I have noticed in the last few weeks that my use of instant messaging tools has evolved into two separate and distinct types of interaction. The primary use is when the other party is also online and we type back and forth, chatting up a storm. Nothing new. But what’s interesting is that I now also find myself having drawn-out ‘serial’ conversations where I’ll send a message or two to someone else knowing that they won’t respond for many hours. Then they respond while I’m away, and I respond to them when I have a chance. Eventually we might both be connected simultaneously and chat. Now I’m curious whether anyone else is finding that IM tools are really good informal ways to shoot a time-insensitive question to someone else without resorting to email?
Yes, I do that too – All the time. That’s why I like ICQ. My MSN didn’t do this, neither did AIM. I’m guessing you can do this on Trillian? Or, you’re a Mac guy too… What’s that, iChat? I don’t have OSX. Yet. 😉
Yep. We’ve been doing it for years and on MSN too, sometimes overnight -as long as you stay online it works. Can’t imagine why yours won’t, Jo.
Because I don’t keep my MSN online 😉
It’s definitely a useful means of communicating, but I’d be wary of it because I’ve had people close out IM windows that they had left open in which I had left a message. They thought that my IM was part of the previous conversation we’d had.
I guess that problem would go away if it were a brand new IM.
Yep – this is a prominent use-case for me. It’s really becomming somewhat of a replacement for e-mail, especially with the logging capabilities available.
Imagine an IM capability that simply uses the e-mail client as it’s application shell much like Reinacker’s integration of RSS feeds in Outlook.
One nice aspect of this form of “instant e-mail” (IEM?) is that such “threads” are not spammable.