yoy.be "Why-o-Why"

RIP AIM

2017-10-13 13:08  ripaim  [permalink]

Verge: AIM shutting down after 20 years instant messenger

Oh my. Things come and go. But they're inspired by some things, and get replaced by others. I'm not sure this has been written down anywhere, so I feel compulsed to do it here: what's the relation to microblogging and instant messaging?

Ever since we've been hooking up computers to eachother, we've been sending messages. (Just like we did before that, without computers.) At first there were bulletin board systems and then later the internet with e-mail and things, but those slow out-of-sync messages had to have an 'instant' synchronized counterpart. So there was IRC and ICQ and others, each with their specifics that made them interesting.

But when people grow up, there's less to talk about. To remind us why we're not talking, most instant message platforms had something you could write why you're not to be disturbed, that gets to be displayed next to your name in the contacts-list of the people you're listed with. Some people were really creative with this. It would be interesting and enjoyable to look up the history of these messages of these people, just for a laugh or because you could trace where they've been. It was fashionable to change your status several times a day.

Then came Twitter. It hit after the sweet spot right there in the middle. It completely dropped the instant message thing and was a list of status-updates, complete with the limit on the length of the message. Ofcourse people would still (ab)use it to react or reply, so '@' mentions and re-tweets were born and soon after the '#' prefix that would show as a link to the search-list with that lemma. #hastag!  From there it grew into a phenomenon of its own, and gradually lost it implication of an indication of what you're up to.