to all your Gwibber accounts.


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