Instant Messaging

Waiting For Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard

With rumors of a March release of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, swirling, Zach asked what was promised that he should be excited about, so I went looking to jog my memory. The announced features include Time Machine automatic backup of all your stuff (with integration to make finding and restoring stuff in applications easy […] » about 300 words

What’s So Great About Adium?

Brian Mann calls Adium “one of the best multi-network [IM] clients ever.” Tim Bray says it has a “wonderful user interface,” while also naming IM generally “an essential business tool.” Eric Meyer, meanwhile, exclaims “Adium is my new chat buddy.”

What’s so great about Adium? Gaim is the engine behind the scenes, but the face of the application is XHTML and CSS. Wit Meyer:

The entirety of an Adium chat window is an XHTML document that’s being dynamically updated via DOM scripting—all of it pumped through WebKit, of course. In creating a message theme, you define what markup will be used, and write CSS to style it. You can even define variants on your theme by writing additional style sheets.

So with all that, how can I not look at it?

Email Is For Old People

I happened to stumble back onto the Pew Internet Report on teens and technology from July 2005 that report that told us “87% of [US children] between the ages of 12 and 17 are online.” But the part I’d missed before regarded how these teens were using communication technology: Email, once the cutting edge “killer […] » about 400 words

Instant Messenger Or Virtual Reference?

I noted Aaron Schmidt‘s points on IM in libraries previously, but what I didn’t say then was how certain I was that popular instant messaging clients like AOL Instant Messenger or Yahoo!’s or Google’s are far superior to the so-called virtual reference products. Why? They’re free, our patrons are comfortable with them, and they work […] » about 400 words

AIM And Changing Modes Of Communication

There’s a bit of discussion of AIM‘s role in personal communications over at Remaining Relevant. I mention it here because I’ve been thinking about this lately.

We’re seeing some great shifts in our modes of communication. Take a look at how “webinar” technologies have changed sales forces. The promise is lower costs and faster response time, but it also challenges our expectations and the skills of the salesperson. Now imagine the generation of kids who are growing up with AIM entering the workforce. Imagine how much more effectively and naturally they’ll be able to communicate remotely (and also imagine how they’ll probably not tolerate today’s mostly one-way “webinars”).

IM will significantly rearrange the communications landscape, even if it may not completely replace any previous mode. My worry is my doubt about my ability to communicate effectively and naturally in the communication mode that is so common to a generation just younger than mine.

Free Palm/Treo AIM Client

My Treo rocks. Part of my love for the new gadget is how I can now AIM on the run without SMS. Sure, I risk frostbitten fingers as I walk across campus and I’d probably be a lot better off if I just called the person, but…but…

Anyway, Everything Treo was near the top of my Google query with a roundup of three commercial IM apps for Palm. But none of the reviewed apps seemed all that great, and I sort of expected to find a free client. The Treonauts review wasn’t much help either, and I was about to give up when I found Atomig Cog‘s Toccer, a completely free, still-in-beta AIM client. It’s plenty capable and seems to be in active development (five releases since mid-August).

A couple features I didn’t think about before I started looking include directly connecting to AOL (some clients use a proxy), background receiving (because fully-synchronus IMing is frustrating), and support for the five-way nav clicker.

Instant Messaging in Libraries: Ten Points from Aaron Schmidt

Aaron Schmidt’s 10 points about IM in libraries include:

  1. Instant Messaging is free (minus staff time)
  2. Millions of our patrons use IM every day.
  3. For some, not being available via IM is like not having a telephone number.
  4. There are three major IM networks (AIM, Y!M, MSN)
  5. Y!M and MSN will be interoperable at some point.
  6. Trillian is a multi-network IM client, meebo is a web-based multi-network client. Use them.
  7. Having practice sessions in-house is a good way to get staff excited about IM in libraries.
  8. Staff can communicate in-house using IM.
  9. Libraries can choose to have one IM point of contact, or they can choose to divide it departmentally.
  10. IM is user-centered and builds relationships with library users.

edit: URL fixed as per Aaron’s comment below.