Once upon a time, communicating with friends and colleagues over the Internet was quite simple. You added them to your AIM or ICQ account and started chatting. It seems that we've broken that simple method of communication.
The other day, I went to add a colleague to Messages in OS X. He hadn't used his AIM account in eons, so we went with Google Talk -- except that adding each other didn't work right at all. Even after accepting an arcane buddy request from him, I didn't see him in the list.
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I then tried to add him from my contacts, and it added his iMessage account, which meant our chats annoyingly appeared on our phones too. Logging into Google Mail and using chat there seemed to work, but it didn't immediately link back to Messages for some reason, and the charade continued.
I've been doing this a long, long time, and I find it simply absurd that we spent the better part of 10 minutes trying to connect an instant messenger session. This is computing 101. Using text to transmit messages easily to another person should have been considered mature over 30 years ago.
Sure, if he still had the AIM account, it may have gone faster, or if we decided to use GTalk in the browser, or we downloaded a Flowdock app. The fact remains: This is becoming a bigger problem.
Let's say you chat with someone and want to look up part of that conversation later. Depending on the relationship you have with that person, those chats could potentially be anywhere. Was it on Facebook chat? AIM? Text messages? iMessage? WhatsApp? Viber? Skype? KakaoTalk? Even email? It's exhausting.