Social media has permeated nearly every aspect of the web, and people are more social than ever without seeing their contacts face-to-face. To keep up with this social activity, many people have several devices, including computers, mobile phones, and even gaming consoles. If you happen to have a computer running Linux, there is no reason to be left out of the social loop. Linux has a number of social tools to help you stay connected.
1. Instant Messaging
While some people today rely exclusively on texting, instant messaging is far from dead, particularly with social networks like Facebook. With these tools, you can connect to several IM protocols, including Google Talk, Yahoo! Messenger, Windows Live Messenger (MSN), AOL Instant Messenger, and even Facebook.
Kopete – The KDE-based IM client of choice, Kopete supports all the major protocols, including any that use the open XMPP standard (such as Google Talk and Facebook).
Pidgin – This cross-platform GTK-based IM client supports all the major protocols and works well with Gnome-based environments.
Empathy – A lightweight alternative to Pidgin, Empathy has better support for Pulseaudio and integrates with Gnome and Ubuntu Unity.
There are also other protocol-specific clients, such as aMSN that work very well with their particular specialties.
Twitter is by far the most popular micro-blogging tool, but there are others, such as Identi.ca and Tumblr. Most of these apps support more than one and can keep you updated on the people you follow.
Choqok – This KDE-based Twitter/Identi.ca client gets the job done very well, supporting all the major features of Twitter, including on-the-fly URL shortening.
Qwit – A pure QT-based app, this cross-platform Twitter client is lightweight but heavy on features. It works well in both KDE and Gnome environments.
Hotot – A rather new addition to the bunch, Hotot is an extensible Twitter client with a unique interface.
Gwibber – Gwibber is a Gnome-based micro-blogging client that integrates with Ubuntu’s notification system to keep you updated.
3. Social networking integration
Social networking, like Facebook, LinkedIn, and the new Google+ are extremely popular across all demographics. Linux has tools to help you stay in touch.
KDE social plugins (Digikam, Ksnapshot, etc) – KDE has an extensive social plugin integration system so that you can easily share photos and other creations on your social platform of choice. KDE also has Open Desktop integration, making it easy to use and share desktop customizations with people on sites like KDE-Look.org.
Gwibber – In addition to being a Twitter client, Gwibber also supports Facebook status updates and monitoring.
4. Voice and Video
The Skype craze has even touched Oprah, the real test of knowing when something is big. While there is a version of Skype for Linux, there are also other methods of voice and video conferencing available.
Instant messengers – Most of the IM clients for Linux support voice and video to varying degrees. Google Talk, in particular, is supported by several clients. Others also support Yahoo! IM and MSN voice and/or video.
Ekiga (VoIP) – If you have friends or clients who use VoIP, or if you make calls to phones with VoIP, Ekiga is a great option for voice over IP calls.
Linphone (VoIP) – Another VoIP option for Linux, this one is cross-platform (even running on Android phones).
Google Talk (web-based) – Google has support for Linux operating systems through a plugin that you can download and install from within Gmail. This will give you voice and video. Furthermore, calling phones from within Gmail is currently free.
There are plenty of other social tools for Linux that did not make this list but may be worth mentioning. Feel free to add them in the comments.
Linux is a free and open source kernel that powers many operating systems or “distributions”, including Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint, and Fedora for desktop and laptops, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE, and CentOS for servers, such as those offered by server hosting company 34SP.com. Additionally, Android phones, Amazon’s Kindle, and many other devices are powered by Linux.