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APAD: IM Online

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on
April 10th, 2007
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WordPress, WordPress Plugins

Name
IM Online

Plugin Page
http://www.mutube.com/projects/wordpress/im-online

Description
A neat little WordPress Plugin and Widget to show your current online status on your blog. The plugin is powered via onlinestatus.org and supports most IM services including AOL, MSN, Yahoo!, Jabber (inc. Google Talk), Skype and ICQ.

Features

  • Support for nearly all major IM networks.
  • Works as both a standard plugin and WordPress Widget.
  • Automatically checks for status updates at regular intervals
  • Intelligently switches between 6 status servers to ensure correct status info.
  • Configurable icon-packs to tailor the display of status.
  • Quick page load times – minimises activity and caches status.

Review
Installation wise, the plugin offers you two options, one a widget install, for those using the WordPress widget plugin. For others who don’t you will need to add the code manually into your template.

This plugin is ideal for those who have several chat ids across various network and want to make it extremely easy for those who stop by their blogs. Ofcourse, this also means that you are one click away from pesky users itching to contact you.

This is one plugin I wouldn’t use personally because I am a bit reluctant to be accessible so easily. I choose who I want to chat with and only share information.

However, if you’re the person two paragraphs up, then this is the best option you have as of now (unless you want to manually add the code).

The only downside I see of the plugin is the use of onlinestatus.org. To check the online status, the plugin relies on several servers which host onlinestatus.org. While normally this shouldn’t be a problem and you have enough redundancy it should not cause a problem. However, you have to remember that you are at the mercy of the hosts.

A good addition to the plugin would be to use the networks online status directly as well as onlinestatus.org, for those that support. I’m not sure if all do, but Yahoo! has this support.

Are you already using IM Online on your blog? What has been your experience so far with it?
If you are not using it, would you? How accessible do you wish to be to your visitors?

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11
Responses

 

Comments

  1. Jeremy (3 comments.) says:

    Skype has this support built-in as well.

  2. Luigi says:

    And the widget already exists to query the Skype servers directly – so that you’re only at their mercy… see SkypeStatus widget

  3. John (17 comments.) says:

    I have an email form on my website. That gets my users all the feedback I want them to have. :) With over 1,000 unique visitors per day, if I added chat, I would never get anything done at work.

  4. jez (56 comments.) says:

    my experience is similar to john’s: a chat is too much of a distraction for work. this im status plugin is really neat, loads of options, loads of graphics, but I find it loading too slow.

  5. Dave (16 comments.) says:

    I removed a Skype status after several weeks of no one calling me. I felt so lonely…alone…

  6. Martin Fitzpatrick (plugin author) (1 comments.) says:

    Thanks for the feedback guys. I’m not much of a chat-user myself for the same reasons you’ve outlined yourself, but IM is a popular tool for personal blogs etc. or any other situation where people want others to be able to reach them. I’ve seen it used for providing online support for example.

    The comments from Ajay about dependence on onlinestatus.org also raised the possibility of offering the option to use services own methods for determining status. This is something I’ll be looking into for the next few releases.

    Thanks again for the feedback, much appreciated.



Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] Weblog Tools Collection çš„ APAD: IM Online [...]

  2. [...] 在你的 blog 上显示你的聊天工具在线状态,是不是很炫。但是让人知道你现在在线,也可能会给你带来不必要烦恼。Anyway,看看下面这篇翻译自 Weblog Tools Collection 的 APAD: IM Online 的译文。 [...]

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