I have experience using the Internet since it was first made available for commercial use. And after working in online marketing over the last seven plus years, I have noticed that keeping in touch with all your friends and family every day has become so routine, we almost take it for granted. Over the years, it has gotten much more simple to drop a line, say hi, or find out what’s new throughout the day, regardless of what part of the world they’re in. There used to be a time when this wasn’t the case – people didn’t have the technology available to them in such a user-friendly way to do so, and a result, it never occurred to them that it would be possible. The way we communicate has changed…and for the easier.
If I think back and compare now to 10 years ago, it’s interesting to see what direction communication has taken. If I want to know what my friends are up to now, I don’t even need to pick up the phone or meet them for a drink. All I have to do is go on Facebook and check out my friends’ walls; or I can check out their latest Tweets. I can see where they’ve been, what they’re thinking about, who they’ve become friends with – all without talking to them. With so many of us online, this has become the norm.
One particular communication tool that has gotten better over the years is instant messaging, or IM. When it first came out, there were only so many IM clients – PowWow, AOL, ICQ, etc. And it was only possible to chat with your friends if they were using the same software. Over time, it became possible to chat online with all of your friends, regardless of what IM client they were on. For example, say one of your friends is using Google Talk and your mom is on Yahoo – if you’re using a client such as Paltalk or meebo, you can talk to both of them without having to install Google Talk or Yahoo. What’s even better is that IM now allows you to video chat as well. Services such as SuperIM from Paltalk or ooVoo make it possible for you to have a webcam chat conversation for free.
Video chat is so great, because it’s the next best thing to talking in person. Imagine your best friend just gave birth, and you’re working on the other side of the globe. What’s better than a picture of that cute little newborn? Or imagine that a loved one is in the hospital, and you want to let them know that everything is going to be ok. Or say something at work needs to be addressed immediately and it involves multiple people – with today’s IM tools, it’s easy to have a free video conference on the fly. IM makes it possible.
To learn more about Paltalk, watch the demo on text, voice and video chat on SuperIM: http://blog.paltalk.com/paltalkmedia/2009/06/superim-demo.html
Amman Badlani is an Internet Marketing Manager at Paltalk.com, which provides free webcam chat, instant messaging and chat rooms.