What are we using? International teams all use instant messenging even if the company doesn't allow it!!!
- My favourite because it can also do cheap telephone calls and video conference.
- And now, at least in Britain, can get skype 'pay as you go' mobile phones that let you make free calls to fellow skypers. Check out their website skype mobile phones.
Gobby -- Check This One Out
This is a very neat open source software for several people to have an instant message session together.
There is a window for the normal chat, a second for one or more documents we are working on or referring to and two more windows that can be opened to list people involved and the documents we are working on.
To use it need to do the following:
- Go to the Gobby site and download a program identified as GTK+ 2.6. (This is the Gnome Tool Kit and are essential libraries for programs built using this technology. Some other useful Free and Open Source programs use it).
- Then download and run the setup for Gobby from the same website.
- And voila, you have Gobby. Click and run Gobby.
- Click on the icon "Create Session" or "Join session" and you will easily start your session.
- Sessions on your local network: Gobby searches out any sessions other people have started and shows a list of any it finds. Click on the triangle next to Local Network and you might be rewarded with a list! Otherwise find out what IP address the person hosting a Gobby session is on and paste that into the HOST box.
- Sessions stretching over the internet: You will need to know what the Host name of the server running the session is and the port to connect to.
- To find your host name (or a host address) you need to look in your network settings. It is usually called the IP address. It will be in the form x.x.x.x e.g. 192.168.0.67 or 10.0.2.23 etc. Beware that often your IP address is assigned to you on a loan basis. You can't always guarentee that you will get the same IP address again after the loan (called a lease and ususally 24 hours) expires. It you have been assigned a static IP address then there will be no problem. You may even have a friendly hostname to put in the Host box.
- You might need to give permission to your firewall to allow Gobby to work.
See also Collaboration Tools for more ideas of how to work together.
Etherpad offers the same thing as Gobby but via and internet webpage. So no software to download. It also has versioning. This is very much in the open but might be useful for some meetings where we are not discussing any sensitive items. Don't know if you can install this on your own server but it would be an ideal intranet app.
- Windows live messenger.
Instant messaging has been developing over the years on Facebook and it is still in development. It is completly normal to leave messages on your wall or on some elses. You can use the chatbox to connect with anyone you see online and you can even start an audio and video conversation.
- Google (uses the open protocol jabber).
- IRC (kind of the cb radio of the internet. All the other Instant messaging apps start here).
Using Instant Messaging for Team Meetings
You can and should use IM for distributed team meetings. It is important to use specialised Meeting Etiquette specific to this tool.