I suppose I would be considered grossly negligent if I didn't comment on the recent release of Google Talk (Google's new IM service). I have four observations: the finger-keyboard synapse - Incomplete software is Alpha, not Beta, duh. C'mon Google.
1) Why? I can't see anything that Google offers over most other IM services. It's a contact list, text messaging, notifications, voice and... well, that's it.
2) Beta? I don't think so! Someone needs to give the Google folks a re-education about what it means to be alpha or beta. Given the skeletal / simplistic feel of Google Talk and the long list of things they say they are still planning to add, it's definitely an Alpha, not a Beta. Maybe they're planning on releasing Google Talk Charlie, instead.
3) No emoticons! I wonder if people are already complaining 24/7 about no emoticons. ;)
4) What's the catch? Make no bones about it, Google is a very profitable company with high profit expectations. How does this IM program fit into their company? They say there won't be ads. Is it just a way to get more people to use gmail (since it requires a gmail account) and to put Google in front of more eyes all the time?
I feel like there's a motive we haven't seen yet... Maybe it will be cool later, but for now, it's rather simplistic. Am I missing something?
It was easy to invite all my contacts and those that don't use it have a mailto: button.
It gives a pop up for each gmail message with a link straight to the message (not the inbox like yahoo), then they replaced the gmail menu with 1 inbox link giving it a bit of a neked look. ^_^
It's mostly an email program but made me think of bitwise actually.
What I hate about most IM programs is the appear offline feature. People that log in and log out 1 sec later. "oh, I must appear offline", appear offline to this contact is even more insulting. The whole status thing is a security hazard
really. It shows what time you leave the house.
So I think it should take "being online" to see who is online. Need to know who knows your status. Maybe requesting all contacts statuses should not be something that just happens. What if we had a button to do this? So we could appear offline on a per request basis.
I introduced a friend to bitwise and he uninstalled it because he never used it, I explained that wasn't strange since he was never online with it. He stated that he didn't want me to know exactly when he was home what time he goes to bed ect. non of my business. And he was right. Then I see myself type "hi, are you here?" every now and then.
I think this should be a button. So that a contact should have to click "appear offline" each time his status is requested.
- || -
I've been using the yahoo360 blog service witch has a lot features for friends on that same service. I specially like how they visualized the updates for the blogs of my yahoo contacts.
The thing I like least about bitwise is that it has no online status message. Yahoo messenger allows some text + an url, the text then becomes click able. I use this to link my contacts to a new blog post sometimes.(it's extra work that I forget)
What if bitwise Could display the rss of our blogs for status message? I think 20 words of the top news item with a read more link would be fantastic. Just an xml icon each and a save OMPL would be great.
Skype responded with a web tool that acts like a remote control for the client. The call to button does not pop-up the client but just makes the call.
So gmail moved the gmail menu from the webpage to the chat client and skype moved the menu from the client to the webpage. hahaha
So now you should move the menu of my blog onto bitwise and the bitwise buttons onto firefox.
Make it so that we can click the yellow BWC icon on the webpage to track the contacts webpage from the client status.
Then make it a bit more pretty by adding (optional) Icons that open things like wikipedia google yahoo flickr gmail. Just a 16x16 logo is enough to see what it is, we know the google logo by now. :-P
You could also wrap it with a skinning tool as a free software package.
Could make your own version of google maps. Like the one I used here:
Click "export to google earth" under the map.
Maybe you could like geo tag us or something?