Chapter 18. Communicating with the Cloud


  • Using Instant Messaging

  • Exploring SMS or micro-blogs

  • Learning about collaboration software

  • Exploring the world of social networking

In this chapter, you learn about some of the cloud-based messaging and social interaction services that have greatly affected the use of the Internet for many people. The sites described in this chapter are among the most heavily visited in the world. The names of the services—Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, Facebook, and others—are so well known that the services they perform will enter the vocabulary of users as common verbs.

Instant messaging has been a product category for a long time. The cloud has made these services more numerous, easier to access, and much more popular. AOL Instant Messenger was a pioneer in this category, but now IM is integrated into all the major Webmail platforms. This chapter describes some IM services, along with how to get some of them to interoperate with one another.

Small Message Service (SMS) systems allow short text messages to be exchanged. Twitter was described as the prototypical example of this type of service.

Social networks arise from the desire to share personal information with others. These services provide the means to create a mini-personal Web site and your profile. There are tools to share resources, join groups, follow people, e-mail and IM, and more from these sites. Literally hundreds of these sites are devoted to all manner of activities, and many are ...

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