Thursday, August 5, 2010

IRC or IM

At some point in a company’s growth, management notices that there is a lot of sub-par, redundant, and distributed method of communication going on in the house. Employees have been using small - easy to use tools in order to perform their jobs with the most efficient method of communication. Management also ponders - which tool is best for the company. It is really a very crucial juncture which needs long term vision and solution. Sometimes I even ask myself - is the continuous change in technology, processes, working methods and the competitive environment makes it virtually impossible for organizations to forecast and implement a stable yet efficient mode of quick communication with co-workers while in office?

Have you ever realized that in an office environment, in-spite of having office email / Normal telephone extension/ VoIP with high availability, various IM for quick chat and so on – we still sometimes land up doing multiple cross communication -which sometimes proves really fatal and gives us a feeling of sheer waste of time?

I feel the same when I see people using an IM in office environment.

Well IM's primary focus is person-to-person and it just gives a mere sense of 'me' being there. I always felt - with multiple teams around in your office where you speak so much on the point of 'collaborative effort' IM are surely a waste - since , had the IRC taken its place - with various #team# representing different but linked BU with 'n' number of people clearing out my doubt on a point becomes easier. In contrast, following up on the same doubt with multiple team becomes a bit tedious(specially when you don't know anyone in that team). With email I probably need to be a gentleman and extra careful between the lines. Surely it takes away some of your valuable time with little benefit. Believe me you just need a very minimum no of people to make it meaningful, fruitful,viable and that too joyful.


IRC chat room brings in more active discussion - with higher resource availability and brings in more agreed upon answer around a point that too with very lesser effort of followup with multiple people around you. Personnel stuff which needs a offline discussion away from the group can even be done 1-to-1 fashion in IRC, same as we would do with any IM.

Yes! IM also support multi-user chat, and thus could be used as a complete replacement for IRC, and lets NOT miss the point that IRC is actually just another IM protocol., and probably had different focus historically, but it was really just one of the first widely-used, interoperable IM systems. Well did I try to keep away some controversy by saying so here ? :-) may be yes!!

Anyway - the idea of this post was - just to express my personal viewpoint on how an IRC can provide additional functionality and prove handy if at all we are using IM without a much thought process behind!!

Cheers!
DEBU



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