Chat isn't working for me

by Volker Weber

AOL Messenger, Microsoft Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, Sametime, Apple Messages, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, GTalk, Hangouts, BlackBerry Messenger, Nokia Chat. They all work great, and they don't work together. Some of them work on PCs, some on mobiles, some on both. Some have their own signup, some use phone numbers, some use other services' authentication. If you happen to know my ID and you are on my buddy list, you can send me a message. If one of my devices is online, it will take your message. But in most cases, I will not know until a few days later.

Some of this confusion is my own fault. I have way too many machines. And way too many phone numbers. Just bought a new one last week from T-Mobile USA.

What do you do? Send me an email. That's universal. It reaches me on all my machines. If you don't get a reply, I am currently not available. Or your message did not require an answer.


But I thought email was dead.

Ed Brill, 2013-07-15 20:55

Many many moons ago, I built a little website to handle this (no longer on)

You would enter your different IM systems, email addresses, phone numbers etc. then someone could go to it enter your id and a message and it would in turn send the message to each of your devices.

Problem was, it was too easy to abuse by spammers.

Carl Tyler, 2013-07-15 20:56

No, Ed, you didn't.

Carl, as I said, it's quite easy. Send me an email. Don't spam all my accounts.

Volker Weber, 2013-07-15 20:58

Skype and Lync will talk to each other :-)

Darren Adams, 2013-07-15 21:43

In your world, that is universal.:-) How do I add a Microserf to my Skype buddylist? By email address?

Volker Weber, 2013-07-15 21:45

but they all have one in common i suppose,one interface to the nsa. its unfortunatly only workig in one direction.

I like : "Or your message did not require an answer."

thorsten ebers, 2013-07-15 23:16

I Don't use IM for time-sensitive communication, as it's probably the worst application for that tool. IM is a "oh, they're online, I'll ask so we can start a 2-way conversation" service.

Email is pretty much the universal for 1 to 1 instant communications. Everyone has it, and every machine speaks it. It's light-weight, efficient, and usually requires no installation.

In related news, get Trillian.

Mike McPoyle, 2013-07-16 20:33

I had Trillian 10 years ago. The world has evolved. Without rephrasing everything I said before, it's about multiple mobile devices.

Volker Weber, 2013-07-16 22:12

Trillian was valuable, but less so when it was only AIM, MSN, and ICQ and no smartphones. It's invaluable to me now.

Then again, I don't use 13 different chat tools.

Mike McPoyle, 2013-07-17 02:36


Volker Weber, 2013-07-18 12:14

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