I looked at the short list of Web 2.0 Awards winners, and figured it was high time for me to swallow my snobbery and try out Instant Messaging.
My main concern over IM is that it will turn into Instant Pestering — that, if I let too many people know my IM handle(s), they’ll have things to say to me all day that ought instead to be developed into full sentences and even paragraphs (that include spelled-out words). It’s already difficult enough to leave my e-mail unchecked when Thunderbird reminds me that new messages have arrived. However, it’s possible that I need to develop my skill at filtering out garbage and ignoring potential distractions. Shortcoming acknowledged, snobbery swallowed.
I’m using Meebo as an IM client so that I can chat with people regardless of their client choice. One peculiarity so far is that Karen Jensen says that, in her Yahoo! client, I show up in the list as off-line, while Brad Krick, using Trillian, says I show up as on-line. Showing up as off-line is probably the IM equivalent of not listing your telephone number in the Yellow Pages, so that’s a problem.
I hear that scads of libraries are using IM reference — at least, people talk about it a lot — so it’s good to get some practice. I suppose IM is also a useful collaboration tool: you can’t always know which phone number to reach somebody at, even if they’re in your local calling area, but if they’re on-line, you can get hold of them for quick consultations.