Instant Messenger Do’s and Don’ts

Apparently there are still some people out there in cyber land who does not get the basics of using an instant messenger program. Even though this is not a new technology it must still be confusing to some users. To help you out, here are some basic do’s and don’ts:

* Do sign on only when you actually want to talk with people.
* Do make good use of your away messages. You can set a custom status for a reason.
* Do not include your phone number in your instant messenger away message unless you actually want to be called.
* Do not use your IM while you are impaired by any chemical substance.
* Do not try to hold more than 3 conversations simultaneously, you will get confused quickly.
* Do not send messages to people with an away status just to check in. If they are set to away then do not want to be bothered.
* Do not pretend to be someone that you aren’t. It is just annoying.

There you have it, some basic rules.

Why should you switch from Jabber to Brosix?

If you’re a Mac user then whenever you see a new instant messenger tool, the odds are that you compare it to Jabber. It may not be a conscious comparison, but it is there. After all, why should you give up managing multiple contact lists in favor of 1 IM client? You are in search of a good reason. How about 3.

Reason One: Simplicity

If you do not have to manage 6 IM’s buddy lists (when was the last time you cleaned those out?) you will be less distracted. That means more time to devote to the people you actually want to communicate with.

Reason Two: Features

Features like file share, white board and audio chat without having to switch back and forth is very enticing.

Reason Three: Because you don’t have to switch

That’s right, you don’t. You can use Brosix for business and Jabber to play.

Food for thought.

Keeping Your IM’s Separate

Nowadays IM’s are showing up just about everywhere.  The question is do you really want it to?

You can end up with an IM in your email (Gtalk in Gmail) and in your social networking (Facebook) and even while you are using another IM tool (Jabber).

Do we really need all of this connection?  It leads to a chronic form of distraction.  A kind that keeps you from getting any kind of real work done.

Don’t get me wrong.  An IM can be a great productivity tool, just like a cell phone.  Like a phone there is a time and a place to turn it off.  Otherwise everything that you try to do will be endlessly distracted.  A 30 minute task could end up taking you 2 hours.

Maybe, we should learn to turn off the constant chatter and just focus.

IM Ettiquete: I Clicked on The Wrong Name!

It happens every once and awhile.  Maybe you were tired or distracted.  Whatever the reason you clicked on the wrong name.  It is a minor faux pas in the grand scheme of things, but just in case here are steps for handling the situation.

If you realize at the beginning of a conversation here are your options:

  • Have a brief chat on a topic that is actually relevant to your unintended chat partner.
  • Explain that you miss clicked and apologize for interrupting them.

If you realized in the middle of a conversation here are some options:

  • Apologize for getting off on a tangent and re-orient the conversation.
  • Fess up to your case of mistaken identity and explain the similarity in user names that caused the confusion.

If you figured it out at the end of the conversation then the damage is already done.

What is an enterprise instant messenger client anyway?

The phrase “Enterprise instant messenger client” is one that you may have heard before as a matter of fact if you read the site at all, the odds are you have been exposed to it at every turn, but what does it really mean?

Well, on a basic level an enterprise IM client is an IM special formulated for the needs of business IT is integratable into existing systems and completely securable.

Why?  To allow you, and your staff the ability to share data in real time speed without breaking security.

Thing about the possibilities there.

Nixing IM Distractions

IM’s can be a great communication and productivity tool.  Like any good thing however, too much can be a problem.  When you really need to concentrate here are some thoughts on managing your IM.

An IM you use for communications with clients or co workers if, during business hours you need to focus on a task set a period of time.  For example, 1 hour.  State that time length on your away message.

An IM client that is used for general business communications.

When your business IM does not have a specific purpose you should fee free to put on your away message as you need.

A personal IM

Just turn it off.  Your friends can wait for awhile.

Your IM and Password Security

Stalking, and just plain crazy ex’s in general, are a dime a dozen in this world.  One of the ways that they can trash your life, or simply find out where you are going all the time is to break into your IM.  You can only imagine the possibilities there.

How do you keep this horrible fate from happening to you?  Well, all you have to do is keep an eye on your passwords.  If your crazy ex can’t get into your account havok can be circumvented.

While there are a lot of good sites that give you the standard warnings, I found this post on One You that is worth the read.  It’s all about choosing a random password.

Keeping Your IM Client Neat and Tidy

Instant messengers tend to be one of those technological advances that gets clogged up quickly.  That is because adding new contacts is an incredibly easy thing to do.  On most services it is merely a matter of one or two clicks.  If you went down your IM buddy list would you find any of these?

  • Old classmates you don’t need to share projects information with anymore.
  • Co-workers that you no longer collaborate with and don’t have any personal affinity for.
  • That cool guy you met in a chat room, and had a conversation with 3 years ago.
  • Unfriendly exec’s, or any of their friends.
  • Screen names that you just flat out don’t know who they belong to anymore.

How do you fix it?  Why with a simple cleaning session.  Get to your contact management screen.  Now ask your self two questions.

    1. Have I talked to this person in the last 12 months.
    2. Is it likely, I will talk to them again?

If you answer both with a no, delete it.

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.