AIM is on its last legs

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012 08:30 pm
flwyd: (dogcow moof!)
Apparently all the AIM developers have been fired by AOL.

I'm rather disappointed by this. I've had an AIM account since '97 or '98, which predates flwyd.dhs.org (1999), trevorstone.org (2002), LiveJournal (2001), and (of course) GMail. The communication systems I used before that -- bvsd.k12.co.us, colorado.edu, nyx.net, irc.undernet.org -- don't get my attention much these days, but I've been logged into AIM pretty much continuously (summers in college on dialup) since I was a freshman.

AIM really brought real-time internet communication to the masses. IRC and ytalk and other protocols had been around a long time, but getting your technically challenged classmate to install mIRC and find you on a channel was a way bigger hurdle than saying "Hey, install AIM and we can talk about this project tonight." Since then, a bunch of other protocols and clients have sprung up, with pretty much the same feature set: A small window with back and forth chat, a scrolling buddy list with with icons and groups, different noises for different event types.

I suppose most of the AIMers are using Facebook Instant Messenger or whatever they call it over there. But unlike Facebook and Google Chat and, to some extent, Yahoo! and MSN messenger, there never seemed to be an assumption or a desire to get AIM users to be "full" AOL users. Anybody could download a client, even written by someone else, and create an AOL account that was only ever used for AIM.

In the last year or so, most of my AIM messages were from the same sex chat bot, which was a lot less amusing than the salmon precursor to ChatRoulette. But there are folks in my Buddy list that I'd be interested in talking to, but who I don't know by any other contact means. So if I'm in your buddy list, pick your favorite alternate contact Trevor method. My most ubiquitous chat medium is trevorstone at gmail, but you can also find me at pinkflwyd on Yahoo, or [livejournal.com profile] flwyd@livejournal.com on Jabber/XMPP (you can even post by IMing [livejournal.com profile] frank). Adium also has me persistently signed in to OkCupid, so yeah.

Or maybe not. But I can still be disappointed.
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