Online Status Indicators

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  • Flags –
  • Translators: Babel Fish,
  • InterTran,
  • ToggleText

  • How to Have Your Life Explode with Relevance
  • How to Face the Future Without Mystery or Fear
  • Free Life-Changing Books, Magazines & Radio & TV Shows
  • Bypass Data-Stealing Malware with Rapport’s Secure Pipe
  • Make a Wreckproof Space in Windows XP/Vista/7 – A Windows 7 Option
  • Surgery for Stiffness/Pain May Be Unnecessary – How to Avoid It for Free
  • Suffering from a Lack of Income is Definitely Unnecessary – Here’s Why
  • Speaking of Suffering, Why It’s About More Than Just Free Will

Got a question that can’t wait? Or just want to visit for a bit? Send me an instant message. Or send me an e-mail message.

Note: I use Meebo.com’s web-based instant messenger, so I’m unfamiliar with most computer-based instant messaging problems. For help with your instant messaging questions, please try the following resources at BigBlueBall.com.

Contents

  • My Online / Offline Status – Chat with Me
  • My Profiles
  • Common Instant Messaging Issues and Resources: skip
    • Free Instant Messaging Support Resources at BigBlueBall.com
    • The 7 Deadly Sins of Instant Messaging for Chat Addicts
    • How to Hide or Disable MySpace ”Online Now” Status Icon
    • Web Page Status Indicators
    • Online Status Checker
    • Block / Ignore Checker
    • How to Disable Popup Blockers
    • How to Send Offline Messages
    • How to Retrieve Your IM Password
    • Instant Message Translator
    • Time Zones and Internet Time
    • Member Directories
    • Learn or Practice a Language with Voice IM
  • Instant Messaging, Safety and Privacy: skip
    • Learn About Instant Messaging
    • Instant Messaging in a Limited User Account
    • How to Chat Safely
    • Encryption for Private Chats
    • How to View Archived Conversations or Chats
  • Instant Messengers and VoIP Softphones: skip
    • Multi-Protocol Instant Messaging Aggregators
    • Single-Protocol Instant Messengers
    • Resources and Extras / Plugins
    • Web-Based Instant Messaging Aggregators
    • Web-Based Single-Protocol Instant Messengers
    • Christian Instant Messengers
    • Christian Web-Based Instant Messengers
    • Instant Messengers for Kids
    • Wireless Instant Messaging Devices and Cell Phones for Kids
    • Instant Messengers for Web Sites
      • What Chatango Requires and How It Works
      • Free Live Support Chat Scripts and Services

Free Instant Messaging Support

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  • Ask Your Instant Messaging Question in BigBlueBall.com’s Forum
  • Ask Your Question Via BigBlueBall’s Live Chat
  • Call In Your Question Via Skype

  My online / offline status doesn’t matter with the following options if you don’t mind sending me a message when I’m offline. But if you want to chat now and you’ve viewed this page before, refresh it to make sure you’re seeing my current status. How to add a status indicator to your web page.

If I’m online or even if I’m offline and you don’t have an ICQ, AOL, AIM, Yahoo, or MSN account…

…ask me a question or chat with me now. If I’m offline, I’ll get your message when I go online.

Other Chat Options

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Send an email message to my ICQ instant messenger. Or go to my Unified Messaging Center and where it says ”Send a message to my ICQ” fill out the form and send me an instant or offline message.

If you do have an AOL, AIM, MSN or Yahoo account, (you can register an account for free if you don’t have one) but don’t have their instant messenger installed or running on your computer, here are some other options:

Send me an instant or offline message with ICQ2Go! (the Flash version requires Flash Player – click on Start to contact me – for the Java version, Java must be enabled in your browser and for both versions you have to disable your popup blocker, if you have one. Then from the ”Search for an ICQ user” window, search for nickname digr65. When you find my profile, add me to your contact list and send me a message.)

Send me an instant message with eBuddy or MSN Web Messenger (Javascript must be enabled in your browser, you have to disable your popup blocker, if you have one, and you have to log in.)

Send me an instant or offline message with Yahoo! Web Messenger. (You need to use Internet Explorer, have Java installed, you have to log in, and you have to disable your popup blocker, if you have one.)

Send me an instant message with Odigo Express (You need to have Java installed, you have to log in, and you have to disable your popup blocker, if you have one.)

Send me an instant message with AIM Express. (You have to log in, and you have to disable your popup blocker, if you have one. Also check to make sure your system meets the requirements. When the Buddy List window appears, click on the IM or Chat icon to send me a message, and send it to rootsdigr65.) Or send me an offline message with DoorManBot, or AIMMachine.com. (You need to have Java installed, you have to log in, and you have to disable your popup blocker, if you have one.

Or if you have the AOL instant messenger (AIM) installed and running, use the bar below to send me an instant message. (Ignore the ”I am Online” part. The bar isn’t a status indicator. To see if I’m online, check my online status indicator.)

To learn more about me, check out my profiles.

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  • My Facebook Profile
  • My ICQ Profile
  • My Yahoo! Profile
  • My MSN Profile

You can view my AIM profile from inside the AOL Instant Messenger.

To learn more about instant messaging, check these out:

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  • BigBlueBall.com
  • Instant Messaging Tools and Technology: A Mini-Guide and Overview of Popular Instant Messengers
  • A Grown-Up’s Guide to Instant Messaging
  • How It Works: Instant Messaging
  • Instant Messengers Grow Up and Go to Work
  • The Ins and Outs of AIM
  • Flower Power: Our Top ICQ Tips
  • Book: Moms’ Survival Guide to Instant Messaging

WARNING: Going online in Windows XP’s default account, which unfortunately is the administrator account, isn’t safe. And AIM and ICQ may require administrator rights, so to be safe, apply the following steps to run AIM or ICQ in a Limited User account (LUA).

NOTE: If you don’t harden, or secure, Windows XP, you may not need to fix a LUA bug or use RunAs or MakeMeAdmin to run AIM or ICQ in a Limited User account. But I strongly recommend securing Windows before using your PC. skip

  1. Secure Windows
  2. Create a Limited User Account (LUA)
  3. Fix the LUA Bug or Use an Access / Privilege Control Utility

To chat safely by instant messenger, read the following guides:

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  • How to Secure Your Computer and Data
  • How to Securely Erase Private Data
  • Deter IM Invaders
  • A Primer for Using Instant Messaging Safely
  • More on How to IM Safely
  • How to Chat Safely
  • How to Make AIM More Secure
  • How to Make Yahoo! Instant Messenger More Secure
  • How to Make ICQ More Secure
  • How to Make MSN Messenger More Secure
  • How to Make Trillian More Secure
  • How to Make Odigo More Secure

To keep your IM or VoIP conversations private, use one of these:

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  • PGPfone (free VoIP encryption for Windows and Mac OS)
  • [ClosedTalk] (free VoIP encryption for Windows – contact by email address instead of telephone number – uses ECC-based Diffie-Hellman key generation protocol and 256-bit AES encryption)
  • Secure Instant Messaging Aggregators
  • Secure Single-Protocol Instant Messengers
  • IM Secure (encrypts instant messaging conversations)
  • Simp Lite for ICQ and AOL Instant Messenger (AIM)
  • Simp Lite for MSN Messenger
  • Simp Lite for Yahoo! Messenger
  • Simp Lite for Jabber and Google Talk
  • SpyShield (PGP encryption for MSN Messenger and Windows Messenger)

Retrieve Your IM Password

Instant Messaging Aggregators

Don’t have an instant messenger yet? Try an instant messaging aggregator that connects to all the main protocols, or networks. skip

  • Reviews of Instant-Messaging Aggregators by PC Magazine
  • Secure Aggregators
  • Multi-Platform Aggregators
  • Aggregators for Windows
  • Aggregators for Mac OS X
  • Aggregators for Mobile Phones
  • Aggregators for PDAs

Secure Aggregators

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  • Coccinella (Jabber client – secure text and voice chat for Windows, GNU/Linux and Mac OS X – file transfer, integrated whiteboard, group chat, multilingual)
  • BeeNut (a secure aggregator for Windows – supports AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, ICQ and QQ)
  • Blowsearch Secured Messenger (a secure aggregator for Windows – supports AIM, MSN, Yahoo! and ICQ)
  • Eyeball Chat (secure text, voice and video chat for Windows – chat rooms, file transfer, SSL encryption – supports AIM, MSN and Yahoo!)

Multi-Platform Aggregators

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  • Pidgin (formerly Gaim) (for Windows, GNU/Linux and Mac OS – portable version available – supports MSN/ WLM, Yahoo!, AIM, ICQ, Google Talk, XMPP, Bonjour, Gadu Gadu, GroupWise, IRC, QQ, SILC, SIMPLE, Sametime, Zephyr)
    • Pidgin Portable
    • Pidgin on Maemo
    • X-Pidgin
    • Pidgin-Encryption
    • Off-the-Record (OTR) Messaging Plugin for Pidgin (provides encryption, authentication, deniability and perfect forward secrecy)
    • Instructions for Putting Pidgin on a USB Flash Drive
  • Ayttm (formerly Everybuddy – for Windows, GNU/Linux and BSD, including Mac OS X)
  • A List of Jabber Clients (for Windows, GNU/Linux, Mac OS, PocketPC and other platforms) skip
    • Note: Most – but not all – Jabber servers support the AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, ICQ and other legacy IM protocols / services / networks by using gateways.
    • How to Find and Set Up Gateways in Your Jabber Client
    • Psi (a secure Jabber client for Windows, Mac OS X and GNU/Linux – includes Off the Record plugin – recommended for experienced users)
    • Google Talk (text and voice chat, Gmail notifications and file transfers for Windows, no adware – uses XMPP protocol – supports Jabber and AIM, MSN, Yahoo! and ICQ through gateways – requires a Gmail or Google account – you can get one with your mobile phone – voicemail)
      • GMail Chat Sound Alert Extension for Firefox
      • How to Connect Google Talk to AIM, MSN, Yahoo! or ICQ
      • Hacking Google Talk to Work with AIM, MSN Messenger, and Yahoo! Messenger
      • GTalk2VoIP (voice-over-IP gateway for making voice calls between Google Talk, MSN/WLM and Yahoo!)
      • Splinter.Net’s PSTN Phone Gateway for Google Talk Users (allows you to call a telephone from Google Talk via PSTN, the Public Switched Telephone Network)
      • Use Google Talk Away from Your Computer with a Camrivox Flexor IP Phone

Aggregators for Windows

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  • TipicIM (a secure Jabber aggregator)
    • (mobile phone version available)
  • Trillian (text, voice, video and mobile SMS chat for Windows – free version supports AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, ICQ and IRC – pro version also supports Jabber and Google Talk – may fail to import your contact lists or pictures of your friends)
    • Compare the Features of Trillian Basic with Trillian Pro
    • Trillian Anywhere (for removable media and Windows)
    • To learn more about Trillian, visit GoTrillian.com.
    • If Trillian misbehaves, try one of the following aggregators instead.
  • BuzzIM (for Windows – supports AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo Messenger and BuzzIM)
  • Nimbuzz for PC (supports Nimbuzz, MSN / WLM, Yahoo!, ICQ, AIM, Skype and Google Talk – call/group-call, chat/chatrooms, offline messaging, send photos/music/video, voice messaging)
  • A List of Jabber Clients (for Windows, GNU/Linux, Mac OS, PocketPC and other platforms) skip
    • Note: Most – but not all – Jabber servers support the AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, ICQ and other legacy IM protocols / services / networks by using gateways.
    • How to Find and Set Up Gateways in Your Jabber Client
    • Pandion (secure, recommended for beginners / newbies – supports plugins)
    • Papla PC (mobile phone version available)
    • neos mt (for experienced users)
    • Exodus (for experienced users – no multi-protocol transports)
    • myJabberIM (now free – for experienced users)
  • Miranda
    • X-Miranda IM
    • Miranda IM Portable
    • Off-the-Record (OTR) Messaging Plugin for Miranda IM (provides encryption, authentication, deniability and perfect forward secrecy)
    • Paltalk (text and video chat – supports AOL, Yahoo! and ICQ)
    • Odigo (revived by Comverse – now available again – has offline messaging – can have messages automatically redirected to a mobile phone or e-mail when offline or away from your computer)
    • Universal Messenger Plus (IM and IRC)
    • Complete Messenger (IM and IRC)
    • IM2 Instant Messenger (IM and IRC)
    • Easy Message Express (has adware – ultra-lite aggregator)

Aggregators for Mac OS X

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  • iChat (text, voice and video chat – comes with Mac OS X 10.2 or later – supports AIM, Google Talk, Jabber and .Mac and MSN, Yahoo! and ICQ through Jabber gateways)
    • How to Find and Set Up Gateways in iChat
  • Proteus
  • Fire
  • Adium
    • Adium X with OTR Plugin
    • Portable Adium
    • Adium Extras

Aggregators for Mobile Phones

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  • Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM) Information and Resources
  • Secure BlackBerry-Based MIM Aggregator
  • IMPS-Based MIM Aggregators
  • J2ME-Based MIM Aggregators
  • Other MIM Aggregators

Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM) can now be done from a mobile device through one or more technologies, which include: skip

  • Two-Way SMS (Short Message Service)
    • Free SMS Providers
  • Java ME (Java Platform, Micro Edition – formerly J2ME)
  • BREW (Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless)
  • WAP (Wireless Application Protocol)
  • IMPS (Instant Messaging and Presence Service)
  • Wireless Village (Mobile Instant Messaging Specification – Now Called OMA IMPS)
  • GPRS (General Packet Radio Service)

Mobile instant messages are billed by the amount of data sent, so they’re much cheaper to send than traditional one-way SMS text messages. skip

  • More About Mobile Instant Messaging
  • Mobile Instant Messaging Resources
  • Mobile Push for Instant Messaging
  • The Mobile Instant Messaging Conference

IMPS-Based Mobile Instant Messaging Aggregators

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To do instant messaging on a mobile phone with IMPS, you need an instant messenger that supports the Wireless Village protocol and an IMPS to connect to.

To Start Your Built-In Instant Messenger:

  • On a Nokia phone, go to the ”My Presence” menu.
  • On a Sony Ericsson phone, it’s called ”My Friends”.
  • On a Motorola phone, it’s called ”IM”.

Note: The phones’ instant messengers are generally designed to be provider neutral, so you have to manually enter the Wireless Village server settings.

If your phone doesn’t have a built-in instant messenger, you might still be able to get a third-party one that runs on your phone’s Symbian, Java ME, BREW (Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless), or other application environment. You need to get a chat client that’s ”Wireless Village compliant presence-enabled”.

J2ME-Based Mobile Instant Messaging Aggregators

(J2ME = Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition – now called Java ME for Java Platform, Micro Edition) skip

  • Nimbuzz Mobile (supports Nimbuzz, MSN / WLM, Yahoo!, ICQ, AIM, Skype and Google Talk – for most mobile phone brands and models with GPRS, UMTS, EDGE, GPRS, 3G or Wifi – call/group-call, chat/chatrooms, offline messaging, send photos/music/video, voice messaging)
    • Page your buddies with a BUZZ alert.
  • JustYak (for Series 40 and 60 Nokia Java-enabled phones and Java-enabled phones from Motorola, Sony Ericsson, and Siemens)
  • Agile Messenger (commercial aggregator for most handheld devices including Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Symbian Series 60, Symbian UIQ, Microsoft Smartphone, Pocket PC, Palm OS 3.5+, BREW and WAP devices)
  • IM+ Mobile Instant Messenger (commercial aggregator for Palm OS, Pocket PC, BlackBerry, Symbian, Nokia, i-mode and Java phones)
  • Jabber/Google Talk Aggregators: skip
    • Most – but not all – Jabber servers support the AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, ICQ and other legacy IM protocols / services / networks by using gateways.
    • How to Find and Set Up Gateways in Your Jabber Client
    • Bombus (web site is in Russian)
    • Colibry IM (web site is in Russian)
    • elechat
    • imov Messenger (for all Microsoft Windows Powered Smartphones and most Windows CE devices, including all Pocket PCs and Handheld PCs based on Windows CE 3.0 or greater)
    • JabberMixClient(JMC)
    • KomKom
    • mJabber
    • Mobber
    • moJab (small)
    • MGTalk
    • MXit (requires J2ME and GPRS/3G – messages are limited to 2000 characters – has anonymous chat)
      • More About MXit
      • Using MXit Through Your PC
    • Papla Instant Mobile (J2ME – supports AIM, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, Google Talk, Jabber)
    • TipicME (for J2ME, PocketPC and Symbian devices – supports AIM, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, Google Talk, Jabber)
    • Vayusphere XMPP Messenger (encrypted MIM for BlackBerry devices)

Other Mobile Instant Messaging Aggregators

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Yahoo, Microsoft and Google have all made moves on messaging, be it instant or e-mail, on phones.

  • ICQ Wireless (”ICQ has pioneered the use of multiple technologies in the wireless arena, and its powerful suite of services for mobile devices includes ICQ 2 Way SMS (Short Messaging Service), ICQ for SMS, ICQ for WAP (Wireless Access Protocol), ICQ for the J2METM Platform, ICQ for i-modeTM and the ICQ for the Symbian OS version.” – ICQ)
  • EQO Mobile (supports AIM/ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, Google Talk, Jabber)

Aggregators for PDAs

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  • The following aggregators are Jabber/Google Talk clients. Most – but not all – Jabber servers support the AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, ICQ and other legacy IM protocols / services / networks by using gateways.
  • How to Find and Set Up Gateways in Your Jabber Client
  • Chatopus (a commercial Jabber client for Palm OS)
  • NewtonIM (for Newton Message Pad)
  • Vayusphere XMPP Messenger (encrypted MIM for BlackBerry devices)

Single-Protocol Instant Messengers

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  • Secure Single-Protocol IMs
  • Other Single-Protocol IMs
  • Single-Protocol IMs for Mobile Phones
  • Single-Protocol IMs for PDAs
  • Other Mobile Messengers

NOTE: If you want to send messages to people who are offline, use ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger with Voice, MSN Messenger Live, Odigo or a Jabber client. (other ways to send offline messages) skip

  • Skype (secure text, voice, video, group, phone, cell phone and SMS chat for Windows, Mac OS, GNU/Linux and Pocket PC)
  • Hush Messenger (a secure instant messenger for Windows)
  • BitWise IM (secure text and voice chat for Windows, Mac OS X, and GNU/Linux – offline messages, files transfer, whiteboard, whitelist, mobility – no central servers)
  • iGo Incognito (a secure instant messenger for Windows)
  • PSST Easy Encrypted Instant Messaging (encrypted, P2P-based text and video chat for Windows and GNU/Linux – doesn’t go through central servers – uses 128-bit block encryption and keys are randomly generated with every session)
  • RetroShare (secure text chat, filesharing and channels – opensource, Friend to Friend (F2F)-based , so no central servers and uses OpenSSL encryption)
  • Gale (for Windows, Java and POSIX)
    • Ginsu (a Gale client)
    • Fugu and vtFugu (portable Gale clients for Windows, GNU/Linux and BSD)
  • Secure Shuttle Transport (secure text and voice chat, offline messages, conferencing, direct file transfer, and e-mail – uses RSA encryption)
  • SecuriChat (secure chat for – uses triple-layered encryption and rotating keys)
  • X-IM Free Encrypted Instant Messaging (secure text chat and offline messages for Windows – voice and video chat coming soon – free version has ads – pro version has secure file transfer and memos – communications are encrypted with strong 256-bit encryption, digitally signed and protected by secure hash)
  • CryptoHeaven Desktop Edition (free and commercial, secure IM, e-mail, file sharing, and online storage for Windows, Mac OS X, Unix or any other operating system capable of running Java 1.3 or better – uses AES symmetric Rijndael cipher with a 256 bit symmetric key, public-key cryptography with 2048-4096 bit asymmetric keys, and SHA-256 message digest function – no third party keyholder)
  • CryptoHeaven Web Edition (requires Java)
  • GSMK CryptoPhone for Windows (a secure desktop phone that connects to the public switched telephone network – currently unavailable for Winmodems – secure cell/mobile phones also available – based on a stripped down version of Windows Mobile, where we remove a substantial number of known and potential attack vectors to prevent outside attacks – full source code available for independent review – uses AES256 and Twofish in parallel, both with 256 bit key length, derived from a 4096 bit Diffie-Hellman key exchange with SHA256 hash function – readout hash-based key authentication – encryption key is destroyed as soon as the call ends)
  • Cyber-Rights.Net Messenger (secure IM for Windows – based on the popular Hush Messenger system – notifies you when new email arrives in your Cyber-Rights.Net account)
  • Sonork (secure, commercial IM client and server for businesses)
  • QQ for Asia – English Version (for Windows)
    • QQ for Africa (secure messenger for Windows – text, voice and mobile SMS chat, offline messages and peer-to-peer file sharing – WARNING: P2P file sharing leaves your operating system, software and private data vulnerable to corruption, control and theft)
  • MySpaceIM (for Windows)
  • AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) for Windows (text, voice and video chat, offline messages, broacasts and SMS for Windows, WinCE and Palm OS – contains adware – supports Jabber and ICQ, Google Talk and MSN/WLM and Yahoo! through gateways) skip
    • If AIM won’t run in your Limited User account, here are some software that allow you to do that.
    • AOL Instant Messenger (Classic AIM) (for Windows, Mac OS and GNU/Linux – contains adware)
    • AIM Lite
    • AIM Pro (free) (standard features plus Microsoft Outlook Client Integration, Business-Grade Security, One-Click WebEx)
    • Ahoihoi (a commercial, custom AIM client)
    • Mobile AIM Service (for desktops, laptops / notebooks and mobile phones)
  • Yahoo! Messenger for Windows (text and voice chat, share videos, Flickr photos, and personalize – supports Windows Live Messenger – WARNING: Now contains spyware, nagware and Flash-based adware!) skip
    • The New Yahoo! Messenger is All About You
    • Yahoo! Messenger with Voice for Mac OS
    • Yahoo! Messenger with Voice for Unix / GNU/Linux
    • GTalk2VoIP (voice-over-IP gateway for making voice calls between Google Talk, MSN/WLM and Yahoo!)
  • ICQ (for Windows, Mac OS, Windows CE, Pocket PC and Palm OS)
    • If ICQ won’t run in your Limited User account, here are some software that allow you to do that.
  • Windows Live Messenger (formerly MSN Messenger) (text, voice and video chat and file transfer for Windows – has offline messaging and SMS)
    • GTalk2VoIP (voice-over-IP gateway for making voice calls between Google Talk, MSN/WLM and Yahoo!)
    • X-Amsn (an alternative to MSN Messenger)
    • If you have Windows, you can use Windows Messenger instead. It’s at the bottom of your Programs or All Programs menu.
    • Microsoft Messenger for Mac (formerly MSN Messenger for Mac) (let me know if it has offline messaging)

Single-Protocol Instant Messengers for Mobile Phones

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  • Skype
  • AOL Instant Messenger (AIM Triton)
  • Mobile AIM Service
  • AIM FOR iPhone, iPod touch and iPad (supports Google Talk, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Lifestream)
  • Yahoo! Messenger with Voice for Mobile Phones
  • YMTiny (Java ME-based Mobile Yahoo! Messenger)
  • Yahoo! Messenger For Blackberry (requires Internet Explorer)
  • QuickIM Mobile MSN Instant Messenger (for J2ME, Palm OS, Symbian and BlackBerry phones)
  • umsg (a mobile MSN client for J2ME mobile phones)

Single-Protocol Instant Messengers for PDAs

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  • ICQ
  • Odigo Messenger Force (for Pocket PC)
  • MSN Messenger Force for Pocket PC
  • MSN Messenger Force for Palm OS

AIM Extended Profile Services

Don’t like AOL Instant Messenger(AIM)’s limited user profile? Create an extended profile with one of these free services. skip

  • AIM Pages
  • AIM Buzz
  • Buddy4u
  • IMchaos
  • BuddyProfile
  • Uberprofile
  • SubProfile

Resources and Extras / Plugins

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  • Extras for Popular Instant Messengers
  • Resources and Extras for AIM
  • Extras for WLM and MMM
  • Extras for Yahoo! Messenger
  • Extras for ICQ and Gaim
  • Extras for Google Talk
  • Extras for Skype

Extras for Popular Instant Messengers

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  • SweetIM (free emoticons, winks, nudges and sound effects for AIM, MSN, Yahoo! and Internet Explorer)
  • Video Avatar (trialware – creates animated GIF avatars)
  • Fix8 (animates your expressions and movements in real-time on AIM, MSN, Skype, and Yahoo!)

AIM Resources and Extras

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  • To learn more about AIM, visit IMHut.com.
  • Or the AIM Forum.
  • BuddyVision (adds video chat to AIM)
  • AOL People Connection
  • AIM Phoneline
  • AIM Gadgets
  • AIM Clients and Add-ons
  • AIM Expressions
    • AIM Expressions Tutorial
  • AIM URLs
  • DeadAIM
  • Fun with AIM
  • Extreme Messenger
  • Messenger Plus
  • Chat Recovery
  • Messenger:Mate for AIM Triton (formerly AIMutation – for Windows – adds features)
  • Messenger:Mate for AIM Classic (formerly AIMutation – for Windows – adds features)

Extras for WLM and MMM

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  • Invite2Messenger (lets you invite your social network pals to be your contacts in Windows Live Messenger)
  • Windows Live Messenger Add-ons
  • Messenger Stuff
  • MsgWeb
  • Messlabs (dynamic forum and e-mail signatures and avatars)
  • MSN Contacts Manager
  • Shoot The Messenger (blocks spam sent through Windows’ Messenger service, which is not related to Windows Messenger or MSN Messenger, by disabling the service)
  • Messenger Spam Block (blocks spam sent through Windows’ Messenger service)
  • Messenger Plus! Live (an add-on for Windows Live Messenger – adds lots of features and extras)
  • Messenger:Mate for Windows Live Messenger (for Windows – adds features)
  • Messenger:Mate for MSN Messenger (for Windows – adds features)

Extras for Yahoo! Messenger

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  • Yahoo Status Manager (manage Yahoo! status messages)
  • Yahoo! Add-ons and Utilities
  • More Yahoo! Messenger Add-ons
  • Yahoo! Skins and Personalization

Extras for ICQ and Gaim

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  • ICQ Addons and Plugins
  • More ICQ Add-Ons
  • Gaim Extended Preferences Plugin
  • Dynamic Profile Manager Plugin for Gaim

Extras for Google Talk

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  • Google Talk Add-ons
  • Customize Talk (for Google Talk)
  • GTalk Themes
  • GTalk Profile (uses Google Maps)
  • GTalk Life (another GTalk profile site)
  • News, Updates, Downloads, Buttons, Forum and More About Google Talk

Extras for Skype

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  • Skype Toolbar for Firefox
  • Skype Email Toolbar
  • Skype Office Toolbar
  • Skype Extras
  • Skype Add-ons
  • Live Skype Avatars
  • SeeStorm for Skype (talking avatars)
  • CrazyTalk for Skype (commercial – video avatars and instant P2P media sharing)
  • PrettyMay Call Center for Skype (PMCCS) and PrettyMay Voice Plugin for Skype
  • SkypeHeadset (for using a Bluetooth cell phone headset with Skype)
  • EveryonesConnected (a community with Skype calling feature)
  • Skype Journal

If you don’t want to install software, here are some Web-based instant messaging aggregator and single-protocol services you can use instead. skip

Web-Based Instant Messaging Aggregators

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  • Web-Based Aggregators with Mobile IM
  • Other Web-Based Aggregators

Web-Based Aggregators with Mobile IM

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  • Nimbuzz Web (supports Nimbuzz, MSN / WLM, Yahoo!, ICQ, AIM, Skype and Google Talk – call/group-call, chat/chatrooms, offline messaging, send photos/music/video, voice messaging)
  • Grou.ps (a new social networking site – allows you to share anything, including SMS, with your group)
  • Mabber (based on the Jabber / XMPP standard – has a mobile version for Java-enabled cell phones)
    • claims to support AIM, MSN, ICQ, Yahoo!, Jabber and Google Talk
    • Yahoo! doesn’t connect automatically, needs to be connected manually
    • I haven’t tested Jabber / Google Talk’s online status, but in Internet Explorer when I test the other protocols’ online status, ICQ appears offline or has unknown status
    • in Firefox, AIM appears online, but MSN, ICQ and Yahoo! don’t appear online even though they appear to connect
    • has a popup window – a separate window pops up when you get a message, if you set it to do that, which is great when viewing other tabs in your browser
    • to log out, simply close the buddy list popup window
  • eBuddy.com (formerly e-Messenger.net – secure login option – web-based and mobile IMs – supports AIM, MSN and Yahoo! – each messenger pops up in a separe window, instead of all in one window, like Mabber)
  • YamiGo (seems to have been abandoned in late 2005 – for Windows, PDAs and cell phones – based on the Wireless Village protocol – requires GPRS)
    • More about YamiGo

Other Web-Based Aggregators

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  • Google Talk Gadget (text and voice chat, Gmail notifications, voicemail and file transfers for Windows, no adware – uses XMPP protocol – supports Jabber and AIM, MSN, Yahoo! and ICQ through gateways – requires a Gmail or Google account – you can get one with your mobile phone)
  • Google’s Gmail Chat (uses Google Talk network – supports Jabber and AIM, MSN, Yahoo! and ICQ through gateways – can pop out IM as a separate window for popup alert when web browsing – can save chats)
    • How to use Gmail with AIM, MSN, Yahoo! or ICQ
    • What does it mean to go off the record in Gmail Chat?
  • Meebo (my favorite – aggregator requires a Meebo account – supports AIM, MSN, ICQ, Yahoo!, Jabber and Google Talk – can pop out IM as a separate window for popup alert when web browsing)
    • Meebo iPhone App
    • The Meebo Bar
    • Meebo Notifier for Windows
    • Meebo Notifier Extension for Firefox
  • RadiusIM (supports AIM, MSN, Yahoo! and Jabber/GTalk – also have their own direct IM service similar to the late Meetro, except web-based and which determines your location and places an icon on a Google map embedded in the site and allows you to drag map around the world to see which members are located there, whether they’re logged in or not – will have an IM Desktop Notifier soon)
  • Kool IM (link not available due to offensive spam in its forum – search for Kool IM to find the site – Jabber-based – has a popup window – supports AIM, MSN, ICQ, Yahoo!, Jabber and Google Talk – sometimes Yahoo! and other times ICQ shows offline when connected)
  • imo (for AIM, MSN, Yahoo! and Google Talk)
    • How do I sign on to multiple accounts at imo?
  • IMhaha (secure aggregator requires account – supports MSN, Yahoo!, AIM and QQ – encrypts password, username and messages with SSL – IM conference: chat with a group no matter which of the four IM systems they’re using – Easibo: a commonly shared, real-time, online white board)
  • Centova (Jabber-based – has a popup window – supports AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, Jabber and Google Talk – claims to also support ICQ, but when I test it in Firefox and Internet Explorer, ICQ appears offline or unknown status when connected – has a login limit: log in too many times in 15 minutes and you’re required to wait at least 10 minutes before logging in again)
    • WARNING: Centova records conversations by default. For your privacy, I strongly recommend disabling this feature. To disable it, click the Menu button, select Preferences, click the Chat tab, and remove the checkmark from the ”Store conversation logs” checkbox. Then click OK to save your preferences.
  • Centova Personal Edition (web, AJAX, PHP and Jabber-based IM aggregator – requires web space, PHP v4.1.2 or later, MySQL and Jabberd, a Jabber server)
  • Goowy (can’t block unwanted contacts yet – requires Flash Player – supports AIM, MSN, ICQ, Yahoo!, Jabber and Google Talk – includes web and Flash e-mail, online file storage and sharing, RSS news viewer, podcast player, desktop notes, quotes, bookmarks, search windows, etc.)
  • IMUnitive (secure login and chat option – supports AIM, MSN, Yahoo! and gim, IMUnitive’s IM – text and voice chat, file transfer, group chat and multinetwork / multiplatform group chat)

Web-Based Single Protocol Instant Messengers

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  • Yammer (secure chat – supports Gale protocol)
  • ILoveIM.com (for AIM, MSN, Yahoo! or Google Talk)
  • AIM Express
  • Web AIM (has a limit of only 200 users)
  • Yahoo! Web Messenger
  • MSN Web Messenger
  • MessengerFX.com (for MSN Messenger users)
  • MSN2Go.com (a Java applet)
  • Web2Messenger (for MSN Messenger users)
  • ICQ2Go!
  • Odigo Express (requires Java – revived by Comverse – now available again)
  • JWChat
  • Web Jabber
  • Online Messenger
  • Outlook LAN Messenger (free and commercial instant LAN messaging software for local network chats)

Christian Instant Messengers

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Software:

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  • Praize IM (no adware – only Praize Toolbar has adware – if you use a custom, antiadware HOSTS file that’s blocking the Praize site, here’s an alternate download – you can also do instant messaging from the Web Communication Center, left column))
  • 777connect Instant Messenger
  • Integrity Messenger – originally marketed as a Christian Instant Messenger – has a bad language filter
  • FaithPAD (the site requires Flash Player – not out yet – sign up to test the beta version)

Web-based:

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  • Cybergrace Christian Network Messenger – requires Java – no download required, unless you don’t have Java installed
  • Jesus Project Instant Messanger
  • Xianz

How to Send Offline Messages

If you want to send messages to people who are offline, use Skype, ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger with Voice, MSN Messenger Live, Odigo or a Jabber client, or one of the following web-based services. skip

To send offline messages to AIM users:

  • Use AIMMachine.com.
  • Or DoorManBot.

If you’re unable to send offline messages to other WLM or MMM users:

Try Web2Messenger (Because Windows Live Messenger has offline messaging, Offline Messenger has been discontinued.)

Instant Messengers for Kids

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  • NickMail Maker (lets children send messages with pictures, sounds and animation)
    • About Nickelodeon’s E-Mail and IM for Kids
  • MOJI Intelligent Messenger (intelligent messenger with virtual pets – MOJIKAN is your virtual pet’s virtual world – beta is currently planned for release in mid-2007; will be invite-only to the first 1000 users to pre-register)
  • KidsCom KidsChat (monitored by staff)
  • Radica’s IM Me (Radica is a division of Mattel) skip
    • About Radica’s IM Me
    • Try IM Me at Mattel’s Site for Girls
    • Where to Buy IM Me Online and in Stores
  • PictoChat (included with the Nintendo DS)

Wireless Instant Messaging Devices and Cell Phones for Kids

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  • IMfree Wireless Instant Messenger (hardware device – no additional monthly fees – requires a free AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) account – includes parental controls)
  • Zipit Wireless Messenger 2 (Z2) (chat, listen to music and view photos – supports AIM, Yahoo and MSN – no monthly or per message fees)
    • Why You Should Get the Award-Winning Z2 for Your Kid
  • ChatNow (Discontinued) (a mobile phone-like walkie-talkie, or 2-way radio, for preteens – can talk up to 2 miles away, 2-party or group calls, send text messages and shoot and share digital photos – no fees, no bills and no minutes to keep track of)
    • Learn More About ChatNow
  • Kajeet (a pay-as-you-go cell phone service for kids – no contracts, no surprise fees ever)
    • Why You Should Get a Kajeet Cell Phone for Your Kid
    • What People Are Saying About Kajeet
  • Other Cell Phones for Kids (pay special attention to the health warning for young kids)

Instant Messengers for Web Sites

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  • Chatango
  • Other Free Live Support Chat Scripts and Services

What Chatango Requires and How It Works

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