- IM chat
- multiple one-on-one chat in tabs
- on-the-fly conference chat
- on-the-fly one-on-one private chat with conference attendees
- public/private persistent chat rooms
- message blasts
- poke/alert (makes your IM chat box “buzz” or “shake”)
- contact list with create your own presence/status indicators
- create groups for contacts
- instant screenshots and send
- send files (drag and drop)
- conversation archive
- pop up toast
- plug ins
What I like is persistent chat, instead of chat sessions…when you click on a friends name you can see all the conversation organised by date. So if you send a msg you can close the chat box, when you send one later it’s the same daily chat session…this way you don’t have to have all these chat sessions open.
I can’t search my chat history across all contacts
I can search people by name (not by tag), but I can’t browse an A-Z directory, like Outlook GAL.
It would be easy to enhance the profiles as expert locators, also an expert tag cloud…perhaps it could show people tags on a users profile, but clicking these would launch to the expert locator website, so instead of having it’s own expert locator, it just integrates this information from a 3rd party.
I can’t include userB into the chat I’m having with userA, instead I have to create an on-the-fly chat room, and invite both users, then close my chat with userA.
Is it possible to cc: userB whilst chatting with userA, by using a (@) symbol?
eg. I heard the other day that @userB finished the report, I wonder if it has been submitted…
This would automaticallly open a chat window with userB with only that msg in it…if all 3 want to chat together they need to do a on-the-fly conference
Online IM presence
I really like the online presence/status indicator, and that you can make your own.
Sometimes when you are looking for someone at work, you might see a post-it note on their monitor saying “Gone interstate for today, back tomorrow”…why not also put this as your online status as well.
Problem with this is that if this person is not one of your added contacts, you won’t know their online presence, unless searching in the general contact directory could show everyone’s online presence.
Other issue is that it’s “online” presence, so if this person is not logged onto a PC, then their presence will be “offline”, and that’s it…I wonder if you can create an offline presence msg.
So someone goes to their IM contacts and see’s that I’m offline, and that I have left a brief offline status msg.
I suppose you can’t go wrong with an email auto-responder, or perhaps even an IM auto-responder, but this means you have to do something, instead with “presence” all you have to do to be informed is look at the indicator next to the contact name.
Presence as publishing
Hmmm…this takes us to the beauty of a presence blogging service like Twitter.
For a starter this is not ideally chat, it’s purely presence, this whole service is around one feature, your presence (whether you are online or offline), it’s not an IM service.
But like IM, you have a contacts list, the difference is that you can “follow” people’s presence (these people don’t need to add you back as contacts), and you can be “folllowed” (you don’t have to add these people back as contacts).
Basically your presence is being published, all users can see this on the public page, or in their own space if they have added you as a contact. If an IM contact directory allowed you to see presence next to a user, this would be similar, as you don’t have to be friends to know each others presence.
So the difference here is not a strict black and white status indicator, it’s moreso presence published as content…what I’m doing now type thing.
Since it’s on a web platform instead of a desktop application, you can always see presence from where ever you are.
The other powerful feature is that technically it’s not “online presence”, it’s just “presence”, because you don’t have to be online to post your presence, or see the presence of others, as it can be used by email and SMS (not just at the website, IM, desktop apps, browser apps, mobile web, etc…).
Now if that worker has gone interstate, and they are not online, and they are not one of my contacts anyway, I could look at their enterprise presence (if we used a service like Twitter), and see their latest published presence.
When I look at their user space, I might see they posted they are “interstate for one day, back tomorrow”, but I might also see about 5 more posts about; the weather, about to meet client, how the meeting went, plane is delayed, etc…it’s not only presence crossed with publishing, but you have an archived presence stream, so it’s presence in context to some extent.
Twitter has made a whole service out of presence with a publishing bent, similar to blogging, perhaps micro-blogging, and because it’s on the web, we can always see the latest presence, and we can even engage with it when we are not on the web, by using SMS. And since it’s more than a status indicator we have space to explain a little about our presence…because presence in this way is more like publishing, we tend to update our presence a lot.
This is different to status which is more “available/unavailable”, with perhaps a little context about why you are available/unavailable…this type of presence is within the context of availablity, whereas presence blogging is moreso about what you are doing, or an announcement, it’s not restricted to just availablity.
IM content is in a chat box with a presence indicator in the contact list, whereas micro-blogging content is the actual presence.
Just to spice is up a little, micro-blogging also has asynchronous conversation, if in your presence update you include a users name with a reply symbol eg. @johnt….this user will be notified you have talked about them in your presence.
Some say using your presence space to chat to someone, is using the service different to its purpose.
IM is part of a bigger picture labelled Unified Communication (UC), something Mike Gotta tells us Microsoft and Cisco are tackling…let’s not forget Google’s array of services that could be all connected and the inclusion of their new acquisitions Grand Central and Jaiku.