I’m not a fan of SocialBot

socialbotThis is the latest piece of software that I’ve had to request a refund for.

It has promise, don’t get me wrong.  There’s just too many bugs for me to handle.

SocialBot (version 4.0 was the one I tried) was created by a company called IncanSoft. I’m not entirely sure but I think they’re based out of Greece, from reading about them on WarriorForum.

The purpose of this software is to quickly submit pages from your websites to up to 54 social bookmarking services.    This list includes many of the popular ones like Digg, Technorati, Delicious, StumbleUpon, Google, etc.

Here’s how it works (supposedly):

  • Setup a company (could be yourself, could be a client if you’re submitting someone else’s website)
  • Setup a website that you want to submit social bookmarks for
  • Setup a profile (a list of social bookmarking services you want to submit to)
  • Let SocialBot spider your website and find all the pages, or manually setup the pages yourself
  • Modify the keywords or descriptions for each page being submitted (or leave as is)
  • Click “GO” and everything should work like a charm

Well, let me just say that I really, really, really was hoping it would work as advertised.  I launched SocialBot all wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, eager to let all my social bookmarking dreams become reality.

Unfortunately it was just not meant to be.

Here’s what went wrong:

  • First I tried the “spider” functionality which is supposed to traverse through your domain and find all the unique pages.  Unfortunately it had trouble with link-loops (ie. page A links to page B which links back to page A).  One of my sites with about 30 pages, somehow had over 1000 pages according to SocialBot, until I killed the “spider” process.
  • I tested it out by just submitting to a single service, Delicious.  The submission “failed” and I went into the Submission Review field but it was completely blank.  I managed to figure out by myself that the password I had entered was incorrect, but gee, thanks for being so helpful SocialBot!  Sigh.
  • After I made a successful submission to Delicious, I manually loaded up the site in FireFox and checked to see what my submitted page looked like.  To my utter disgust the tags were all fuxored.  I had entered comma-separated tags in SocialBot, but apparently multiple-word tags aren’t possible, because all of my multiple-word tags in Delicious were broken up into single words.  (if you’re familiar with my posts you may remember that I’m sort of a tag-Nazi)
  • I emailed all three above problems to IncanSoft “support”, which was really just the email address of “Big Mike”, the CEO/president/janitor.  His trusty sidekick Diego replied saying,
  • Thanks for your feedback; We are releasing an upgrade at the end of the month, and I’m going to test the bugs you found if they are a real problem.

  • I thought, ok, no big deal, I can live with the above three issues.  So I then created a profile which contained maybe 20 of my favorite social bookmarking services. I queued up 10 or so pages from one of my sites that I wanted to submit to all of them.  Then I clicked “Go”.  And waited.  And waited some more.  And had a beer.  And came back and noticed that only a single page had been submitted to a whopping 2 services.  In about an hour.  This was the final straw.

So after all that fun stuff, I requested a refund, which I was given quite quickly so that was nice.  Now I’m not sure if SocialBot is just buggy on 64 bit Windows XP, because I occasionally have issues with software that don’t exist on other operating systems.  But…even the bugs aside…the speed is what really irked me…

I can honestly submit my sites faster manually to those social bookmarking services than automatically using SocialBot.

So, two thumbs down from me.  Sorry “Big Mike”.


Edit – June 6, 2010

I’ve had a lot of people asking me if I’ve found a better tool than SocialBot. Well, since this review I’ve gone ahead and created my own social bookmarking service – SocialAdr – which is entirely web-based, automated, and submits bookmarks from thousands of different accounts. Contact me for a special coupon code!

SocialAdr Banner

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