Adam’s 10 Rules for Living
10. Don't wait three weeks between blog posts or you'll have no choice but to use cheap titles to lure your readers back.
Great. Now that that's out of the way, allow me to continue with the real subject of this entry: the demise of instant messaging -- in particular, the demise of MSN Messenger (now called Windows Live Messenger). I won't touch on Yahoo! Messenger because no one ever used it besides me and all those porn bots. And apparently some teen Israelis still use ICQ, but not enough to invalidate my point.
It goes without saying that the rather sudden fall from grace of this once-dominant application had a lot to do, if not everything to do, with the emergence of text messaging and Facebook and its chat utility. It can also be attributed to the rise of other social media and websites that allow you to connect with fellow Internet addicts -- be it YouTube, MySpace or any other compound-word-with-no-space-in-the-middle-named website you can think of. You can also credit, among many other applications, Skype, BBM and other handy-dandies like the in-mail Google Chat client.
The ironic thing about this shift away from instant messaging is that, for everyday banter, we have largely forgone the easiest, quickest and most private means of chatting online in favour of sending communiques that are not only received after a time delay, but are also viewable by hundreds, if not millions, of other people. Think wall posts, video comments, Tweet mentions... the whole shling shlong.
Ostensibly we have gone from a more efficient means to a less efficient one. However, the Internet game has changed, and the extensive reach and share-ability achieved through social media and mobile apps clearly make these newer options more efficient for the purposes of sharing information with large numbers of people and, of course, looking popular. For the odd urgent conversations, of course, we still have telephones, text messaging and, as a last resort, Windows Live Messenger tucked away somewhere in our Start Menus.
Another reason for MSN Messenger's decline is probably the failure of MSN to do anything good or ingenious to its Hotmail platform in the last 10 years. I mean come on. Outdated functionality and horrible spam filtering, not to mention its inability to compete with Gmail (and I might mention that the evolution of e-mail's use would be another great topic).
Anyway, each form of online communication has its own benefits -- to expand on them any further would be as obvious and unnecessary as watching Inception a second time.
MSN is for Kids
The only reason I haven't deleted my Hotmail account already is so I can still log into Messenger once in a while. However, I recently decided to delete my MSN account altogether, which will mean no more of either.
In preparation of this exodus and particularly as a way of safeguarding my online identity and cleaning up some digital dirt, I recently deleted my MSN Space (now Windows Live Space), "Adam's Suite." This sweet creative chronicle of early-twenties enthusiasm, travelling, debauchery and friendship came into existence towards the end of my 2005 university semester in Holland.
The highlights of the blog were the two years of raunchy correspondence between me and a handful of close friends I made during my semester abroad, and my coverage of two summers in Southeast Asia. And of course there were dream descriptions, unsolicited love letters and the following e-mail I received from my university's newspaper editor and decided to post:
Sorry for not getting in touch with you sooner. I don't know if you saw yet, but we decided Tuesday night not to run the comic you submitted. We just weren't comfortable with the last frame.
The general consensus was that it was a little too seedy for our college crowd. Sorry for not letting you know earlier and I hope you continue to submit comics.
That was the fifth and last comic I would ever send those bastards. Although I have to admit I was somewhat proud to have gone too explicit for even a college audience.
Anyway, now this entertaining and nostalgic MSN Space has been eliminated with the same "flick of the wrist" that started it all. Of course, being the archivist I am, I made sure to copy every single post and comment into a Microsoft Word file so I can always take a look back and reminisce over good friends, good times and good weed.
So... so long MSN, from your awesome late-night late-90's chat rooms, to your crappy e-mail service, to your pioneering instant messaging, to your juvenile blogging site.