Review: The good, the bad and the ugly of Facebook apps

Today's hottest social networking site includes thousands of free applications. Here are the best and worst for business, blogging and more.

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ThinkFree Docs

Here's another online productivity suite, similar to Zoho, with the added benefit of a whopping 1GB of online storage for your documents. It works much like Zoho, so you can choose which you like better.

Be aware, though, that unlike the Zoho app, the ThinkFree Docs app will make all of the documents you upload available to anyone on Facebook; there's no way to earmark certain documents as private.

ThinkFree Docs

ThinkFree Docs. (Click for larger view.) Files

Want to make sure you have access to important files wherever you are? This Facebook app lets you upload files to a Box.net online storage account, so you can get at them wherever you are.

Essentially, it's just a front end to the free Box.net service, so you can just as easily get access to the files by heading to www.box.net. But if you live in Facebook, it's useful.

Best blogging and news apps

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Facebook excels at using the collective intelligence of your friends to help you find useful and entertaining blogs, news and information. Here are applications that get it done. Blog Friends

If you've got friends who blog (and who doesn't?) you'll find this application quite useful. It displays your friends' blog entries, in addition to other blogs based on your interests, right on your profile page.

How does it work? Anybody who signs up for the app can provide the URL(s) for one or more blogs that they write and want their friends to see. Whenever they add an entry to one of these blogs, Blog Friends shows it on their friends' Facebook pages. In addition, the app shows you blog entries from friends of your friends.

LeapTag

LeapTag. (Click for larger view.) LeapTag

This clever Facebook blog reader learns from your likes and dislikes and then finds blogs and news based on them. You can then share those blogs with your friends who use the app, and have them share them with you.

Over time, as it learns more about what you like, LeapTag fine-tunes what you see, so the selections become more relevant and targeted. Also, you can see the blogs and news that your friends are interested in as a way to widen your interests.

Flog Blog

If you've got a blog to which you want to give more exposure, here's a great way to do it. Flog Blog takes a blog you're already writing and displays it on your Facebook profile. It's a blog reader that allows anyone to read your blog posts inside Facebook on your profile page, and it includes permalinks to the blog as a way to boost traffic.

Daily Show News

Daily Show News. (Click for larger view.) Google News

Read the top stories from Google News in various categories, or by keywords that you choose, from right within Facebook. Naturally, you can also share news stories with friends as well.

Daily Show News

Fans of Comedy Central's The Daily Show will appreciate this app, which displays daily clips from the show and lets you share them with friends.

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