Online socialization is fun. It’s what got me hooked on teh Intarweebz back in the mid-1990s. It all started with the gateway drug: email. From there, it went to MSN and AOL chat rooms, and then I graduated to IRC, Instant Messaging, and (now) Skype and Google Chat.
The problem with Internet socialization is the sheer number of networks and clients out there. My specific problem with staying in touch with folks is the fact that my circle of online pals and family members is spread out over a whole lot of different clients and sites. I started on Myspace, then jumped ship to Facebook. I use AOL IM out of old habit (and because it’s iChat-compatible), but I have friends who refuse to use anything but Google Chat (which doesn’t work on a Mac), or ICQ, or Yahoo! Messenger. I have a webcam built into the MacBook, but the people I know who also have one are scattered across Skype, Google Video Chat, Windows Live Messenger, and iChat.
This kind of communications diversity requires me to fire up six different clients when I am feeling social, and I want to check whether any of my online friends are available for a quick chat.
Can you all just please settle on AIM/iChat and Skype? That would be great.