Instant Messenger

instant messenger

It’s no mystery in this day and age that instant messenger’s and instant messeging are an essential part of running many businesses – whether it’s connecting with clients to straighten out terms of an agreement or casually chatting with a supplier to warm them up to the idea of having you over for a visit instant messanging continues to show its usefulness in the professional world. Anyone that’s poked their nose around the internet for a reasonable amount of time could tell you there are plenty of options when it comes to IM’ing. So how do you figure out which one(s) are best for you? Well don’t look at me! Well I’ll tell you what I use below in hopes that you might find it useful in deciding :)

david ho recommends miranda/><a href=Miranda IM is an open source instant messaging system that allows you to use the MSN, AIM, ICQ, Yahoo Messenger, and a few other protocols through one interface. Some of you might also be familiar with another multi-protocol platform known as Trillian. I used to use that. More recently I’ve come to find it too bulky and unnecessarily complex – not to mention you have to pay for the super spiffy pro version. I don’t like paying for stuff :) . That’s where Miranda came in and saved the day. It’s extremly lightweight has very comprehensive functionality – it is a bit of a challenge to get everything tweeked just the way you want but I can promise you it’s worth it in the end. If your looking for a one stop solution to most of your IM’ing needs this puppy comes the closest in my opinion.

david ho recommends tencent messengerTencent Messenger is an English speaking persons godsend. It’s basically QQ for the western world. Without it I would be hopeless to engage with the some 280+ million QQ users all over the world (ok so mostly China) In the not so distant future their will be more QQ users than US citizens – QQ has actually been referenced in passing as a country entity – giggle inspiring but also true. If you have any interest in doing business in China online you are hopeless without QQ. Get it or get left behind

david ho recommends google talkGoogle Talkis actually one of the messengers I use the least. “Why!?” you might ask? “Don’t you love everything google?” you might say – well hold on hold on. I do have butterflies in my stomach about most things Google and though the interface is in line with what I’ve come to expect from google I’m in a unique position. By that I mean I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-15 e-mail accounts that are using google apps so that means I have numerous Google talk identities. The standalone application is fine but only allows for a single google user account to be logged into it at once (you would need to manually add e-mails of other gmail users that are not associated with the account your logged in under). There probably is a solution floating around out there in cyberland but it’s been too small of a problem up to now to put any energy behind fixing. For now Gtalk is on the bottom of my usefulness. Don’t worry I still load it up every time I start my computer – <3 Google.

david ho recommends skypeSkype has been one of my favorites for quite some time – and by that I mean before version 4.0. I used to love the simplicity and the familiarity I had with the interface and the simple flow of windows as I chatted and placed phone calls. By the way that is the most useful feature of Skype, and its primary differentiator from all the other chat interfaces I’ve mentioned. You can open an account insert funds and call anywhere in the world for a fraction of the cost of picking up a landline and doing the same. I also have a Skype number in the US meaning people in the states can call me on a US number and that call will be forwarded to me online or my China cell if I’m not online. I simply need to pay the normal low rate skype fee I would pay for calling internationally from skype on my computer + the normal rate I would pay on my cell phone for a local call in China to my cell phone carrier. Setup’s a snap

Now about version 4.0 – I’m not sure what the big boys were thinking when they put it together but I can assure you from a users standpoint I was and continue to be frustrated by the new interface and other changes. I’ve been on calls before where I could not get the number pad to pop up so I could input numbers in an automated system I was calling into. When on multi person calls it is impossible to get bring the number pad back up.. then there is the o so annoying copy/paste issue. All you lovers of ctrl+c / ctrl+v know what I’m talking about. It used to be simple – select the text in chat you’d like to duplicate ctrl+c select the location you’d like to copy ctrl+v walla! Now when you try to do this simple task you get stuck with the senders name and time stamp if not some other code junk that comes along with the text message. To the best of my knowledge you cannot simply copy paste out of skype any more. I’m reduced to copying and pasting into notepad, removing unwanted code, and copy/pasting the final message to the destination location. *ugh* it may seem like small thing but in my world copy and pasting is right up there with having a good water supply handy. Despite it’s aggrevations skype continues to be a great value to international businessman and the computer savvy wallet-oriented people that talk alot on the phone the world over

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