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Ping.fm: efficient time-wasting on Facebook, Twitter

Want to tell the world you just got tickets to the first day of the Ashes? If you subscribe to more than a couple of social networks, it might take you longer to post all your updates than it did to buy the tickets.

Ping.fm aims to make updates a unified affair: just send your missive to the service and it'll post it to all your networks.

Ping.fm currently supports over 40 of them, ranging from mainstream networks like Facebook, Twitter, Bebo and LinkedIn to lesser-known outlets such as Brightkite and Rejaw.

After signing up for an account (Ping.fm is currently in beta), you'll be able to post your updates via email, SMS, instant message, your phone's browser, Skype, and even an iGoogle gadget.

On the Dashboard page (which I found a little overwhelming at first, in part because of all the clutter), just click the posting method you want to use to get the instructions you need, like your unique Ping.fm email address or the Apple iPhone-friendly browser URL.

Ping.fm can automatically take care of things like URL shortening (handy for the likes of Twitter and Rejaw), and it lets you set up posting groups in case you want to hit some, but not all, your networks.

In short, it's a handy little service, one that can definitely save you some time.

Rick Broida blogs for PCWorld.com

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