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Dragging myself into instant messaging.

By CharlieSpencer ·
We've had a internal IM system for about two years, deployed only within the IT department. I've never given it a serious shot, regarding it as little more than a time waster. I've decided to try to ignore this prejudice and give it as unbiased a try as I can. I'll be using this exclusively from a desktop client. My goal is to determine what advantages there may be for me compared to e-mail or telephone, my normal commo tools.

Any suggestions for effective use? Any potential pitfalls or etiquette issues to avoid?

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Simple

by Slayer_ In reply to Dragging myself into inst ...

Just don't tell people you wear dresses at night.


.....I'm serious, this actually happened in our organization, it was so damn funny.

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But I can still wear them, right?

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Simple

Just as long as I don't tell anyone? What about spandex? Or the leather cat suit?

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Just avoid web cams :)

by Slayer_ In reply to But I can still wear them ...
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Then how am I suppose make money???

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Just avoid web cams :)

Geez, I make more money off that than my real job.

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Ok then, just avoid

by The Scummy One In reply to Then how am I suppose mak ...

sending the IM clients the LINK to the webcam footage
there, you should be ok -- until you slip up

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Maintain an archive

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to Dragging myself into inst ...

for referencing. Both to CYA, and to jog your memory. Conversations can be printable, a bonus in my book.

You may find, also, that with fairly knowledgeable users, IM comes in handy for helping them work through an issue without having to physically be with them.

No visual cues is my biggest hangup with IM. That and lack of word definition. I sometimes begin a conversation with definitions that 'should' be held in common for the course of the conversation.

Etiquette? For the most part, I'd say that IM etiquette mirrors forum etiquette. Or is that the other way 'round?

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Not an option with users.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Maintain an archive

As far as I know, it's strictly within the IT department.

I don't have many tech savvy users anyway. Since almost all of my users are in the same building, I prefer to resolve users issues face to face. It gets me out of my chair and gives me a chance to 'show the flag'.

Would the lack of visual feedback or tone of voice be any more of a problem than it is here or in e-mail?

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I wouldn't think so.

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to Not an option with users.

Particularly as you know your fellow staff members to some degree.

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I find IM to be easier usually

by Tig2 In reply to Not an option with users.

BUT...

Keep typing speed in mind as you are reading. Some people will send messages one sentence at a time. Others will write full paragraphs. If you aren't paying attention to the indicator that tells you that the other person is responding, you can easily derail a conversation or misunderstand one.

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That is the biggest problem

by The Scummy One In reply to I find IM to be easier us ...

in my opinion. I have had to tell people to backtrack to 'sync' before. Especially if they are trying to say multiple things

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