Tuesday, August 02, 2005

IM, Video, SMS, VOIP, SMTP, 180 Million Users

So what does this all mean? We have been discussing VOIP, and IM clients a lot on this blog so i thought i would throw one more out there thats bigger than MSN and AIM. Both of those programs have tons of users and have been around a long while, but none of them are trully international. The most internationally based program i have found with users all over the world boasting the most features is ICQ. A lot of people have heard of it, and yes, its still around. (http://www.icq.com/) I urge yall to check it out if your tryingt to find that one stop shop thats free that can do everything all these programs we are talking about. Some of the unique advantages i find in a program is how it links small communities of friends. If anyone here uses AIM, some might have heard of a website a while back where it would take your screen name and map out everyone on your list, who they know, and how those people then know each other. People were getting these huge tree/shrub/spider looking graphs showing the connections they all shared, almost like blog communities but in a volatile enviroment. With most chat clients, converstaions are not saved, they are one time events that then disapear unlike the blog. (that is unless you have add on hack programs that add items like logging tools and such) This is also starting to blur as AOL has introduced AIM Blogs which uses an engine they had in place already where you can send AIM messages to a screenname and it will process the entry and add it to your journal. (http://pc.channel.aol.com/aimblogs) An idea that is only matched by blogger in the SMS update. Back to the ICQ thing though, is this program has matched all of that into one, allowing for ICQ message and blog boards, phone updates and chatting, and a range of other things including a built in flash program that shows your ring of friends like the AIM website. I personally dont even use ICQ becuse none of my close friends use it (they are all AIM addicts so now i am one) but the program itself is amazing from when i did use it way back when. Its an intresting development in community software. The question i will pose from this is exactly how much farther can instant messenging go, and why has it gone in the direction it has? With the rapid growth of blogs will volitile mediums such as IM disapear in favor of kids messging back and fourth via blog? or is our world so fast paced now, not even the blog would be fast enough to satisfy a desire for quick communications. (IE using IM to get people together for a quick bite to eat or something of that nature were volitile would be better)?


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