Facebook Chat

Facebook now has chat (if you hadn’t heard already). I don’t use it much because it means going to Facebook and keeping it open. Up til now I had only heard about one app that let you chat on Facebook – and that’s Digsby – but it doesn’t have an app for Mac yet. So I thought I’d look around and see what I could find. It turns out that Adium will have Facebook support in version 1.3 – time to keep an eye out for that upgrade!

IM = Productivity

Some employers think that IM can lead to a lack in productivity – but I’m here to tell you that that is not true! Right now I’m working virtually, so IM is necessary, but when I worked in the library I used IM to eliminate some of the silly interruptions that came from people coming to my desk and calling me by using IM. Now a study at the Ohio State University proves that IM not only makes me more productive, but others as well.

We all know instant messaging has great potential to lead down the path of non-productivity, but researchers at Ohio State University and University of California have found it can be a productivity booster—if used efficiently.

“It is not the case that people are engaging in extensive conversations or trying to resolve complex problems over this very limited medium. Instead, people are using the technology to solicit answers to quick questions from colleagues and coordinate their conversations at more convenient times.”

This via Lifehacker.

IM, Social Networks & Email in one?

So, now that I’ve gotten used to my Mac and love the tools I’m using I find Digsby.

  • One combined buddy list for all your AIM, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, Google Talk, Jabber, and Facebook Chat Accounts.
  • Manage your Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL/AIM Mail, IMAP, and POP accounts right from digsby.
  • Stay up to date with everything happening on your Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace account (other network support coming soon).
  • Customize digsby with application skins to give it a personal look and feel.
  • Digsby offers complete synchronization between computers and installations. Everything from the skin you chose to your pre-defined status messages follows you from place to place.

Is anyone else using this instead of Adium? Or is anyone using this at all? What do you think?

IM is so yesterday!

I was talking to my sister the other day and I asked her if she was on IM during the day. She replied with “IM is so yesterday!” I was a bit taken aback and thought – how can that be? I asked her “Okay, what is today then?” She answered “I don’t know – text messaging?”

I use it all day every day to keep in touch with my colleagues and even my other sister. But then I thought about it. My other sister isn’t actually on IM she’s on her cell phone and I’m sending her IMs that way. Also – after watching TV commercials during the news this AM I realized that many services are offering text messaging services.

So my question is what service is the right one? Should we stop pushing IM services and skip right to text messaging (SMS) services? Nikki at Jenkins Law Library writes that she was happy with an IM service offered by a book publisher, but my sister (who is not much younger than I am) is telling me that IM is “so yesterday”…

I don’t really have an answer, I’m just wondering what some of you in public or academic libraries have experienced with your younger audiences … actually … what are we experiencing with all of our patrons? I know that my mother prefers IM to text messaging, but that doesn’t stop her from using either service. What have you experienced?

[update] I should mention here that I prefer IM over text because I do not have a keyboard on my phone … also I don’t pay my provider the fees for unlimited texting so each message costs me $.10 … making it less appealing than IM. [/update]

Giving Twitter another shot

I know I’ve said in the past that I’m no fan of Twitter – but I’m giving it another go. I’m trying to use it via IM now. So far this is going pretty well. With my new job I have to be online all day – and on IM & Skype & IRC, so using Twitter via IM just fits right into my regular daily workflow. I’m not sure how much I’ll be updating my status – but it’s nice when I’m at a conference (like this week) to update others on what I’m learning.

We’ll see how it goes – but no one can say I didn’t give Twitter a fair shot :)

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IM Translation Service

SpeakLike seems like it would be a useful tool for libraries providing IM chat services.

SpeakLike works by using a combination of machine and human translation. As you send a message, a machine will automatically translate it to another language, while a human translator looks things over to make sure the translation is accurate.

Found via DownloadSquad.

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First Skype Call

Today I had my first Skype call/interview. It was an interesting experience. It was for a podcast that will appear on Talking with Talis once I’ve started my new job. One big tip – find a place without distractions or dogs!! My house has an open floor plan and it’s freezing out today so my pups were indoors and decided to play with each other while I was on the call (something they almost never do).

As for Skype – what a great tool! You can use it to voice or text chat. You can also use it for playing games (like on Meebo) and other things I haven’t figured out yet :) It’s free to download and install – so you have nothing to lose by trying it out.

If you’re interested my Skype username is the same as all my others “nengard”

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