Work-specific IM accounts

If you get to be a manager of external artists of any kind, MAKE A NEW ACCOUNT FOR INSTANT MESSAGING that only your contractors have access to. No friends.

I’m trying to separate work and home life more now and this was a critical mistake I made early on. Now I can’t work without friends poking me, and I can’t be at home online without being pestered about work. It’s frustrating. Too much connectivity can definitely be a curse.

My next steps are to create new accounts solely for work that my friends don’t know about, then migrate all my contractors over to those accounts and block them from my old ones.

It seems so obvious in retrospect. :P

9 thoughts on “Work-specific IM accounts”

  1. Warning: This is not easy. I tried this in grad school (which is why my current AIM name is all… “sciencey”) and ran into a couple snags. One of which was people switching to email to contact me – because they were worried why I wasn’t on IM.

    Granted, the benefits are huge, but still tricky. I suggest if you do this to use an application IM for the one your dedicated to (work at work, home at home) and use something like Meebo for the other. This way you can check in on the other IM but can just as easily close it.

  2. When I was on AOL dial-up, and I wanted to play games online, I found that my connection would drop more often when people IMed me. It can be really frustrating playing a fullscreen game only to hear a chime and notice that the game looked stalled.

    So I created a second account. I added my friends to it so I could notice if they are online, but I never told them about it. I was still dropping connections during gameplay, but as far as I could tell, it happened less often.

    When I got to college, I didn’t see a need for the second account…until I went to work. My main account would always be online, and rather than connect to the same account, possibly losing any messages sent to me while I was away, I signed onto my second screenname.

    Unfortunately, people think I am never online now, and so never IM me. I am online. I’m just away. Leave me a message. It doesn’t stop you from calling me, so why stop IMing me?!? B-(

  3. This is why you use IM client programs that can handle additional connecitons at the ame time, like trillian and miranda.
    Some time ago I did the same as Jon and started up an IM for just work contacts, and it makes things much easier in the ways Jon points out, and using both accounts at the same time with trillian, onnceting/disconnecting them to fit my agenda.
    Just a warning to people who want all their customers on their IM, there is customers that get angry on you for just mentioning them to add your work IM to theirs, I’ve noticed this.

  4. NateE, yeah, it’s been a bitch. I wish I could go back in time and do it all differently. Meebo’s a great suggestion, btw.

    GBGames, man, I hadn’t thought about all the problems that kind of thing would generate. That’s funny, and it sucks. hahah

    stahr, I use Pidgin and I do that a little bit, throttling back and forth, but not to the extent that I could be. I hadn’t thought of it as being agenda-specific, though… I like that.

    And how weird that people would be angry about the work IM. Some people!

    Rick, nice job! How is that continuing to work out for you?

    Mangled Poly, poke this!

    Dwayne, maybe an eBook sometime? :)

  5. It’s great! My contact list is now within GMail, I can choose which ones appear in GTalk. It’s jabber, so it runs in iChat.

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