Do you remember IRC? Those were the heydays of online communication, with ICQ (do you remember your ICQ number still because for some odd reason I do..).
And yeah I had a 6 digit ICQ number at one point until I forgot the password.
ICQ went downhill FAST when it was bought by AOL (1998).
Nowadays we have all kind of options, Yahoo! Messenger, MSN, Google Talk, Skype and various clients which will enable you to use all networks (My favourites are Trillian and Miranda).
We have a new option now, from TM here in Malaysia called iTalk Buddy.
Initially I just wrote Italk Buddy off as another copycat, same old thing – probably based on Jabber trying to grab a little bit of the IM market share.
But after some investigation I found it was actually pretty good and technologically quite advanced, the most impressive parts for me are the offline bits and the fact you can really create your own communities behind a firewall and without the general requirement of an Internet connection.
This is perfect for those in offices, hostels or hotels that can’t get out to the Internet but can communicate on the LAN or local network – also allows for file and print sharing, screen sharing, group work on documents and of course chatting or calling.
They call it SON or Self Organizing Network.
It also has the oldskool ICQ style user search, so you can find types of people by location, age, interest and so on.
You can also do offnet calls (PC – Landphone/Cellphone calls), mobile blogging, FREE 3D Moji and options for premium services.
The 3D virtual pet is pretty cool – it has AI built in so you can actually have a conversation with it. It’s designed to be responsive and emotive and to adopt your traits.
You can find out more at the Italk Buddy website and portal: