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The luxury of internet communication

by kena last modified 2012-05-03 01:22

Best practices, cultural diversity, etiquette, tools, name it all. Become the best at messaging.

General advice

They are human, too.
Be careful with your language. Be clear in your communication. Stay aware of the feelings of others. Prefer short paragraphs with simple sentences to big blobs of text. Use Emoticons.
Know the diversity!
The Internet is not about MSN and e-mail. You can find many people on the other networks — IRC, ICQ, Jabber, to name a few.
The network is not the tool.
Keep in mind that other people do not use the same software as you do. Don't assume that your MSN contacts use the official MSN client. Don't assume that everyone uses mIRC to connect to IRC. Know iChat, Gaim, X-Chat, Psi, Google Talk, Irssi, Adium X, Colloquy.

Stay connected

Stay online.
Run your messaging client on a computer always connected to the Internet. Access that computer remotely. Know about VNC, SSH.
Keep an entry point to your network.
Keep bookmarks of web applications that provide access to your messaging networks. Know CGI:IRC. Know Jwchat.
Keep options for file transfers.
Due to network restrictions, not everyone can exchange files via instant messaging. Keep an anonymous FTP site to exchange files with others.

Simplify your life

Avoid the clutter on the screen.
Prefer multi-protocol software to single-purpose tools. Use a single tool to connect to multiple networks.
Centralize your contact lists.
Store your contacts on the server side, so that you do not lose them when you switch computers.
Merge your networks.
Use protocol gateways to connect to multiple networks at once. Know about Jabber transports. Know about Bitlbee.
Keep a single identity.
Have the same address for e-mail, MSN, Jabber. Use GMail or configure your own domain. Use the same nick for AIM, Yahoo! or IRC.
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