The death of instant messenger – ICQ, AIM, and yes, even MSN

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Was thinking about instant messenger during work today – I use it all day long to communicate primarily with co-workers and to a lesser extent, customers. Came across another interesting blog on the subject:

http://www.raiden.net/articles/the_death_of_the_im/

Quote from the blog:

I’ve found myself using IM at work a lot to help speed up communication, especially interstate communication between myself and our engineers.  Many times it’s even more useful than calling someone on the phone or even emailing them now, and many times it’s faster too.

But that’s also drained even more of the fun out of IM’ing as it becomes more of a tool and a necessary evil, and the “fun” is what made it so great.  In effect, IM’ing has gone from a fun program that allows you to keep in touch with friends, to a laborious tool associated with the 9-5 grind.

I have to totally concur. I no longer talk with friends on msn really anymore, we save the ‘one off’ ‘hi’s to things like facebook, and even real time chatting is done on facebook. People don’t want to install a separate app these days  on their machines, they like the web based ‘just works’ version of it for facebook. Even at work, customers don’t usually have msn anymore even though its a great way to get quick answers. I think that may relate to the transition of our customer base from smaller operators to larger more ‘professional’ operates. That, and the fact that often email is better professional-wise because you have a constant paper trail as they say of question / answers and you can cc others for more backups of email and collaboration. IM is a one to one thing for the most part – sure you can have multi chat windows open but by that time, it almost makes more sense just to get on the phone or gather around to talk about something.

Its kinda sad really, where we used to love being able to chat miles away from each other, we now feel its almost tedious to always be available – which is ironic because with BB’s, instant txt alerts and cell phones on our hips, we are always available anyways. But, you can say there is the option for delayed responses with the other methods, voicemail, delayed txt response, where as on msn, often you feel pressured to respond ASAP.

I remember the time when online chat groups were the RAGE, MRC and things of the like were a fascinating new world, exciting real time chatting with multiple people.

IM isn’t dead, far from it, its just a more minor player now, where before, it was the ‘facebook’ of its time, the big thing to have, its now a ‘ya, got that, but I’m not on it much’ thing. But facebook, well people are updating statuses from all kinds of wireless devices, tweeting more then on twitter their current statuses.

I still have my old ICQ account, who is on it still… Not sure if anyone is left. And MSN that I swore I would never move to? In the craze i had to switch because thats where people were. Even on that I have many friends but its somehow easier to leave offline messages through facebook.

What do you think of instant messenger? Use it? For work? For play? Do comment..

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2 thoughts on “The death of instant messenger – ICQ, AIM, and yes, even MSN

  1. Yeah I don’t use msn or facebook anymore. Being “off the grid” for a while turns out to be nice on occassion. If there really is a backlash against the always-on phenomenon, I think that’s a good thing.

    Were you around when the 2003 Blackout hit? Everywhere people started going out on the streets and meeting their neighbours. There are pics of downtown Toronto streets filled with masses of people walking out of the city in the middle of the roads.

    You’re in PEI, I bet things are slower there too. I saw your Cannington winter pic, a few blogs back. I bet in PEI you’ll be getting even more hammered than that?

  2. a national ‘turn off electronics’ day would be QUITE interesting. i was in fort smith when the blackout happened so I missed it all. Got a bit of snow today, big blizzard all morning. Pretty sketchy on the way to church (which turned out to be canceled anyways). Not bad though. great exercise shoveling!

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