Instant messaging

I reckon it’s great. So much better than phonecalls: exhausting things! But great ways to share ideas and collaborate.

You can have extended breaks when you need to. You can take your time to answer. You can cut and paste helpful things. You can trawl back through.

And even Instant Messaging when someone is in the same room. I know that is weird at first. But it’s very good for those little interruptions and bits of questions and requests for information. The person can take their time to answer as it suits. It’s just a nice extra thing to have.

But you need some rules around IM. Here are a couple:

  1. You gotta not get offended if people ignore you, suddenly stop answering or check out.

  2. You gotta feel comfortable doing the ignoring.

  3. You gotta work hard at non-verbal stuff: smiley faces, uh-huh’s, mmms. Show you are interacting.

  4. Hit enter lots! People don’t want to wait for 3 minutes while you write a paragraph. Hit enter every ten seconds, even if you haven’t finished your sentence.

  5. Be careful how you talk and whether it is recorded. You can run the risk of talking quite freely on IM… but a written record might be preserved. I recommend having all chats ‘off the record’ - or at least going off the record when it gets sensitive.

  6. Others?

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