Robert Scoble
I really hate IM. People get on there and ask me how I'm doing. What a lame way to start a conversation.
Isn't that what Twitter asks? *teehee* - Bwana ☠
MSN Messenger. Now do you get why Twitter has taken over my world? - Robert Scoble
Twitter doesn't demand an answer to such a stupid question. - Robert Scoble
Robert: Neither does IM. - Ken Sheppardson
@Scobleizer... but really. How are you doing? - No Name
Funny, Twitter demands an answer from me...or maybe that's just the addiction - Bwana ☠
Almost as bad as "Who are you?". Kidding! : ) - Mike Doeff
what do you recommend saying when starting a conversation then? - Ahmed
Bwana: yes, but Twitter does it in a scalable way. On IM I have to answer that question over and over and over and over and over and over. Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhhhh..... - Robert Scoble
This is why I almost never open any IM client other than Skype. Skype doesn't seem to get that kind of boring garbage. - MarkCarras
Ahmed: say something like "I have something cool to show you, do you have time?" - Robert Scoble
How are you doing today, Robert? ;-D - Ken Stewart | ChangeForge
@Scoble - What's a better way to start start a conversation? "Hey smell" ? :) - Justin Korn
Or, "I am starting a company and need some PR advice that I can't ask for on Twitter, can I get a minute of your time here?" - Robert Scoble
How are you doing? - Ben
LOL, Robert cracks me up - Bwana ☠
Seems like reasonable IM protocol to me robert, maybe you're thinking about the tool the wrong may? Or I am! - Richard Anderson
"What are you doing" <-----worst. question. EVER! - Mona Nomura
But what happens when you don't have anything to show the other person and you just want to talk business/get to know new people better? - Ahmed
Personally, I don't set my IM client to show online/offline/idle.. it's always on. I screen/defer IM messages just like I do phone calls, email, or any other source of interruptions. - Ken Sheppardson
I'm confused, I always thought asking how someone was doing was a nice polite way to start a conversation... I didn't realize so many people took such offense. Not everyone has to speak about news and tech every second of the day. A simple, "Hi, how are things? How are the wife and kids?" doesn't sound bad. Or maybe I am missing part of this conversation. Anyway, I am not much of a fan of IM either, but I don't see anything wrong with saying "How are you doing?" - Dennis Jackson
Yeah, I'd hate it so much if people cared enough about me to ask about my day/life/wellbeing. - Caleb Cherry
Richard: it is the WORST way to introduce yourself to someone new on IM. Get to the point and tell me what the fuck you want to know. My brother can get away with such a lame start. No one else can. It's why I don't usually turn on my MSN Messenger. - Robert Scoble
It's considered manners to ask the person you are starting to chat to how they are, before going on to subjects like weather, rugby, etc. before getting started on what you really want to chat about. - Jacques
I think the point is that we are busy and people need to just get to the point. This is work and the cliche greetings just slow us down. - MarkCarras
Oh, maybe you meant from like a stranger. I was kind of thinking a close relative, or close friend. That's the only reason I still use IM is to chat with family and close friends. So, I understand where you are coming from. - Dennis Jackson
I always forget to do that bit 9the polite how are you)..usually just jumping straight into the question. Unless it's with the 1 or 2 where we do just exchange inanities regularly. - Rachel Clarke
I'd really like to go audit a "Business Communications" course at a first tier university these days and see what they're teaching. Do they teach "business IM"? How to compose email? How to leave voicemail? - Ken Sheppardson
So, how are you, Robert? :-p - amygeek
Yeah... you might accidentally start talking about THEIR needs. - Marc
IM almost gone from my workflow. Twitter direct message for past IM-type discussions and back to IRC for team collaboration. - Bill Rice
Chris (Luckhardt) IM has its place - one on one conversations, private conversations. More people have an IM than are on the other services, so far easier to use for many - Rachel Clarke
Dennis: that doesn't work for someone with a high public visibility. If you read my friendfeed you know all that shit anyway. It just marks you as horribly clueless from the start. - Robert Scoble
@Bwana No, Twitter asks "What", and that can be a lot more interesting! :~)) - Ed Shahzade /NextInstinct
Dennis: exactly. Close friends and family are fine to do that kind of talk with. But everyone else? It just wastes time and frustrates me. That's the kind of stuff that Facebook is great for. - Robert Scoble
Caleb: if 50 strangers ask you the same question you'd get frustrated too. They don't really give a f**k about you. They are IM'ing you to get something from you. - Robert Scoble
Marc: I love helping people get what they want. But it's the noise that is lame. It keeps me from using services. This one guy right now went back and forth with me. Turned out he wanted me to see his email. Just get to the freaking point. Geesshhh. - Robert Scoble
Common courtesy need not die for expedience, does it? - Mike Mackley
Robert - ok, if you don't know the person and you're looking to save time, I'd go with your"FFS get on with it" protocol, but, it does sound like a bad tool to use for your needs. IM is good for one to one / privacy / non-noise in my books. - Richard Anderson
Jason: I apologize. It's just that I turned on MSN Messenger, got a ton of really lame interchanges. Pissed me off. And I'm venting. - Robert Scoble
this is a freak'in hillarious dialog. I 'spose the reason some may not understand Scoble's position is they haven't yet seen the "global" nature of viral networking. On the other hand, I can understand why some people might not get it. - Jim Sparrow
I only use Messenger to tell my daughter when dinner's ready. - Nicola Quinn
Richard: yes. It's a horrible tool for someone with hundreds of strangers. FriendFeed and Twitter are taking over our lives for EXACTLY this reason. Now I can tell you all I'm pissed off once. Imagine if you all IM'ed me. I'd have to repeat it 30 times. :-) - Robert Scoble
How about an IM spam filter? rejects lame text and you can define it...sounds like a good fit for you :) - Richard Anderson
yeah i try and stay away from it, or just leave up a perpetual away message directing people to one of my URLs - Adam Singer
empty the glass man... empty the glass - Bwana ☠
Robert, if I ask you how you are doing today, I actually mean it. I was raised to use "How are you" as one general conversation starter, but to never ask the question if I did not care what the response is. :) - Robert Miller
would u prefer them to ask you what u are wearing? - Joshua
Jason: yup, exactly. It's why I don't even use IM anymore. Anyway, when I talk with a stranger I don't pretend to care about their family, or their lives. It's rude. You don't start a conversation at a cocktail party like that. You get to a point "Hey, Jim over there told me I should talk to you about your new business." or "Louis said you have some new kids and that you're looking for playdates." - Robert Scoble
Robert: it's one thing to ask that after you are familiar with someone and friends. Then I'll understand the context and why you want to know. But to IM someone out of the blue and ask them? It's a waste of time and rude. - Robert Scoble
Bwana: this is how I stay sane in an insane world! :-) Most people just block people like that. - Robert Scoble
Good day sir, I hope this day finds you well. That is all. - Andrew Smith
I can see how being a personality can make it hard to wade through the clutter. When I work with CEOs we don't spend a lot of time on pleasantries - I see your point. - Marc
IMHO, if all you want to talk about is how somebody's feeling, great, ask how they're doing. If you just want to say hello, just say hello, but if you actually want something, say so right up front, without requiring syn/ack/syn/ack/... e.g. "Hi Robert, how are you? I was wondering if you might be able to help me by X, Y or Zing" - Ken Sheppardson
The problem with instant messenger is that people think it is some kind of branch of normal conversation. You do not have to introduce yourself -- That's what your profile is for. I agree with Robert, just get to the point already. Unless I know you I don't want to spend ten minutes talking about the weather. - John Bellone
I second that John Bellone! - MarkCarras
Set up your IM with an automatic answer: What can I do you for? <- works great - @LarsenTweet
How about "Very busy. Did you need something? I don't have time to chit chat." - MarkCarras
I just got turned onto Twitter, I like it because it's more focused, more intimate and I can find like minded people in the subjects I like. It reminds me of a cross between IM (kept for family, friends and some clients when they need help) and Email Lists. This past week has seen me posting more on my blog because of Twitter. I also like it because it's short and sweet,I don't have to think too hard or get the code right, I just type away. I have just signed up for FF after following convo's to here. - Tina Clarke
MacGirogia: I think that instant messenger is a little more intimate than posting on friendfeed. - John Bellone
I wholeheartedly agree. Granted, if you're friends, that's different. But people that I rarely talk to and play 20 questions with me (I did this the other night), I just think, "Ok, why don't you just say 'so can you do this for me?'" I'm so used to it by now. - Zach Flauaus
I agree with Jason H here. Building rapport is a lost art in this world and a simple "I am doing fine, how can I help you?" will suffice. If I ever need to IM Robert, I will be sure to get right to the point. I prefer IM to twitter, b/c it is more personal and closed. Note: I do not have a ton of followers yet though. - Amani
I hate IM too--haven't used it in years, literally. And when I did use it, it was for work...sometimes we would all be working on a project together but be in different rooms (or different states) and it was an easy way to get information. - Kelly W.
I cant live without MSN Messenger.. - @LarsenTweet
DO YOU KNOW- what bothers me more?? When I show good info to "A-list" folks, or engage in interesting discussion, and they don't bother responding(But often take the nugget or news I shared and retweet or even blog it with No attribution or nod) - Ed Shahzade /NextInstinct
IM is turning into a protoco, XMPP is taking off. Mayby people will move with the medium - Alex Kessinger from Alert Thingy
I agree. Even if it's superficial chit chat, at least make it interesting! - timedalkat from twhirl
surprised you still use it - BEX
Hey Robert, how are you doing? - Scoble, Alex Scoble
How are youd doing? ^^ - natadd from twhirl
Mark: the thing that got me mad this morning is I tried to say I was busy, what do you need, and he didn't get the point and kept trying to make small talk. Aaarrrrgggghhhh. John is right. Get to the point. The new polite is to be impolite. After we share a beer and a meal then let's pull out the baby photos and talk about the weather and the mall trip we're doing this afternoon and all that! :-) - Robert Scoble
If I run into you here in Vegas, I am still going to have to ask you how you are doing. It's just how I was raised. - Josh Haley
Alex: I'm doing really freaking great. We're going to the mall to buy some snow boots for Davos and Milan is running around doing his happy dance. I gotta film that and post it for all of you. It's hillarious. Life is good and it's nice to be home from Vegas. Also, my computer is running like new again now that it has Windows 7. People are going to like this if they are Windows users. - Robert Scoble
Robert I agree if that's where it's going anyway, and only where it's going: respect my minutes- don't spend them for selfish reasons. HOWEVER- last year we were reaming folks for just asking for favors without so much as a "how are you" so, they may be 'there'. I'm looking for both; at least some real friendship with folks I have any business/commercial contact with. And being disabled, and a full time single dad of 3, I'm not getting to 15 conferences a year like a lot of you :( - Ed Shahzade /NextInstinct
Ed: I don't mind building a friendship but the stuff I am talking about isn't that. They want something and the chit chat is fake. - Robert Scoble
I only ask "how are you doing" to start an IM conversation if I've not heard from the person in a long time. Usually if I start a conversation on IM it's to inform someone about something, or get them to do something for me. Niceties can be for phone or in-person meetings. - Chris Charabaruk
You seem rude at all. If you don't want to chat, simply put yorself invisible and go away. You have options. And this comment is a fault of style and a fault of respect, imho. But, i agree, style is not required here. - g.g.
Being a friend means not wasting your friend's time. That is what friendfeed is for! :-) - Robert Scoble
I think in some ways that is just a way TO start a conversation..maybe just Human nature. - Kreg Steppe
Then just say you hate fake people. I do too. End of issue. - Josh Haley
Kreg: yup. Lots of people were taught it was polite to chit chat about the family and the weather. That stuff is still important but online with strangers it comes across as clueless and creepy. Anyway this is why Twitter and Facebook are taking off. Scalable chit chat. I only have to tell everyone once what is going on. On IM it is an "n-times" problem. - Robert Scoble
Being a brother means annoying your brother whenever possible, just because you can...just remember it's all in love! - Scoble, Alex Scoble
Josh: everyone fakes it at times. If you have a fight with your wife or kids are you likely to share that with a stranger? No. I hate the friction this stuff brings. There is something deeper here though. I will think about it at the mall and come back to this later. - Robert Scoble
Hey Robert, How are you doing? ;-) - scherbi: bottom dweller
I completely agree. I would never walk up to someone I'd never met before and ask how they were without at least introducing myself and explaining what I wanted. So why would I ever do that online? - Tony Ruscoe from fftogo
Tony: exactly. After we have some context and history then asking how my kid is makes a lot of sense. But not as opening line. It's a bit creepy, actually. Especially when a minute later I learn you really wanted me to do something for you. Plus, if you were really clued in and following friendfeed or twitter you'd have a much better opening line than that. "Glad you're home with your son from CES, I love seeing the photos you post about him." It might be fake but at least you've demonstrated you know me. - Robert Scoble
You guys wouldn't last in the South. :) But I understand online is quite different.. but this brings up a good point. Are we seeing a culture clash online? The more and more we interact, the more likely we'll have to adapt. Hmmm. - Bwana ☠
Down here, it's common courtesy to ask "How ya doin?" when you encounter a complete stranger, but that ain't so common in other cultures. I remember when I first started consulting, I got strange looks for being "so nice" :) - Bwana ☠
Oh god I always start with How are you? - Rob Brammeld
This strikes me as a very weird peeve. It's a very normal way to start a conversation - some variation of "hi", "hi" "How are you?" "Not bad you?" "Not bad - hey listen I was wondering..." is just about how all my conversations start. The "How are you" is a polite way of giving someone a chance to let you know they're busy or in a bad mood or otherwise can't talk before imposing on them with a question or thought or whatever. - Eric P
I'm feeling that more often too. - Meryn Stol
Rob and Bwana: those are appropriate starts when dealing with people you know, but on IM they are friction. I know that isn't the reason you are chatting with me so it starts the IM on a bad note. - Robert Scoble
I think it's a culture thing for me, but I don't have thousands of followers, so your situation is obviously different. Keep the vent going, get it all out Robert :) - Bwana ☠
This happens to me at work, where we all use IM. Huge company. IM is The way to contact people. When a co-worker friend says "Hi, how are you this morning?" I answer "Good? You?". But when my manager or a co-worker client, or someone I don't know (especially someone I don't know!) starts with "Hi, how are you?" I am, shall we say, suspicious. And I agree with Robert -- you want something from me. Please get to the point already. - Vicki Brown
@Jason Heubel, but it's even ruder for some random to ask me "how I am" - as if they really care - then tell me what they're selling. Just get to the brass tacks. If it's not actually interesting to me it'll be ignored. There's nothing wrong with "hello scoble, here is a link to a great app i thought you might like ->" ... given it's robert's business to filter new apps for us. - Scot Mcphee
Generally, I don't expect people to reply me after my greetings. The same goes vice versa. If people want something from me, they can say it. I "will" answer them whenever I have the time. Just because of that, I haven't replied any of my cousin's messages for months :) So for me, IM is no different than e-mails. It's just faster when there is a "conversation". - Koray AI
I like starting with something very short that is essentially "Ping?" unless i know that the other person is someone like me that uses IM as short form email. - Sam Pullara
Dealing with vendors and salespeople at the office is much of the same. They feign interest in your life, but really don't care and are just trying to get a sale. Cut the small talk and tell me what you are trying to sell me. - Jim Bednarz
Sam: I love starting a conversation with "ping." I always answer "pong." Starting a conversation with a little short game like that makes me smile and get things off to a good start. - Robert Scoble
@scobleizer I put stuff on Facebook and twitter all the time. If they want to know how I am doing I already said it there. And yet they still say it on FB IM, "How are you guys doing?" - Christian Burns
I rarely use it anymore. If I really want to message someone, I probably have their number and can text them. IM usually just makes you talk to people just for the sake of talking with no real purpose. - David Spinks
I don't care for IM either, but not for the same reason. While immediacy is a nice thing to have, it's a productivity killer, not to mention it sets some kind of strange expectation that I'm always in the mood to chat, regardless of my status setting. - Victor Solanoy
I didn't know the sentiments around IM had changed so much!! - Meryn Stol
So how ARE you doing? - Will Higgins™
I agree with Sam and Pwana, Robert. I only IM with people I'd give my phone number to. You put your phone number on your blog; we are talking different approaches and veeery different numbers here... - Alexandros Georgiadis
Plus, IM is sure to get one's attention, where microposts can easily pass unnoticed - Alexandros Georgiadis
Stop replying to this kind of messages, simple as that ;-) - Sebastian
I'd much rather have a friend ask me how I'm doing than immediately jump at me out of the blue for a favor. Then again, I simply have no time for smalltalk nowadays. - Tamar Weinberg
I don't like IM because the conversations feel inescapable and like I have to give my full attention without being able to really multitask, whereas on Twitter I can go in and out and get work done. - Leslie Poston
I hear ya - I sometimes hate IM too. A lot of people just want to get on there and shoot the breeze because they're bored. But I'm working! Or they just want to ask for something that could have been emailed - it's critical to them, but not to you. It's a huge interruption. That's why I'm often logged out of GTalk which wants to add everyone in my inbox and then some. I use Windows Live Messenger but am very selective about who goes in there. Work colleagues, personal friends, family. Twitter is best - Sarah Perez
so Bob, what are u doing? - Ikaro
I think the worst way to start a conversation is: "Are you busy?" - James Bailey
I have to disagree with that, James... at least it shows honest concern that you might be disturbed and gives you an out to say "yes!". The worst way to start an IM conversation is "Hi". I HATE that... get to the point and tell me what you need from me! The only response you can send back is "Hi". 2 wasted lines and minutes of my life.... - Lindsay
well, how would you start a conversation? hello and then..... what? - denise