Monday, December 1, 2008

Chatterbugs!

The internet has a whole stack of chat clients that can be used for talking to your friends online - at little or no cost.

Skype: Phoning home without the cost

Skype is one of the better-known products out there. It's actually an online phone client, not a chat program. You can use it to talk to people with landlines, computers and mobile phones all over the world. It's brilliant. I know a lot of people in City Choir already use Skype, and find it saves them heaps of money on overseas calls, keeping in touch with their families and friends.

Chat clients

Chat clients are great for gasbagging with friend overseas. Most of my friends are in Adelaide and Melbourne, and I chat online with them all the time, keeping up with gossip and other information on what they're doing. It's informal and easy.

I'll give a run-down on some of the more common clients, providing links to the client websites.

I use Meebo a fair bit. Meebo enables you to have all your chatting programs in the one place. So if you have ICQ, MSNChat and GoogleTalk, by logging in to Meebo you can chat to all your different friends on different chat programs with the one login. As a freelancer, I have found this particularly useful - its a great networking tool.

Then there's GoogleTalk. The advantage of GoogleTalk is, of course, that as bloggers with Gmail accounts, you already have access to GoogleTalk. Yay!

ICQ is the Granddaddy of chat clients, and has been around for, like, ever. It's still good after all these years.

In the end, it just depends what you prefer to use. Like I said, I use Meebo, and everyone who has a blogger account has access to GoogleTalk already. Google does some nice bundling of products, although they are getting a bit too evil for my liking.

Why chat?

It's free, it's easy, it's fun, and you don't have to be a Rhodes Scholar with your spelling. Or your grammar. On chat, it doesn't matter. Chat is a great way to keep in touch, make plans for the afternoon, or discuss the next week's meeting or rehearsal.

Studies show that chat, rather than email, is the internet mode of communication of the future. The next generation are dropping email, and chatting and texting instead. Why? Because it's fast, easy, and direct.

Chatting with fellow City Choir choristers

Why not? Download a chat client by visiting the chat web page (I've provided the links above) and hunt up your fellow choristers. Drop them a line. Wage war about Bach and Beethoven, or organise to meet for a coffee. It's up to you!

2 comments:

Leta said...

Yes, that's all very well and good, but you can only Chat effectively by sitting at your computer most of the day. Most of us just don't operate that way. When I'm at my computer I'mm usually doing some or ather work and can't have my attention divided. Having said that, I've enjoyed the occasional brief chat, but it's not something that will revolutionise my life. Mmm... I must be the wrong generation!

daharja said...

There's no such thing as the wrong generation, but chat is certainly most useful if you're online a lot of the time. I tend to chat most in the evenings, when I'm at home, the kids are down, and my mates are online as well. Then it works well - and I can work on other stuff at the same time.

It hasn't revolutionised my life, but with my whole network in another country, it has sure made keeping in contact with them a lot easier - although now we really do notice the two hour time difference!

Skype, however, is *very* useful, and a lot of people of all generations use it. It can save you a huge amount of money on long-distance calls. All I have to do now is convince my parents to use it, and I'll be in business!