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Interact Software

Unobtrusive IM

Tuesday 4 January, 2005, 08:44 PM

Robert Scoble would like to choose who he is visible to on IM.

I'd prefer a slightly different feature. I'd like to be able to sneak back online without toast popping up on anyone else's screen. This is already what happens if I happened to leave my computer logged into IM but unattended - when I return, my status goes from Away back to normal, without bringing up any toast. So I'd like to be able to choose to do the same thing when going from offline to online.

This would solve the problem Robert identifies - the flurry of people who say "Hi" just because they happened to see you turn up online. But it would still enable those who had a specific reason to want to talk to me to find me online.

It could be called 'butler' mode - an important skill of a good butler is to be able to enter a room without drawing anyone's attention.

Not that I'd actually use this all that much - I'm an IM whore and love the attention. :-) But just occasionally it would be nice to arrive without fanfare.

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