Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I'm an IM packrat

With the launch of Google Talk (a Jabber-based IM service run by the benevolent folks at Google), I've noticed that my connection bar in Trillian has turned into a vibrant carnival of colored dots.

I don't know why I keep accounts on all of these services. 99% of my friends use AIM, and everyone at work uses MSN Messenger. I don't think I've talked to anyone over ICQ or Yahoo Chat for months, yet as soon as Google opened their service, my fingers left fiery trails on the keyboard as I raced to add it to Trillian's service list.

As for Google Talk itself, I don't see the point yet. I'm all for Google taking over Ye Olde Interwebbe, but their service doesn't offer anything that their competitors' don't. It seems like using the Jabber protocol is going to limit clients to a small feature set without leaving any room for expansion.

I know Google is all about minimalist design and avoiding feature bloat, but IM is one of the few mediums where an established userbase will be very reluctant to switch. It's easy to give out a new E-mail address, but by switching IM services, you risk losing the ability to communicate with all of your friends and colleagues (unless you use multiple clients, which sort of defeats the whole purpose).

Oh well, at least this might convince people to finally make the switch to Trillian.


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