GoogleTalk and IM in general

Regardless of my opinions about GoogleTalk (which I will discuss below), I’ve added GTalk to Adium.

Hence, to make a long story short, if any friend out there [who’s reading this] has GoogleTalk, e-mail me your account name so I can add you.

You can also hit me via IM on any of my other accounts, just don’t use the comments section of the blog for obvious reasons… unless you want to take the risk of spammers aggregating your emails.

Normally, I’d be fine with posting my GMail address here, but ever since I got the account I never really gave it out to people because I want people to remember my yahoo address alone (and I simply forward it to GMail in case I want to use it)

Now what is my opinion about GTalk? And why did I bother installing it? Read on…

I’m not impressed at all by GTalk to be honest. Sure it has the it’s own VOIP 1 Voice Over IP (Internet Protocol). Which is basically telephony over the internet. feature, but other than that, I never found any compelling reason to need to have it.

Actually aside from Skype, I never found any other IM protocol that I had to consider installing. As you all know, I don’t like having a bunch of clients running at the same time, so I use a multi-client called Adium, which allows you to access all these different accounts through one application. It saves memory, real estate, and is much more organized.

Skype was the only exception. I actually have Skype installed, but I only run it when I have to “talk” to someone overseas. Adium however (my multi-IM application), I keep on all the time.

I actually started with ICQ during highschool, and the only reason I added the other IM accounts is because all other friends that were relatively new to the whole IM (Instant Messaging) scene (college and work) started with other IM clients. Nowadays, I think people don’t even know what ICQ is anymore, much less bother about it.

The reason why I didn’t mind the other IMs much at first was simply because they all did the exact same thing… they were (and still are) reinventing the wheel for the sake of marketing their own brand. During the day, I was using ICQ not because I believed it to be better, but it was the popular IM client out at the time. Seeing the newcomers offering the exact same thing didn’t appeal to me at all. So initially I stuck to ICQ regardless of what else was out there. Eventually, I realized that if I simply became obstinate and stuck with ICQ, then I’d end up talking to nobody in the long run since everyone else at that point was using a different client – which defeated the whole purpose of Instant Messaging right?

So as time progressed, I’ve accepted and used a bunch of other IM protocols such as AIM, MSN, YM, Jabber, etc. And fortunately, by that time, programmers have realized the same thing and started making multi-IM clients, which made the change in perspective effortless in my part. Still using one program, but have all accounts active at my disposal.

Surveys say that AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) is leader in the IM scene – taking over about half of the market, but here in the Philippines, for some reason I think YM is (or at least in my circle of friends). Again, this proves that it has nothing to do with the actual quality of the software but simply which is more exposed and practical. YM is first to pop into people’s minds here simply because everyone had/has YahooMail – and if you already had a yahoo account, why not use their IM client (YM) since it uses that same account right? Makes perfect sense, hence there was a surge of YM users in my circle of friends.

And now the net is buzzing with GTalk. Again, there’s nothing spectacular about it. Even my friends that aren’t tech-oriented had the same opinion I had… that it didn’t have anything great which could compel users to prefer it over what they already have. An argument I totally agree with. Indeed, it’s a waste of time if you’re running all these separate clients (which surprisingly a lot of people still do!), because in that situation there’ll be no end to it. There will always be something newer out and if you just keep on installing you’ll end up slowing your computer down to uncomfortable speeds.

From a multi-IM perspective however, there’s minimal performance penalty. You could have a hundred different types of protocols and you’d still be running the same one program. Sure, it would probably entail more memory usage, but what would you have, 100 accounts running on one client, or 100 clients running their respective individual accounts?

Fortunately, GTalk runs through the Jabber protocol, which means that unlike Skype, it can be used with a multi-IM application. So there’s no harm in enabling it (which I obviously did). You’d lose the talk function though (unless you’re using iChat), but bottomline is it doesn’t hurt to add it.

So there’s really nothing to lose… but there may be something that could be gained. GMail as you know, has overtaken YahooMail as the email service of choice because it simply is a better system (plus the fact that it isn’t by invitation anymore). Just imagine all the new people signing up for email services… where do you think they’ll go? GMail. And now they have a GMail account, which IM would they probably download? GTalk. What is there to be gained? How about not being alone hahahaha.

Just like YM, I’m sure that in the coming months, there’ll be a surge of GTalk users simply because it may become the popular choice… not because it’s better or anything. And in the realm of Instant Messaging, the phrase “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” actually does apply. Because what use is it to be stubborn and stick to your “better” IM protocols when everyone else is using another right?

So as for me, I’m putting GTalk in my list of active accounts… just in case hehehehe. I suggest you do too 🙂


1 Voice Over IP (Internet Protocol). Which is basically telephony over the internet.

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