Mark Rehjon, thanks so much for all your insightful work on these forums - you've got a dedicated reader in me !!
Earlier in this thread (I haven't figured out the quote function yet), you stated:
IM is only a niche market for business.
With all due respect, I manage 300 employees in 17 locations spanning 4 countries, and we use an IM program all the time (we happen to use the Lotus Notes add-ons called "SameTime" or "Notes Buddy".
A few business advantages of IM-type apps:
1. since everyone's on the same email software with this add-on, its almost a natural to log onto ST (SameTime) when you log in to check your mail, so most folks are accessible.
2. we do lots of telephone conferences (usually secure 8xx phone-in numbers with passwords for security) and may have many folks on a call. since we're remote physically from each other (not in the same conference room looking at each other eye ball to eye ball), often hard to read "body language", so we use ST to ping other attendees "off line" for their impressions of what's being said by the speaker(s), etc. or to have "side conversations" since we're already all "there"
3. its a great way to just stay in touch with employees, colleagues or your boss (the new electronic way of practicing MBWA (management by walking around).
4. i bet i have at least half a dozen ST windows going at any point during my 10 to 12 hour days, either at my home office or work site office.
5. people get used to "seeing" you on ST, and as such, you are a viable presence in the "office" no matter where you are physically (I also spend a couple of months a year working from my boat - its ok when at the dock and tied into a land line (dial up speed for email SUCKS but one gets by
- one of the reasons I just bought a BB (7100g) is so I can do this while "hangin' on the hook" (at anchor), and not be punished by dial up speeds to my laptop or land line. in many cases, i avoid a LOT of otherwise essential email to get the job done by using ST.
So Mark, for me, and a few other tens of thousands of IBMers, ST (IM, etc) is a fundamental part of how we do business worldwide. not just a consumer gadget, but a serious business tool !!
thanks again for all the great posts, you guys, this is awesome stuff !!