Chatty Cathy


Funny how communication has evolved over the years. From pen to telegraph to telephone to computers, another myriad of levels have been added with this latest technology.

We had email, and that was a way to get a message from point A to point B. Then of course, we have this whole Instant Messaging thing which can take many forms off offline and online communique. Add video chat, like ISPQ and ICUII to the mix, and there’s another variable to consider.

I will say this for instant messaging, dang, they need to get it together. I have my work colleagues (both inside and outside the company), and friends to manage. It can be rough, given the slew of privacy options and tools that are out there.

It’s funny, I adapt to all these chat apps, depending on many things. First, where are my friends, secondly, what is the client (at work) using… I make adjustments accodingly. I use em all, to varying degrees of success. Of course, some friends have screennames that by themselves, look questionable on any pal or buddy list.

I know I should have separate screennames, but I’m me. Sure I’ve grown tired of some handles and fiddled over time, but for the most part – I give out the same handle no matter what.

I just wish privacy preferences would be more adaptable. I hate to say it, but Microsoft Messenger comes the closest.

  • First, you have the ability to accept who can add you to their list. Seems like a reasonable request. I don’t want random “hellos” from folks I don’t know.
  • I can group folks into categories (which they all pretty much do now anyway.)
  • I can block individuals…. If only yahoo figured this out.
  • I can see in my privacy settings, who has added me to their list.

Of course, there’s still many things I wish Messenger did. Like group privacy. Say I wanted all my work cohorts to see if I was online, and block out my friends. That would be a handy feature with one click. The other is video conferencing with a mac. Yahoo has this down cross-platform, and for that, I am happy.

It’s not a perfect world, and software evolves. Now of course, I like the idea of them apps that combine all these into one program from the various services, but those are flaky. It’s a great concept though.

Oh yeah, one last note – iChat on the mac wins for most tasteful integration into the operating system, and most unobtrusive sound effects.