Instant Messaging (IM) is perhaps the fastest way to communicate with your friends, family, and business associates online. For those whose online nerve system starts with IM applications, here are 9 cool tools that you can use to manage it a bit better or bring in a bit of twist.
Also don’t forget the Instant Messenging toolbox: 90+ IM Tools
IMified is an IM buddy that you can add to your Instant Messenger on your desktop or mobile phone to help you get things done without having to use your web browser. Some of the things that it helps you do include writing and publishing a post on your blog, adding links to social bookmarking sites and micro blogging sites, making notes, make reminders, manage to do’s, and many other interesting things. IMified is compatible with major IM networks like AIM, Google Talk, MSN, and Jabber.
To use IMified, you simple need to add this email address – email@example.com – as your contact in your Instant Message application. After that is done, send an Instant Message to IMIfied like you normally send to your other IM contacts. It will then reply with a menu of the various services and links that you can visit. If you click on the settings link, it will take you to a page where you can view various IMified widgets, or in other words, the various activities that you do with IMified. There are 25 widgets available so far. Choose any of the widgets and give it permission to access your accounts on those various sites. After that, you can simply use the IMified buddy on your IM tool to access these sites directly.
ZapTXT is an online tool that you can use to subscribe to news, blog posts, new job listings, etc. on your Instant Messenger application, email, or mobile phone. ZapTXT provides a number of sites from where you can choose to subscribe. You can also enter a specific blog feed to subscribe in case you don’t find it in the list. You can also filter your subscription with keywords and set the frequency in which you wish to receive updates. There is no limit to the number of feeds you can subscribe to using ZapTXT.
Using ZapTXT is simple and you can start right from the ZapTXT homepage. It also provides a browser bookmarklet that you can use to quickly add a site on your browser to your subscription list. Bloggers can also add a ZapTXT button on their sites and give their readers a new method of subscribing to their feeds. ZapTXT is compatible with Google Talk, Skype, Jabber, MSN, Yahoo Messenger, AIM, Gizmo, and LG Talk.
Zimbie is a service for bloggers, webmasters, and online marketers to create and host their own IM bots or services and have interactive and automated IM sessions with their readers or target audiences. For instance, you can create a bot to answer to specific queries of your readers on the Instant Messenger. To use the service, you can download and run the trail version of the Zimbie tool available currently. You can use this to create your own bots using a Jabber or Google Talk server. There are some pre-built bots that will help you send RSS feed updates to the Instant Messengers of your subscribers. There is an exhaustive user manual available for users to help create bots but nevertheless, the service looks like it will definitely go over the head of many without good programming knolwledge. Maybe they will simplify it more as they go along.
TwitterIM is a simple online tool that will help you twit via Live Messenger or ICQ. Remember Twitter currently allows updates only through GoogleTalk, Jabber, and Live Journal IM tools. Now with TwitterIM, you can simply add – firstname.lastname@example.org – to your contact list and you are set to twit away. TwitterIm also automatically replaces your links with TinyURL, and allows you to send updates even when Twitter is down. You can also create longer tweets with this tool. You can also receive the 20 latest tweets from your friends and view your last 20 replies using this service. There is also an email to Twitter service. One wish list I have is that they should make their service useful for other IM applications as well that Twitter is not supporting at the moment.
RadiusIM is an online social IM tool that allows you to look for chat buddies based on location. Once you login to RadiusIM, it will open up a Google Map where you can set up your location. The map will also display other RadiusIM user icons of those who are near your location. Clicking on these icons will display their profiles. RadiusIM also functions as a multi-network IM tool that supports networks like MSN, AIM, ICQ, Yahoo, GTalk, and Jabber. You have the option of inviting them to RadiusIM if you wish. Though there is no particular use for this service, it definitely brings a little excitement to see so many people near you online and chatting away just like you.
Tworl is a friend-finder service that you can use to search friends based on age, gender, and instant messenger program. After you put in your criteria, Tworl will come up with a random list of names from which you can choose one and send a Tworl chat invitation message via an instant messenger. The concept sounds good though the fact that it supports only AOL IM currently is a handicap. It will get more interesting when more networks are supported.
Smikl is a new online service that supposedly saves all your Instant Messages. It works with major IM networks including AIM, ICQ, MSN, QIP, Miranda, Pidgin, Trilian, and Yahoo Messenger among others. You do not need to download any software to use this and all messages are saved on its server. The service is currently in private beta but you can register you email for invitation requests. This is also another service worth keeping an eye on and will come in handy when you want to see your chat history online. Today while Google Talk allows you to save your chats on the gmail inbox, there are others that won’t save your chat online. Simkl could be an answer to this.
IM History is an application that runs on your sytem tray and saves your IM chat history and contacts on its web server. When you run your IM messengers on a different computer, it syncs the new chat data available with what is stored online. This makes it an useful tool especially if you are using multiple computers at home and work and need to access your chat history data from any of these places. The service is compatible with major IM networks like AIM, MSN, Windows Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, Skype, Trillian, Pidgin, and Miranda.
Social IM is a new service that enables you to chat with your Facebook friends through its desktop IM client. The concept is nice and you might perhaps get to see similar tools for other social networks in the future. To use the Social IM client, you can download the tool from its site. The service is in the early stage and so don’t expect it run smoothly as yet.