I've been thinking about posting again. A lot. So much I haven't found the right topic to post about, but I'm done sweating the details, so this will be an erratic post.
First, here's a chance to link to my friend Ahnìon's thoughts about IM manners and use, or in his own words: A simple guide to status modes in IM clients
A few words more on that topic. Recently I made a new friend and was delighted to hear, that she has completely turned graphical smileys off in her client. Delighted. Her choice and my reaction says something about how wrong the basic usage concept of these have become. Some people spam them out, some can't write a simple sentence in an IM client without half of them being replaced with smilies, and have you ever talked to someone who is bold or daft enough to use the ICQ smilies? Suddenly the words *JOKINGLY* appear on your screen if you don't have the "proper" client. What heck of a trigger is that? Don't get me wrong, smilies fill a function, that's why we got the text ones in the first place but it has gone too far, we've lost the how and why and it became just a bit too much. Here's a thought: Take five minutes to delete the tacky, unnecessary ones you might have added to your client and think of if which ones that might actually fill any other purpose than to annoy the recipient.