I have been using Instant Messaging (IM) software for a long time. I started out on AIM and was able to just stick with that client for many years. Then I had some friends that only used YIM so I started running it too. Then a couple years ago I started using MSN and Google chat. I started having way too many IM programs running. Frustration set in rather quickly and I was introduced to Trillian which helped reduce it. However, soon after some offices location that I was working in started blocking IM traffic. This got frustrating as I had to start sending emails like it were IMs. I believe IM can be a very valuable tool for communication. This is assuming you are using it to be more productive and you are not busy chatting with your friends all day. About a year ago I was introduced to a web based IM program that tied many IM networks together into one client. The site is Meebo.com. Meebo supports AOL (AIM), Yahoo (YIM), Google Talk, MSN, ICQ, and Jabber. Since it is browser based and running over http protocol I can chat behind many firewalls that block the instant messaging client. This assumes the network admin didn’t decide to block the Meebo site entirely. Another advantage is I don’t have a need for all the different IM clients and can jump on IM on any computer with internet access and not have to worry about setting up any additional software on someone else’s computer. As an extra benefit for some is that Meebo allows you to put a widget on your website that will allow your website visitors to chat with you without them even needing an IM account.