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Google Addresses IM Etiquette

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We’ve come to think of Googlers as cool people, as smart people, and above all, as tech-savvy people.  I’m not here to challenge that perception, but a new post on the Official Google Australia Blog implies that Google’s employees deal with some of the same crap as the rest of us.  The topic of the post?  IM etiquette.

“We favour using our own IM applications – Google Talk and Gmail Chat – over email to quickly ‘ping’ each other work-related messages and questions,” writes Christine Knight, a “Creative Maximiser.”  Knight goes on to list eight IM-related tips, and although we’ll just hit a handful of them, they are, as she says, “Straight from the Australian Googlers’ mouths.”

Number one hits upon the “I’m busy” sign.  “It generally means that the person is busy,” stresses Knight.  “Don’t IM them to say ‘I know you’re busy, but…’”  Unless, presumably, the person’s car is on fire or something – most folks would forgive an interruption for a message of that nature.

If the person’s car is all right, it’s best to take it slowly.  “Begin your chat with ‘Do you have minute?’ or, ‘Need to ask you a quick question’, rather than diving straight into the topic,” advises Knight in her seventh suggestion.  “Think of it like having a conversation with someone in person.  If you wouldn’t say it to their face, don’t say it over IM.”

The rest of the post is an interesting read, but since there’s little point in reprinting the whole thing here, I’ll include only one more tip: “Take advantage of the great features like the ability to set a ‘nickname’ or ‘alias’ instead of using the user’s actual email address,” writes Knight.  “For example, your friend’s name/alias is ‘K007kid’, you can just make it display as ‘Steve’ on your end and stop those ‘who on earth is that again?’ moments.”

Google Addresses IM Etiquette
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