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 download.com 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:

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(Image Credit)

Or like this:

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(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.

IM’s and Start Up’s

Many people think about IM’s for businesses in the context of established companies.  Few people consider its value to start ups, and that is a shame.  A full featured IM like Brosix can improve all stages of a start up.

Refining the idea

When you are still working on the where’s and how’s of your business being able to show partners or backers what you mean will be a big benefit.  The white board can help you to share ideas visually and make real time modifications.

Writing the business plan

Business plans are all about codifying the details.  By using the file share feature on your IM you can easily integrate data from multiple sources.

Setting things up

Whether it is sharing emails from you contractor or showing the backend progress on your site, co-browse can help you to show while you tell.

Keeping in touch/the first year

An IM program can help you to stay in touch with partners, customers and suppliers.  Many businesses are made or broken by their responsiveness to customer needs and internal communications staying on top of it can be a major boost.

Most Annoying IM habits

Some people never manage to get the basics of cyber manners. Let’s look at some of the most annoying offenders.

1. The booty IM: This comes in two forms. The most common involves a chat mate who wants to have IM “phone” sex. The issue here is lack of discrimination. Oh, you’re at your grandma’s, at work, the campus library, so what? Just tacky. (Plus sex without intimacy or tactile simulation is just wasteful). The second is a late night booty call IM. Beware this one ladies. He’s keeping his options open in case you say no.
2. The ones who love to hear themselves type: Every answer, every thought is in the form of a paragraph. If you counted it up they would dominate 9110ths of the space. Turns out windbags aren’t any fun online either.
3. The long thinker: They start the conversation, ask you tons of questions, but take forever to get back to you. Be suspicious, you may be being pumped for information.
4. Death by IM minutia spam: No, we don’t want to know about the location of all of your babies freckles (unless they are shaped funny). Just send a photo and stop boring us.
5. IMvertising: Chat bots (or live people) who are only there to give a sales pitch to everyone online is just annoying.

Don’t be those people!

When You Don’t Want to Use an IM

There are some times when an IM is not the best way to go. Usually that is when you will put your foot in your foot in your mouth if you do not think before you write. Times when you should skip on IMing:

– When your chat partner would be an exboyfriend, girlfriend or spouse.
– When you have to deliver bad news and you know it will not be taken well.
– When you are drunk or otherwise impaired.
– When you know that the message requires context, or that what you are saying could be understood in multiple ways.

So think before you IM and remember there are some times when you should not use it.