The continuing evolution of Instant Messaging … as people learn …
This is a good article that outlines the continuation of the learning process about Instant Messaging. One of the things that I learned while working in this area of research is that there is considerable confusion about exactly what we are talking about when we say “Instant Messaging”.
While working on the digitalme project at Novell, I had created a foundation framework for identity, community, and communications. Within this framework I quickly realized that it is not about “instant messaging”, but instead we are seeing a number of human behaviors and interactions collapsed. There is being, community, identity, and communications … and all of these are collapsed in our current conversations about “instant messaging.”
Being … that is who we are … who we are being. We then create relationships … which generates and creates community. Community then can give us identity … indicating who we are being repeatedly in that community. We then can indicate who we are being at any point in time (presence), and allow for various forms of communications at any particular time.
So what we really have is a way to organize the communities that we are a part of, and the members of the communities that we communicate with. We can then “see” their status and who they are “being” at that moment (presence)… and then we can choose the way that we (and they) wish to communicate. The aspects of building our “buddy list” and the indication of “presence” are some of the most critical components, but tend to be lost in these articles.