Last week I managed to get an IM (instant messanging) client for my O2 pdaphone. This means that I can now receive IM on my phone as well as SMS, email and of course phone calls. It also means that for those of my friends who are on IM, they get to know when I am actually online right there and then regardless of whether i am at work or at a terminal. On the face of it, it’s not that useful – my phone is usually with me and i am usually contactable but there’s something reassuring about the status in IM that allows people to see if someone wants to be contacted before they do so. Also, the whole palava about timezones for people overseas is solved as you can see instantly if someone is awake and online.
Anyway, my IM is email@example.com. I was predominantly using gmail’s chat facility (which is jabber based) but I’ve decided to move to jabber.org.au because it has yahoo, ICQ and MSN services too. This means I have slightly wider IM coverage. Anyway, feel free to link up if you know me. I’m hoping to get all of my friends on this. And with travel happening soon, it’d be really useful for me to logon and have the immediate satisfaction of knowing who is on or offline and contactable and have a quick chat. If you are on ICQ, yahoo or MSN, drop me an email and I’ll set up contact through those protocols too.
The other thing that strikes me about IM is that there’s definately a generation gap in the uptake of this method of communications. The younger people I know (in their twenties) tend to have assimilated IM quite naturally while older people have not. This is not just in the social levels but also at work (where IM is actually an essential communications tool especially when working across timezones and with staff on non-standard business working hours). With broadband becoming available commonly and there being a marked shift to on-line video and voice comms, skype is very popular but given my mobilephone account charges data by the kb, it’s cheaper to make a phone call. And i’m old fashioned enough to prefer the distancing effect of text.
I have not extended my always on-line IM enthusiasm to work and do not intend to. With offices in the UK and soon in the Us, it would be terrible.