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I am Jack's new messaging experience

It's weird talking to people on the phone, IM and suchlike when your point of contact for years in the technical community has been mailing lists and mutual weblog comments. Of late such non-asynchronous communication has been increasing. Hence I thought I should put a fote into my AIM and Skype profile. And really do an "about" page for here, 'cos for all anyone knows, I'm a bot. You know, humanize things a bit.

Skype. I clicked on some stuff. The fote went up.

AIM. Ah. Now, I do all my AIM stuff via a Jabber tunnel. It seems to put a AIM fote up I need go through an AIM client. I downloaded the AIM installer. It's very loud. It took ages to download. It told me I was a bit waay, a bit woo, a cheekie chappie. It felt it knew me. It wanted to empathize. It seemed pumped to be here now. No, I didn't want the AOL browser to be my default browser. Later it would pop up the browser anyway for a demo. Just in case. AIM installer experience in a nutshell? The Zooroopa Tour Abbreviated. Or maybe Benetton On Crack. It sucked.

Onto the client. It's like, the acme, of crap IM design.

I'm ty
(ui focus onto aim - alt-tab)
ping into in m
(flash flash flash. Click.What?! Oh, nothing much - alt-tab)
y weblog for
(ui focus onto aim - alt-tab)

(flash flash flash. Click.What?! Oh, nothing much - alt-tab)
imclientkeepspoppingup. Arggh. It's like a TV that changes the channel when the ads are on somewhere else.

The AIM UI is tinged bluish and looks like it's 160 yards away. This is usually called atmospheric perspective when done on purpose and I think, is a first for interface
(flash flash flash. What?! Oh, nothing much - alt-tab)
design. If you added a tinge of ochre it would look like proper urban smog pollution. Maybe it already does and twigged I'm not the demographic for toxified beautiful sunsets. And the client really doesn'
(flash flash flash. What?! Oh, nothing much - alt-tab)
t want to be turned off. It took me 3 strikes to get it out of the task tray.

Conclusion? Heaven help us if Go
(flash flash flash. Click.What?! Oh, nothing much - alt-tab)
ogle take this Jabber stuff seriously. Interrrupt Oriented Advertising, anyone? Ok. Let's get the fote up an
(ui focus onto aim - alt-tab)
d uninstall.

January 19, 2006 08:52 PM


Dan Hatfield
(January 20, 2006 06:23 PM #)

So this seems like a typically pick your poison kind of a problem to me....
Generally, the telephone is seen as a more productive medium for discussion.
But the value of weblogs, IM and mailing lists in capturing long winded discussions (and all the nuanced points and counterpoints) is invaluable to me.
I hate to say it but I think I still prefer the later because of the trail which is searchable later...
I can't search telephone conversations (yet anyway). And we all know that while such things should be documented - they often just aren't properly documented. And even if they are, the level of documentation can rarely compete with the blow-by-blow replay available in a mailing list.

So I guess that leaves me in the "let's use an asynchronous self-documenting mechanism" for technical discussions camp...even though it's arguably less (immediately) productive.

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