It’s almost painful to write about a social news aggregator these days. We’ve covered well over a dozen of them, most of which do nearly the exact same thing. It’s getting ridiculous. With so many on the market, it goes without saying that most of these are going to fade into obscurity in the next six months.
Which is why I hope Minggl was telling the truth when they told us they weren’t just another event aggregator.
Because right now, that’s basically what Minggl is. They currently offer a browser-based plugin for both Firefox and Internet Explorer that integrates a newsfeed, among other things. After filling out requisite information for MySpace, Facebook, and most of the other major social networking sites, users are also given one-click access to each of their profile pages from their Minggl toolbar. Other features include the ability to mass-send a status message to each network (provided they support one), and the ability to send the same message to friends across multiple networks.
To be honest, I was surprised by how well the sidebar feature worked. I generally detest browser plugins, but the Minggl toolbars did their job without being too intrusive. There are, however, a few annoying quirks that got on my nerves after a while. Whenever you visit a friend’s profile while logged into Minggl, a floating box appears asking if you’d like to add them as a Minggl friend. I’m sure there is (or will be) a setting to turn this off, but it shouldn’t be the default. Minggl also needs to get away from banner ads, which are integrated into their newsfeed sidebar – it just looks tacky.
Besides Minggl’s semi-unique plugin approach to the social aggregator, the company says they have a few more things up their sleeves. First, they plan to offer a set of filters that will allow users to prune their newsfeeds down to the stories that they find most important. If they do it right, this could be a big stepping stone for them, as many of these aggregators often devolve into chaos. Minggl says that they’ve also established a robust infrastructure, and hope to become a social networking platform in the future.
Minggl’s going to have a tough time in the social news aggregator space. They are very similar to MySocial 24×7, a Firefox extension for FriendFeed that we recently covered. If they want to do well, they’re going to have to quickly establish what makes them different, or they will sink with the others.