52Get Good at Instant Messaging

If you’ve ever used your computer to have a typed conversation with colleagues or friends, then you’ve used instant messaging (IM). Services such as iChat, Skype, AIM, and MSN Messenger let you have an online talk-fest with anyone who has a computer, no matter where in the world they are—for free. Unlike e-mail, which can be one-sided due to delays in response, IM offers a real-time environment where you can see who is currently online and instigate a conversation immediately. Many IM programs also offer audio, video, and conferencing capabilities so that you can see and hear the other person(s). Add to this the ability to effortlessly exchange documents and photos, and you can see why instant messaging is the ...

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