Although some time ago I mentioned how I was finding out how more and more I was starting to give up on Instant Messaging and begun to move towards other more powerful real-time collaboration tools that would include both Instant Messaging and VoIP capabilities, amongst other features, there are times where I would still need to make use of IM vs. VoIP related tools like Skype, specially when I am in a hurry. Instances like while on the road travelling or while working in a different workplace than my usual workplace are clear examples why I would still need to have access to my online contacts and eventually I may still need to get in touch with my colleagues and friends through some more traditional methods, like good old Instant Messaging.
That is why web offerings like Meebo come to my rescue and help me save a couple of headaches here and there. Although it hasn’t even reached the Beta status, it seems to be a very stable service that would allow you to connect via the Web to four of the most popular Instant Messaging clients available out there: AIM or ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger, Jabber or GTalk and MSN. Yes, indeed, all of the most popular IM protocols are out there with Meebo.
The great thing about this new web offering is that I no longer need to have any of those IM clients installed in my machine or while on the road to still be in touch, real-time, with those who would need to reach me for whatever the reason. This is just a terrific idea as it will help people consolidate their efforts and clients into a single approach, that is, a single web site where you can connect to any of them and no further hassle. Pretty amazing, eh?
Well, it gets better. If you have got a user id or a screen name for the various IM protocols you can actually log in to all of them at the same time and they will be integrated into a single contact list all of them separated accordingly. Pretty much like what other meta-IM clients, like Gaim or Trillian do. But without the need of having to install anything else. And on top of that, if that is not enough, all the different passwords are encrypted using 1024-bit RSA keys, which sounds to me like a good way to protect your privacy. Really nice.
As I said, this new web offering is still under the Alpha status, but I am sure it will grow further to become a very good option to help people on the move to work seamlessly with their online contacts wherever they may be and still have access to not only the information but also the experts providing that information. I shall be keeping an eye further on this particular offering as I am sure they will be adding a whole bunch of new features as it progresses further into Beta and then perhaps a full production environment. But so far things are looking good, very good !. Now I would love to see Skype or Damaka, or even Gizmo Project being added to the list of options available and at that point I think we would all be off to a superb effort of integrating all IM and VoIP clients into a single point of entry. And that would be way cool, folks, don’t you think ?