As the web moves towards more and more social, there are plenty of new channels to communicate with your friends1. In some ways that’s awesome, but the silos it creates are less so. I’m finding it more and more frustrating to recall what service I should use to contact a certain individual. To contact my wife, I use GTalk, my brother, SMS, my in-laws, a phone call, a fellow MooTools developer, Twitter, and business-y people, with email. Yeck. Please, where’s my Universal Communicator?
I use Pidgin on my computers for all my chat needs. If you don’t know what it is, essentially, it lets me setup my AIM, Yahoo, Gtalk, IRC, etc accounts, combines all the friends list into one list, and I no longer have to care about which friend uses which service. If some of your friends use many, you can easily group them together to use whatever service they happen to be logged in to at the time.
I want Pidgin for everything. Chat, email, Twitter, SMS, video chatting, voice.
It would let me enter all the communication services I use, and then aggregate all the forms of messages into a consistent format that I can reply to, without having to know exactly which medium it’s using2. If I want to voice chat with a friend, I don’t care if they’re using Skype, Gtalk, or their phone. I want to tell the app who I want to talk, and in what format, and let it figure out what medium to use.
Ideally, this would be available on PC/Mac, as well as iOS/Android. I don’t have the funds or availabilty to make this myself, but I sure would love anyone who did.
The current explosion seems to be group chatting. Yay, yet another silo. ↩︎