July 31, 2007 on 11:50 am | In Features, News | 19 Comments
Emoticons made a splash in The New York Times last weekend. A cover story of the Sunday Styles section entitled
“(-: Just Between You and Me ” takes a look at the impact emoticons have had on our culture of communication.
These Starburst-sweet hieroglyphs, arguably as dignified as dotting one’s I’s with kitten faces, have conquered new landscape in the lives of adults, as more of our daily communication shifts from the spoken word to text. Applied appropriately, users say, emoticons can no longer be dismissed as juvenile, because they offer a degree of insurance for a variety of adult social interactions, and help avoid serious miscommunications.
The writer, Alex Williams, doesn’t seem to have the same silly enthusiasm that some of us do for emoticons , but his story is an interesting take on how these small bits of e-culture have even moved off the computer and into our spoken language:
Even grown men on Wall Street, for example, will weave the term “QQ” (referring to an emoticon that symbolizes two eyes crying) into conversation as a sarcastic way of saying “boo hoo.
The article includes some references to our recent Emoticon survey where 40,000 users told us how, when and why they use Yahoo! Messenger’s emoticons. Also included in the article is a picture of emoticon creator, Scott Fahlman, and a handy cheat sheet for some beginner, intermediate and advanced emoticons.
How’s your emoticon IQ? Test yourself with these advanced ones (answers here):
July 30, 2007 on 9:11 pm | In Web version | 35 Comments
Back in May, we launched a brand new version of Yahoo! Messenger for the Web. Whether you’re on dial-up, just don’t like downloading, or you’re on the road away from your regular PC or Mac, it makes it fast and easy to IM with your friends from any web browser.
We initially launched the product in a handful of countries, and with this latest release, Yahoo! Messenger for the Web is now available in 18 countries and 9 languages:
Argentina – Brazil – Canada – Canada (in French) – Yahoo! Telemundo (in Spanish) – Mexico – United States
Australia & New Zealand – Hong Kong – India (English) – Korea – Malaysia – Philippines – Singapore – Vietnam
France – Germany – Italy – Spain – UK & Ireland
Tell a friend!
July 27, 2007 on 10:46 am | In News | 48 Comments
The Wall Street Journal published an interesting article this week entitled “Instant Messaging Invades the Office”.
Instant messaging is invading and changing the workplace. Employees started to sneak instant messaging into the office in the late 1990s, but now more companies are endorsing it. Faster and more casual than email, instant messaging can foster broader collaboration among employees even as it further blurs the boundaries between work and life. Read the full story
I wouldn’t say instant messaging at work is a new trend, but when it appears in the Wall Street Journal that means that even the most bottom-line bosses are starting to see its value.
Many employees love IM at work simply because they can stay connected to their family and friends – without the boss knowing. According to the article “Roughly one-third of U.S. employees use instant messaging at work, many without the knowledge of their employers”. And some employers still classify IM with things like games and other online diversions that can distract an employee from doing their real work.
But as evidenced by the many examples in the WSJ article, today’s workplace can benefit greatly from the instant connections made over IM. Tech consultant Gartner Inc. projects that instant messaging will be the “de facto tool for voice, video and text chat” for 95% of employees in big companies within five years. Since I work at Yahoo!, I get to use Yahoo! Messenger all day long without fear of reprisal from my boss but will companies get over their fears of losing control of their employees and embrace IM?
When we released Yahoo! Messenger for the Web back in May, we secretly hoped that millions of office workers everywhere would thumb their nose at the company firewall and IM to their heart’s content. We’ve definitely seen some of that but despite the WSJ article, not every business is ready to IM-power their employees. We’ve seen some companies block access to webmessenger.yahoo.com.
Do you use IM at work? Leave a comment below and let us know.
July 24, 2007 on 9:57 am | In Features | 66 Comments
I came across a disturbing story on Yahoo! News last week called “Confessions of a former spammer”. It detailed the practices of a former email spammer named “Ed” who earned a as much as $15,000 per week sending emails that promoted pills, porn and casinos. Like any good opportunist, Ed has written a book about his exploits. But just a read of the news story will give you a feel for what it’s like to work in this seedy sector of the internet. Read the full story
Once my nausea subsided, reading the article got me to thinking about our own spam challenges. While we have powerful anti-spam protections in place on the Yahoo! network and in Messenger specifically, the ultimate spam protection comes from our millions of users who take the time to report unwanted messages.
It’s vital that when you encounter spam on Yahoo! Messenger, you take the time to click to report it. By doing so, you alert us to spammy Yahoo! IDs which in turn makes our anti-spam system – SpamGuard – more intelligent. The end result: less spam for you and other users. Sort of an all-for-one and one-for-all mentality.
Reporting spam in Yahoo! Messenger is easy. If you receive an unwanted IM, click the “Ignore” button near the top of the IM window (or at the bottom of the offline messages windows). This will add the sender’s ID to your Ignore list to block future messages. You will also be asked if you want to report it as spam. If you accidentally ignore a real friend from your list, you can always remove them from it by going to the Messenger menu, choosing “Preferences”, and then “Ignore List”.
Have you reported any spam today?
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July 20, 2007 on 12:15 pm | In News | Add a Comment
Who was the weasel that coined the phrase “Patience is a virtue”? Because it seems like at the times when you most want something, someone says it to you.
Back in late May, I gave a “Chat Rooms: State of the Union” address here on the blog. Well, the 30 days I promised came and went…and then 20 more days and still no fix is in place for improved stability and reducing the annoying bots. The good news is that we have been working hard and we are close to releasing the fixes. The bad news is that we hit some bumps in the testing phase with our changes, and the bugs are taking longer than we expected to squash.
I don’t have a definitive date I can provide for when these chat room improvements will actually roll out (we know some of you have already snuck a peek). I apologize for the delay. Please try to be patient, we feel your pain. And please try to hold off on the flames toward us on the blog; we are as eager to get these fixes and improvements in to chat rooms as you are. We really do want to make them a more enjoyable place for you to hang out.