Could a Start Up Benefit From an IM?

Let’s say that like an increasing number of the disposed you are giving up the job search and hanging out your own shingle then you should consider the benefits of an IM.

In the start up phase getting good ideas out, and built on, is how things come to life.  The ability to communicate with partners (or just a trusted sanding board) can be a great benefit.

It can also help you with sharing files, like say potential logo designs from you graphic designer.

A solid, full featured, instant messenger can even help you to get funding.  Imagine being able to update your projections in real time for your potential investors.

Sure, you would be able to do it with emails too, but not as fast.  You could even use the IM once you are up and running.  Think about the benefits to your customer service.

Downloading Your Instant Messenger

We all know that we should download our IM software from the source.  That does not mean, that we always do what we should, or that the right option is always available to you.  If you can not get your instant messenger from the source you are going to have to get it from another location.  Before you click on that “download” button be sure to wet the site.

How do you know if a site is trustworthy?

1. Reputation.  A site like CNET’s has a long history of providing quality downloads.
2. Variety.  A site with a large database is one that is likely to be screening.
3. A site that tells you it is screening downloads for viruses.

Always be sure that you are getting exactly what you think you are getting.  Just as an extra precaution be sure to do a virus scan once you download.

If you do not have a virus scanner just get ClamWin, it is free and useful.

Is IM Speak OK for Adults?

Today’s question to the community is about IM chat.  You know phrases like:

“Will I C U 2 nite?”

“That will B Gr8”

The question is, should an adult be using these abbreviations?

My answer, it depends on the context.

For business the answer is a universal no.

Personal is a grey area.  Just do what feels natural and you will usually be right.  If you want to be sure go on a case by case basis.

An IM Tease

An annoying habit of some IMers is the propensity to give you a little bit of data without filling in all of the blanks.  It can go a little bit something like this:

Janie80: Going to the bar tonight u wanna come?

Roboticous: Sure, when?

Janie80: Later.  Gotta run C U 2 nite.

Janie80: Signed off

Annoying since you don’t know where or when.  When the matter is personal this isn’t a big deal.  Most of us could do without the expense and humiliation of drinking out.

If the matter is business it can be more of an issue.  Missing an important meeting can be a career ender.

The Not so Instant Messenger

Have you ever been involved in an IM chat like this?

Tommyboy187 (9:38pm): Hi

PrincessK09 (9:38pm): Hi

Tommyboy187 (9:46pm): What’s new?

PrincessK09 (9:47pm): Not much, just finishing up my Lit project.  You?

Tommyboy187 (9:59pm): Not much

The person starts a conversation then takes at least 5 minutes to respond to postings.  It is irksome.  Imagine, just for a second, that this was a phone call.  You would hang up with that long of a pause.  It’s rude.  Bottom line, if you start a conversation respond promptly and engage actively in the conversation.  It’s just good manners.  If something came up then excuse yourself.

How Texts and IM’s Can Cause Mass Panic

Recently, there was a text scam going around. A faux warning about gang initiations. (See video below) and it made me realise how likely that is to also happen on an IM. It cause a panic in some areas of the country.

How to deal with a possible scam IM

1. Identify the sender. Are they reliable or prone to gossip?

2. Evaluate the material. Are felons likely to announce their plans to victims? Probably not.

3. When it doubt, check it out. Use a reliable website, search engine or call your local authorities. They will be able to help you figure out fact from scam.

Now, the video:

Mobile IM’s and Cars Don’t Mix

I love my phone.  It lets me do about a million things at once.  One thing I can do is IM in the car.  It is great, provided that I’m not the driver.

The reason I don’t try is because I live in a state that has banned texting while driving.  IM’s are substantially similar to texting, when done on a cell phone.

Not to mention the potential consequences of ending up like this:


(Image Credit)

Or like this:


(Image Credit)

Food for thought.

*A note on substantially similar.  Depending on where you live this may be a legal term.  If you are caught in a substantially similar act then you may be eligible for a ticket even if the law is not specifically about that action.  Always check and obey your local laws.