Five Best Conversations with my Meebo (web IM) Client

Back in January, I added the Meebo client to my blog page, and over the past few months I’ve learned a lot about web chat in general …

  • There are other clients out there, and I’ve tried a few – most recently the AIM Wimzi, which came close to unseating Meebo as my web chat client of choice.
  • Wimzi and Google Talk will allow me to use Trillian as a client, solving two problems I have with Meebo – logging my chats, and automatically setting my status to Away when I am off the keyboard for a few minutes …
  • … but Meebo is better at reporting when folks are on my web site – in real-time!

I’ve also noticed some interesting behaviors …

  • Most of my “chats” originate outside of the US – I’ve talked with the UK, Dubai, Brazil, Portugal, Canada, Mexico …
  • Europeans will invariably connect late in the evening Chicago time, meaning very early in the morning their time – sometimes after pulling an all nighter! Something tells me this is not a statistically valid sample – do all Europeans work this hard? Impressive.
  • Posting information on the web, and getting responses, is often a near real-time event; I can see people add on to the Meebo list almost immediately after I post a blog entry or respond to something on LinkedIn Answers.
  • Vendors seem to troll the blogs looking for product mentions – I’ve made a few, and have gotten pings ranging from “thanks for the mention” to “have you updated recently?”
  • Web-chats can be uber-terse, especially with folks that I’ve already met, but aren’t on my Trillian list(s); they understand chat, and can have a quick conversation without the formality of email …
[sourcecode language=”plain” light=”true”][07:13] meeboguest737165: Jim – know anyone I could interview for my research on about using a blog as a project management tool? – Dennis McDonald [07:13] jpmacl: me, i suppose [07:14] meeboguest737165: that’s why I am asking [07:13] jpmacl: don’t know of any peers using this yet [07:14] meeboguest737165: I’ll email details later if thats ok [07:14] jpmacl: perfect [07:14] meeboguest737165: bye
[/sourcecode]

(Note: I just noticed that skip in the time stamps … Meebo gets system time from client? That’s not a copy-paste error … curious …)

Most of the time, these web chats are great fun – someone is reaching out from somewhere / anywhere in the world, and tapping me on the shoulder. Sure, I’ve been hacking for a while, but these were really great experiences … and here are my most memorable (to date), counting up to #1 …

  1. Rafa from the UK: a meaty conversation about the effectiveness of various Web2.0 tools. The simplistic nature of the medium made no real difference in the quality of the conversation.
  2. [Unknown] from Dubai: I’m just sitting there watching TV, when a big Lotus Notes fan starts a conversation. It got real interesting when he revealed he was sitting on the other side of the world! He couldn’t let go of the idea that Notes was technically superior, so it should have been accepted in the marketplace. Always a challenge to trade ideas with techs who are committed to the tech side of things (I agree that Notes was great stuff, first out with a reasonably sophisticated distributed database mechanism … but that IBM marketing savvy …)
  3. [D] from California: A budding entrepreneur looking for marketing help with a startup business. He had dug up some content from an old web site of mine (circa 2000; web dark-ages!) and wanted to engage in some phone conversations about an effective way to craft an elevator pitch.
  4. Mark from Oregon: A nice interruption to a blog entry in progress; Mark is a wiki maven, and was responding to some earlier posts about wikis in the enterprise. What an excellent resource for information on the “state of the state” in wikis and the Creole movement, etc. – I learned a lot in a short period of time …
  5. Alex from Portugal: another international connection, from a guy who runs a web hosting service. I appreciated his feedback on my web pages; I could tell I was chatting with a free spirit. We ended up switching to MSN and Google Talk, comparing performance of the clients as well as the ease of use / differences with Meebo. Finally, we connected via LinkedIn – my fastest connection there ever, again, in near real-time. Near the end of the conversation I realized Alex was just out of school – I should have guessed, the ease in which he jumped from medium to medium. This string of connections really kept me on my toes …

The widget stays out there, and I try to stay logged on to Meebo every chance I get – even during the workday! However, please be understanding – as noted earlier, Meebo does not auto-sense when I’m not at my keyboard. So if I don’t respond right away to a ping – I might not be there … so leave a forwarding email or something?

AtDhVaAnNkCsE !

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James MacLennan

... is the Managing Partner at Maker Turtle LLC, a digital consultancy focused on creating value in ways that align with your strategy and drive engagement with employees, customers, and stakeholders. He is an active creator, providing thought leadership through on-line & print publications, and public speaking / keynotes.