Is there room at the social media table for Outlook?

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The already crowded lives of social media mavens might have just become a little more complicated. In addition to regularly updating our Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Myspace pages and waiting for the official launch of Google’s Buzz, Microsoft just announced Outlook Social Connector. The beta site is an add-on that yanks information from social networking sites. Microsoft Office users as well as beta users of Office can download the software to connect with friends and family from your email. The current version only shares information from LinkedIn but expect the real deal, which will be finished to correspond with the June release of Office 2010, to be capable of pushing out updates from all the big social media websites like Facebook. While it appears to be a nifty idea, Outlook Connecter could prove to be the biggest time-killer ever created. Like last year’s version of the software, The Social Connector shows up as the people pane within Outlook. It lets users display messages excahnged with their contacts, gives access to multiple activity feeds a la Facebook, and showcases e-mail messages sent by your contacts. Essentially, you could fry your brain on multiple social media sites without over having to close any windows.

However, with the promised instant availability of multiple social media websites at once, Outlook Connecter could be the ace in the hole that online marketers have been clamoring for. If all goes according to plan, this product may have a one-stop shopping appeal with social media allowing marketers to send a multiple message to dozens of contacts without the hassle of separate logins or different account names. Plus, having live feeds from LinkedIn, Facebook, and Myspace all in the same place could make it awfully easy to see what your friends are up to and potentailly what their needs are.

So is Outlook Connector a social media must-have or a pointless accessory that promises to go the way of the scrunchy?

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