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Build Your Own AIM Answerbot (7 tags)
The easiest way to solve a thorny problem is to ask a guru... yet when you don't have access to a resident expert just across the office, what can you do? IRC bots solve this problem -- if you have access to IRC. Robert Treat redeployed that idea within his company across AIM with a bit of Perl, a database full of answers, and a couple of hours of time.

In-Room Chat as a Social Tool (6 tags)
This fall, I hosted a two-day brainstorming session for 30 or so people on the subject of social software. In addition to the usual "sit around a big table and talk to each other" format, we set up an in-room chat channel accessible over the WiFi network which created a two-channel experience -- a live conversation in the room, and an overlapping real-time text conversation.

Company-Wide Instant Messaging with Jabberd (3 tags)
Instant messaging is becoming as valuable a business tool as email, the telephone, or the computer. While public networks are free (but not under your control) and private installations are under your control (but expensive), you can easily run your own secure, free server using the open standards of the Jabber protocol. Oktay Altunergil shows how to install and configure jabberd and to integrate it into an existing business directory system.

Top Ten Tricks and Tips for New IRC Users (2 tags)
Millions of people around the world use IRC to chat with friends and family or to collaborate on projects, but if you're new to IRC you may be intimidated by its unfamiliar look and feel. Paul Mutton, author of IRC Hacks, presents ten tips and tricks--from advice on picking the right client for your needs to good IRC etiquette--that will get you on the road to becoming an everyday IRC user.