It seems someone finally told Facebook that users don’t like to be locked into a browser window when they want to instant message with their friends, family and co-workers.

Facebook Chat launched some time ago, but it hasn’t exactly been the most useful tool as it required you to use the browser all the time to check which friends were online and interact with them.  Now the king of the social networks has teamed up with AIM, formally named AOL Instant Messenger, to take its chat capabilities out to the desktop.

The only problem with this whole idea is … well … it’s AIM.  It’s like the forgotten child of the instant messaging crowd.  Luckily Facebook has announced that it will be opening up its Chat to any instant messaging client that wants to use it, so hopefully we’ll see it pop up soon in an actually useful IM client.

Categories: Communication, Facebook   

Why is it becoming so acceptable to totally throw proper etiquette out the window just because things are done on the Internet?

As someone who writes for numerous blogs, I get a ton of press releases each day. Some interest me, most don’t, but one of the quickest ways to lose my interests is to start off an email to me in one of the following ways:

“Sean …”

“Dear Sean …”

“Hey Sean …”

Let me give you a hint folks, until such time as we have a familiar working relationship, or you give me permission to do otherwise, I will address you as “Mr.” or “Ms.” followed by your last name.  I will never call someone by their first name in an initial contact email with someone I hope to have a working relationship with.  This is an old business rule, and one that is still followed in most parts of the business world … it’s just the Internet that seems to think it is to “hip” for it any more.

This was all brought back to my attention this week when a press agent contacted me about doing them a sort of favor, and even though we had never talked before, nor been formally introduced, they called me “Sean” in their very first email to me.  After our business dealing was over, I e-mailed them and let them know what I thought of their practice of doing such.

I have had it.

I have worked in many industries over the years, and I continue to work with Japanese companies extensively.  If I was to ever demonstrate such a lackadaisical attitude in my dealings with them, I wouldn’t so much as get a rejection letter informing me of how disrespectful I was.

And in other industries I am associated with, people still expect to be addressed by their last name until such time as they say otherwise.  This is just how business is done, but yet, if you work on the Internet, somehow you are beyond all this.

Well, newsflash folks, I’m not.  And from here on out, I’m calling people on it.  I’m tired of it, it’s rude and it is disrespectful of the traditions of business.  I show you the respect of addressing you properly, I would ask you do the same for me.  I will probably give you permission to call me “Sean” soon enough, just don’t assume you may from step one.  Is that so much to ask?

Categories: Communication, Opinion   

nbc communicator logoLike some sort of mad science experiment, NBC (yes, the television network) has launched its own instant messenger/VoIP solution/streaming video/calendar/photo gallery/coffee dispenser program.  (okay, we’re fibbing about the coffee)

NBC Universal has released a new program called NBC Communicator that seems to be a catch all that will let you do just about anything you want while exploring video from its mother site.  (not from Hulu oddly, but instead from its own site)  As its core it looks like NBC has just thrown a few bells and whistles on top of a copy of MSN Messenger, and since that is the IM system it integrates with, we’re guessing we’re correct.

It seems a bit pointless to us, but obviously NBC feels it is going to be some sort of good idea for its social media presence.  We view it more as, “Hey, you can now use MSN with more annoyances like ads that will take up a decent amount of screen real estate inside the program.”

If you haven’t guessed yet, we are labeling this one as completely useless tripe that you really don’t need, and we’re not sure who really ever would.

nbc communicator

Categories: Communication   
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