Instant and Text messaging on the brain

2004 April 29
by Karen

Instant and Text messaging on the brain

So today in my news aggregrator I find four different posts about either instant messaging (IM) and/or text messaging. Jenny at The Shifted Librarian has a couple of posts on each of these technologies. In someways these technologies are similar. Both are used to send short text messages. However, IM and chat are used on the Internet while, text messaging or SMS (short message service) is used to deliver this type of message to cell phones.

Jenny believes that IM will be one of the top strategic technologies for public libraries in 2005. However, public libraries aren't the only libraries that haven't leveraged IM yet. Resistancy to chat reference is, in my humble opinion, still very strong. (Exhibit A- the relatively small number of librarians at Computer in Libraries this year who said they used IM) In addition, there is a question of what software to use for chat reference and the issue of installing that software on computers.

Today, I found out two very helpful things about IM. First, I discovered AIM (AOL Instanct Messenger) Express, which is a web-based version the the AIM software. This is awesome because it means that I don't have to install the AIM client on my computer. Nor do our students need to install something. So I am trying to figure out if there is a way to write code for AIM Express to open logged into a generic “student” account and send a message to a generic “librarian” account.

Another discovery I made today was the software Gush. Gush is a software that provides IM capabilities as well as news aggregation capabilities. The nifty thing about Gush is that it can be used to communicate with AIM, MSN, Yahoo, and ICQ contacts (this is done using something called Jabber transports). For me the best solution would be software that combines Gush's ability to communicated with a variety of IM tools and the web-based functionality of AIM Express.

This would resolve some of the technical issues that I see with chat reference. However, many of the problems with effectively implementing chat reference in some organizations seem to be psychological or cultural not technological.

Comments are closed for this entry.