Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Instant Messaging

This is my favourite application on the web. Even my mother uses this to contact me, and she now actually speaks to me (OK, IMs me). There was a time when she wouldn't do either (OK, Mom, my fault I know).

There are 4 major IM networks that I'm aware of. I have nyms (accounts) on 3.
  • AOL Instant Messenger (AIM).
  • Google (GTalk).
  • MSN / Windows Messenger.
  • Yahoo Messenger.

Instant Messaging started out as a computer to computer text conversation, IVP / IRT. The various networks have added possibilities, and not all networks offer the same possibilities.
  • Alert tool (buzz or nudge your friend, if he's not paying attention to the conversation).
  • Audio (voice) conversation.
  • File transfer.
  • File sharing.
  • Music sharing.
  • Picture album sharing.
  • Video (webcam) conversation.

In the beginning, Instant Messaging required proprietary software, running on your computer (and installed with some formality). GAIM, a multi-protocol instant messaging (IM) client, changed that, though still requiring installation. Before GAIM, Trillian fought the battle of multi-protocol instant messaging. Now, thanks to Meebo, you can IM from any computer with Internet access and Javascript enabled, with no installation of software.

And soon, you'll be able to IM your friends on Yahoo Messenger, from MSN / Windows Messenger, and vice versa. And in another trend, IRC now allows one - one (or restricted many - many) private chats.

As I said elsewhere, Instant Messaging started as a One To One relationship. It has evolved to Many To Many, and includes group chats, conferences, and whiteboards. IM group functionality further evolved into collaborative discussions and conferencing.

1 comment:

  1. what about irc? pretty major network of users there...