Addicted to novelty since 2001

Happy Talk, Keep Talkin’, Google Talk

My first response to Google Talk: that’s freakin’ great, another instant messaging client. As if the world of IM needs more diversification (don’t even get me started on this matrix). However, Google Talk also offers voice chat and access to your Gmail account.

I’m not a big fan of IM–I don’t like the random interruptions. And I mostly use my Gmail account to email myself. I have done some VOIP using Skype, but it’s less convenient than the phone, and my long distance bills aren’t exactly crippling. So, I’m hardly turgid with excitement about Google Talk.

That said, I did install Google Talk, just to check it out. The installation was gracefully simple, and it’s easy to use. My first complaint: unlike Skype, you can’t record voice chats. A world of geeks excited about podcasting will be displeased. I wouldn’t mind testing the voice chat. If you’re inclined, ping me first on IM: thefoot at gmail dot com (don’t email me there, though).

As a footnote, this email business highlights the pain that IM has caused me. My MSN Messenger account is associated with darrenbarefoot at hotmail dot com (don’t, under any circumstances, email me there), and now my Google Talk account uses a different email address. Neither of those are my main personal or business accounts. It’s 2005, guys. Can’t I have a single email address for all these services?

7 Responses to “Happy Talk, Keep Talkin’, Google Talk”

  1. Chris

    MSN Passport lets you sign up using any email you want:

    This has been the case for at least a year.

    This Google Talk thing has just been launched as a public beta – I bet other-email support will be included before long.

  2. Mike K.

    You want a single email address signon for both your email and instant messaging?

    No problem.

    That’s the whole point of Jabber, the protocol behind Google Talk. Anyone can run a jabber server. Anyone on any other jabber server can instant message them.

    Set up a jabber server at your domain, and then will be your instant message address.

    Hopefully, Google hasn’t broken this part of the Jabber protocol. They are supporting “insert your Jabber client of choice here”, so that’s a good start.

  3. Paolo

    Mike is right. I did this for Trillian last night and am able to run Google Talk with it. So, if you’re thinking one more IM is a bit of a hassle, get Trillian and run them all in one. That’s what I do.

  4. Darren

    Indeed, I’m familiar with the Jabbers and Trillians of the world. What irritates me is actually at a higher level–that the services require(d) me to use an email address particular to their service.

  5. Mike K.

    Paolo’s suggestion is a good one, but it isn’t quite what I’m getting at. Trillian and other multi-IM clients are basically still signing into your 6 different IM services with 6 different accounts.

    OTOH, if you use a proper Jabber server, you can login to your account at, and send a message to, and the message *gets* there – Bob’s service provider looks up Alice’s, and the message is delivered.

    It’s very similar to how email works, only it allows you to track another person’s presence even if they’re on a different server.

    With regards to Google Talk (which uses the Jabber protocol): I did a little testing last night, and guess what?

    Google seems to have disabled the Jabber feature that allows one Jabber server to talk to another. Meaning that if you want to send an IM to a Google Talk user, you’ve got to do it from a Google Talk account.

    Even more irritating is that that Google talks about their commitment to open standards, and that they plan to offer users a “choice” of which IM service provider to use

    Google mentions Earthlink and Sipphone as two service providers they intend to work with up front. Hello, Google? If you hadn’t hobbled your Jabber server, people would already have a choice.

  6. Roland Tanglao

    i haven’t tried it but Tris Hussey says that TotalRecorder will record any audio on your Windows PC (including Skype and presumably GoogleTalk)
    if/when Google ports the VoIP portion of googleTalk to Mac, then WiretapPro will record it for you

  7. Derek

    But of course, that _should_ be built in, and you _should_ be able to use any email address or other account name to sign up, and all these IM networks _should_ interoperate with one another. They just aren’t. Not for technical reasons, but political ones, which is (I think) what Darren was getting at.

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