Communication Links Tips Workplace

Controlling IM Spam

Here at Hosted IM World, we’ve had some problems lately controlling spam comments that are appearing on our blog. Just since Sunday, we have had over 50 spam comments from people trying to sell everything from Viagra to photos of  Megan Fox nude. We have no choice but to spend time clicking ‘Spam’ on each of the 52 comments, hoping for it to die down. In the mean time, researching plugins and steps to take to cut down on the number of spammers may also help.

Just as there are spam emails and spam blog comments, there are also spammers that threaten to bother you on an instant messenger program. The download instant messenger programs I’ve had the most trouble with are MSN Messenger and AIM (although AIM has significantly cut down on this recently).

In order to combat spam IMs, which is the occurrence of random screen names sending you messages that say something along the lines of “Look at this cool new product I’ve found!” or “Still need a job? Visit this site”, you can do 2 things:

  1. Change your privacy settings to make you unsearchable and only give your screen name out to people you trust.
  2. If you have a severe problem with spam, change your screen name and then do step 1.
  3. Download instant messenger programs that are hosted on a secure server, like the new *free* Public Brosix 3 Beta, which is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux. This will close your IM activity from the rest of the internet, eliminating spam.

As technology develops, spam will hopefully decrease, but until that time, download instant messenger programs that have good spam filters and are dedicated to eliminating sketchy users with bad intentions.

Communication Tips Workplace

What Instant Messenger Features are Important to You?

When you are using an instant messenger, what features do you utilize the most? There are more and more “extras” that because use in instant messenger conversations every day. Some of these features include:

  • Video Chat
  • Voice Chat
  • File Transfer
  • Drawing Boards (like the award-winning Brosix whiteboard)
  • Group Chat Rooms

For me personally, I use the text messaging most (which is obviously the basic purpose of IM), but I also use the file transfer a lot to send funny pictures to friends or to have a co-worker check an article I am writing for one of our client’s websites.

I would like to use group chat and video chat a lot more, but since most of the people that are on my buddy list don’t like to use it or unable to use it due to the instant messaging program they are using, which doesn’t support it. For contacts that I don’t see much, video chat is a great option because it allows me to converse with them without having to use my cell phone minutes. It’s free, and I also get to see their face while I am talking to them, which often makes communication a lot clearer.

Are there any instant messenger features besides the ones above that you use every day? Or, do you use group chat a  lot and have a story to share? Post a comment!

Communication General

Do your parents use IM?

My mom just joined facebook about six months ago, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to seeing her status updates and profile up on my news feed when I log in. She posts pictures and we even occasionally talk over Facebook Chat.

Besides joining Facebook, my mom also uses the MSN instant messenger almost every night to talk with her significant other, who lives in another small town about 30 minutes away. Because they cannot see each other every day, they use IM to stay in touch.

When I first started using instant messenger ten years ago, I never thought I would see my mom using it on a regular basis to communicate. But I definitely think that my mom uses IM for reasons other than why I did ten years ago. She uses it to converse — to talk seriously, update people close to her about her day, and to relay important information. Ten years ago (and even now, occasionally) I use(d) instant messaging for gossip, asking basic questions I need an answer right away on, and sharing interesting news links and websites.

Even though my mom and I use instant messengers in different ways, we have one thing in common — we use it to communicate. Even though the information sent and received may vary, and the amount and length of conversations ranges from short to long, we use instant messaging to talk to our friends and family.

Comunication is Key.

Communication News Tips

Instant Info You Need To Know

Besides providing a resource for instant communication, IM can always be used for several other purposes.  Many companies use IM for question and answer sessions between employees, but IM can also be used to spread news and vital information that people need to know.

Due to the changing economy, there are more and more breaking news stories every day. Because some of these may be pertinent to your business or industry, you can use instant messaging to communicate relevant news links and other information that they may need to see.

For example, whenever I want to show one of my co-workers a great link, I just send it in an instant message. Then, this can spark conversation about the article that may give us some great ideas for projects or how to develop an idea to make it stand out from the crowd.

I believe that staying up-to-date, with what is happening around the world and in your industry specifically, is the best way to stay ahead of the competition and make sure that your company thinks of things first. No matter what the industry, from carpet cleaning to wildlife conservation, it pays to stay abreast of current events and what’s happening that’s relevant to your company.

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.

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.