General Tips

How to Make IM Fun

Even though hosted and secure instant messaging is probably considered to be the “serious” side of IM, there are many fun features that can make even “business” programs entertaining. One of the most fun features of my favorite secure instant messaging program, Brosix, is whiteboard. It is sort of like a collaborative Microsoft “Paint” program where everyone can draw, sketch, and color in ideas. For a visual learner and creative person like me, I really enjoy using it.

Another fun feature of secure instant messaging programs is file transfers. Whenever I find a really funny picture online or I get one as a forward in my email inbox. Using file transfer makes it really easy to share files (like pictures) in a matter of no time. And even though I use a hosted IM client to talk with my co-workers and clients, there’s no reason why I can’t use a secure client for talking with my mom, brother, and close friends! With so many hackers and people in the internet just waiting around to hack into consumers’ computers. Most of the time, these hackers do it for fun. I can’t believe it! And with this age of growing and developing technology, hacking is getting easier then ever, especially for people who have something to gain.

So, just remember, even thought you can use hosted IM to have fun, just remember that it will also be there to protect you and your personal data.

Communication General

Is Texting a Mobile Version of IM?

In this day and age, texting  seems to be the most popular form of mobile secure communication. But, is it the mobile version of hosted instant messaging? I’m going to explore the ways that texting is, and isn’t, the best way to take IM on the go.

Texting IS a form of mobile hosted instant messaging:

  • You can have private conversations with one person (or multiple people) at a time
  • It allows you to mobilize communication, without the requirement of large data downloads or internet use time.
  • Is possible a fast way to get answers

Texting IS NOT a form of mobile hosted instant messaging:

  • The person may not answer right away as they are busy, whereas with IM, you know if they are available or not, for the most part.
  • Costs more, depending on your cell phone plan
  • Cannot send large files to most cell phones
  • Usually takes more time to type

A good middle ground is the fact that there are some phones that allow some chat programs to be loaded onto it, such as AIM. However, these programs do use internet access and/or airtime, so an unlimited internet or data plan is best. I have AIM on my iPod Touch, and while typing does take a while to get used to, I could see myself using it on an iPhone to chat with people while I am away from my desk, running errands, or bored on a car trip.

Tips Workplace

Is Lack of Communication Holding You Back?

What many CEOs, new buisness owners, or managers promoted from a lower role assume is, that if you get a group of people together, then they will all eventually be able to communicate effectively. However, it is crucial to realize that this is simply not the case at all. Because people have different communication styles, they are more likely to find it harder to relate to others who perfer a different type of communication.

Many people are visual learners- they like to learn by doing- taking notes, watching a  video presentation, etc. Many are audio learners- they would rather listen to an audiobook then to actually read the book themselves. And, with how people learn, comes how people communicate. It is often the same type of way. For example, an audio learner would much rather pick up the phone and call another co-worker, or go talk to them in person, instead of sending an email or memo. Conversely, many visual learners appreciate being able to communicate by email (I am definitely a visual learner and communicator!).

Fortunately, I believe that there is a form of communication that has some middle ground- and that is using hosted instant messaging, like Brosix, or a free messaging system like AIM. For audio learners, they get to have the feel of a real-time telephone or in-person communication, and for visual learners, they get the text component of an email. Meeting in the middle is sometimes the best way to create the best communication environment for your company.

Links News

What’s New in IM

The newest wave in hosted enterprise instant messaging- the ability to have a hosted IM client on your smartphone or blackberry. This is clearly the next logical step in total Web 2.0 integration, as taking technology mobile is a booming market right now. Consumers and businesspeople are expecting their mobile devices (like phones and PDAs) to be little computers that can basically do almost anything a full-size computer can do. This is because customers want a product that will allow them to still multi-task and still get things done on the go. A leading business email provider called Intermedia has introduced the first hosted enterprise instant messaging client platform for Blackberry. This allows employees to use their blackberry to chat remotely to other employees or clients that are using their computers to chat.
With full QWERTY keyboards on Blackberry phones and a lot of other models, it is now easier than ever to hold an IM chat conversation, create a document, or send an email. I know that personally, I would love to have a Hosted IM client on my iPhone (when I get one this fall) so I can chat and communication with others from my network, no matter what I am doing. I just got a new job that allows you to telecommute if needed, and being able to still chat with co-workers securely, even though I am not in the office, would be a great help.

Communication General Workplace

Instant Messaging 2.0

When instant messaging was first developed in the 70s and 80s, and then modernized in the 90s, it was just a treat to be able to communicate with another user in the same room, even though you were on two different computers. But what used to be an archaic form of ‘instant’ e-mail has now developed into a premier option for online and digital communication.

This is a phenomenon I’d like call “Instant Messaging 2.0”.  This isn’t your grandmother’s IM program, so to speak. Instant Messaging clients are now (more than ever) one of the first choices for working professionals in an office or purely internet-based company. This IM 2.0 includes hosted instant messaging, which is the main topic of this blog and my other blog, Hosted IM Spot. With Hosted IM chat programs, hard-working CEOs, managers, and their employees no longer have to worry about the headache and stress that comes from worrying about if they data is safe.

Yes, in this age of ‘IM 2.0’ most data is the most secure that it has ever been. Encrypted (hosted) servers make sure data cannot be analyzed by a malicious source, such as a hacker or competing business. Having a hosted IM client may actually save your company money, but making sure that your data and personal information is always secure.

Communication General Links Workplace

More Resources on Hosted IM Programs

If you need more places to find out information on hosted IM programs or IM clients, you are more than welcome to check out my other hosted IM blog, Hosted IM Spot. It provides articles very similar to the ones here and is usually updated 1-2 times per week, depending on how much I am able to post on this blog as well.

Also, I used to write on the Brosix blog and I know that it still has some great bloggers over there that continue to provide great tips about Brosix, instant messaging, workplace communication, and much more.

Additionally, besides blogs, I’ve been able to find a lot of other resources on the web that provides resources for those looking to learn more about free, corporate, and private online and instant communication. I really like to use the forums over at Big Blue Ball and read Brandon’s articles on the IM section of Both are very reputable sites that continuously provide current and up-to-date information.

I know that the niche of hosted instant messagaging is small, but definitely has a steady group base of consumers that are interested in providing themselves and their employees with a private, secure, and easy to use online communication alternative. I’m sure that hosted IM clients will only continue to grow in popularity.


International Relations

One of the best things about having a hosted and secure instant messaging (IM) client is the fact that it can be used to talk to people from all around the world. Right now, I have a manager that is spending 3 weeks in another country visiting family. We are able to talk on instant messaging anytime I have questions or need help with a project I am working on.

Normally, when you think about talking a person in another country…lots of fears and questions arise (for me, at least). I think about if I’ll need a new cell phone to make the international call, how much extra it will cost, or if I’ll need to get an international calling card from the grocery store to make sure I have enough money during the call. It creates a lot of anxiety for me!

Luckily, as I mentioned earlier, I don’t have to worry about any of that because we are simply able to talk using our instant messaging program. Besides the time difference to think about, there isn’t much else standing in our way of being able to communicate. It makes things so much less stressful!

If you and your manager need a way to communicate either internationally or just across the office, check out Brosix:

Communication General Tips

Hosted IM For Familes

I know that many companies and organizations use hosted instant messaging for their daily workplace communication, but have you thought about using a hosted IM for family use?

Some software companies like Brosix offer a free hosted messaging program that is secure and can be used for families. Some of the reasons why families might enjoy Brosix or another secure IM client is because they can:

  • Stay in touch in different places
  • Talk to children while the parents are at work
  • Stay in touch with other family members when gone on business
  • Divorced parents can talk to children when not at their home

As you can see, hosted IM clients can go beyond use in the workplace. For any one that needs a safe and secure way to communicate online, these clients are the way to go. Many parents and children will find that talking online when they are unable to talk on the phone or through email can be very efficient and even make them closer together. 

I often talk to my mom on our instant messaging program and it allows us to stay in touch because we live about 2 hours away from one another. It also really cuts down on the cost of daytime cell phone minutes and text messages used.


Communication General

The Communication of Women

For women, communication comes naturally. Perhaps this is why I enjoy using instant messaging so much! It is easy for me to communicate with several people at once, all while still doing my work, surfing the internet, or checking my email.

Although over 3 conversations at once can get hard to keep track of, it is still a great way to ask questions and get answers quickly without bothering to make any phone calls or wait for an email to come back with a response. 

There are so many different ways to communicate nowadays, and I strongly believe that women use these opportunities as much as possible. Some of the different methods of communication that I use everyday not only include instant messaging, but also email, phone calls, postal mail, texting, webcam, and social media websites. 

Because I live in a city that is about 120 miles away from most of my friends and family, using instant messaging and other forms of communication are the only ways I can stay close to them. I am so glad that these methods are available and for the most part, free of charge. Of course, there will usually always be a charge for internet or hosting, but I’d definitely pay more than $15 a month for the internet I use now in order to stay in touch and communicate with my friends and family.


Social Media and Hosted Instant Messaging

For many, social media marketing, blogging, and instant messaging all go hand-in-hand. They are all part of what has been coined “Web 2.0”.  Web 2.0, according to Wikipedia, is the ‘next generation’ of internet. This includes social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, along with blogging (like this blog and and video sharing sites like You Tube. Wikipedia also defines Web 2.0 as ‘hosted applications’ which is exactly what hosted instant messaging is.

Combing you and your organization’s online communication image and efforts with Web 2.0 media is easier than many people think. All it takes is time to set up profiles. There is usually no cost for social networking profiles and many hosted instant messaging programs cost very little.

The most important thing to remember about social networking profiles, blogs, and other online marketing and communication efforts is the fact that they must continue to be maintained. It isn’t enough that they are there; they must continue to be updated in order for potential customers and fans will continue to be reminded and kept up-to-date with their activities.

This is why I continue to update this blog and at least 3-4 times per week. I also maintain the twitter profile and the facebook page, mentioned above. These avenues of marketing are a great way to increase communication between you, your clients, and your employees.