06 – IM and Meebo

Instant Messaging (IM)

Instant Messaging is one of the staples of online social networking, so basic that i forgot to add it to this wiki. Yet there are plenty of folks who don’t use it or understand it, or for one reason or another have demonized it. Many libraries are moving towards using IM software to enhance reference services.

  1. Read through a few articles about IM, like:
  2. Check out a few different Instant Message software providers, like:
  3. Add each link to your del.icio.us account.
  4. Write a blog post about Instant Messaging on one or all of these topics:
    • Does your library already use IM for reference?
    • What do you think would be the toughest part of starting to use IM as reference?
    • Would it be good for internal communications?


  1. First, check out Iris Jastram’s work-in-progress presentation wiki on Meebo Rooms (http://showcase.litablog.org/index.php/Iris_Jastram). She also has a flickr set detailing the process of setting up a meebo room. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/pegasuslibrarian/sets/72157600315347931/detail/) Click on the images to see them fullsized and to read the notes imbedded in the images.
  2. Also, read this great article Embedding a Librarian In Your Website Using Meebo (http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1Y1-110509216.html?Q=Tech+Tips+for+Every+Librarian+Embedding+a+Librarian+in+Your+Web+Site+Using+meebo) from Computers in Libraries, 9/1/2007.
  3. Next, go to [Meebo (http://www.meebo.com)] and create a meebo ID. Use it to bring together any other IM ID’s that you’ve accumulated, if any. Even if you don’t have other IDs, you can still use Meebo as an Instant Messenger.
  4. Get a MeeboMe widget to put on your blog sidebar.
  5. Write a blog post on: What if my library had a MeeboMe widget on their library home page for asking reference questions? What would be the pros and cons? What would be the main issues with making IM Reference workable?
  6. There’s no way to look for friends – you have to know what people’s IDs are in order to chat with them. Many people will post their IM IDs as part of one or more of their social networking profiles. You can also choose to post your Meebo ID in your blog.

UPDATE:  Looks like Meebo is moving forward with some new tech, working with another service called TokBox.  TokBox lets people video chat for free through a widget on their website – so you could put a TokBox on your facebook or myspace page, or on you library home page, or wherever.  When you’re in, people can chat with you “face to face.”


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