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K5 Messaging

By starbreeze in Meta
Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 07:35:56 PM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)

Now that we've got a "Who's online" section, perhaps there is a possibility of being able to Instant Message people who are online through the K5 site. Sites like College Club have a similar system already implemented.

I know that k5 has been slow as it is lately, and this would most certainly increase the load. But what with all the subscription money and all, perhaps that changes like this can be better funded.

You may be thinking, there are plenty of messaging systems already. But there have been quite a few times where I have thought sending a real time message to a K5 author would be nice, and their posted email ends up being fake. We could all post our ICQ/IM/MSN numbers, but frankly, it makes me nervous to post it for everyone. Then they can contact me anytime I'm online. The beauty of the k5 messenger would be that k5'ers would have be logged in at the same time as you in order to contact you.


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Good? Bad?
o Good idea 32%
o Good idea but not feasible for k5 right now 22%
o I wouldn't use this feature 25%
o Bad idea 16%
o Other: see comments 2%

Votes: 85
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o College Club
o Also by starbreeze

Display: Sort:
K5 Messaging | 39 comments (38 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
There may be other options too. (3.85 / 7) (#2)
by theboz on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 02:08:26 PM EST

I know ICQ has some ActiveList thing for groups, and there are other instant messengers that have similar things. I think it's a good idea and probably neat, but I can see another potential issue rather than just the server load.

If we implemented such a system, the comments might go away. Why would I reply to your diary if I saw you online and just sent an instant message? If I don't make the comments, other people won't respond, and it ends up breaking down some of the discussion on the site.

That may be why there is a K5 IRC channel, but it hasn't been overly interesting the few times I have gone in there.

By the way, why are you worried about listing your ICQ number or name on AIM? You can put people on ignore without too much difficulty on both.


Agree... (4.00 / 2) (#6)
by univgeek on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 02:27:19 PM EST

The comments usually provoke discussion. With everyone IMing everyone else, there arent going to be too many comments. Also if I want to chat, I will go and chat or IRC/ICQ/Yahoo/whatever/MSN (.. scratch MSN :-).. I come to K5 to read some comments and reply to them. To read some stories and comment on them.

IMHO its not going to improve discussion, and I want K5 to remain a discussion site

Arguing with an Electrical Engineer is liking wrestling with a pig in mud, after a while you realise the pig is enjoying it!
[ Parent ]

Jabber (3.75 / 8) (#3)
by BigZaphod on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 02:12:31 PM EST

K5 could just install a Jabber server. http://www.jabber.org/

"We're all patients, there are no doctors, our meds ran out a long time ago and nobody loves us." - skyknight
Does it actually work? (4.00 / 1) (#14)
by gjohnson on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 03:41:34 PM EST

I've seen a lot of Jabber advocacy, but I've never been able to get it to work. All the clients I've tried crash randomly. So, does it actually work?

FWIW, I've just tried the Debian/unstable packages...
I don't care. (0)
[ Parent ]
It depends... (4.33 / 3) (#18)
by jabber on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 04:10:06 PM EST

The work gets done, and I post plenty to K5 and other sites as well.

Jabber doesn't just work, Jabber multitasks.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Yes, it works. (3.00 / 1) (#23)
by BigZaphod on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 04:52:57 PM EST

Jabber works, yes. I use it as my exclusive IM service. I'm running my own server too complete with AIM, ICQ, and MSN gateways (transports in Jabber lingo). In my experience I've had good luck with Gabber in the Linux world and JabberIM works pretty well in Windows (although it isn't very feature-rich). (Lots of client can be found here: http://www.jabbercentral.com/clients/)

"We're all patients, there are no doctors, our meds ran out a long time ago and nobody loves us." - skyknight
[ Parent ]
so... (3.00 / 1) (#25)
by ODiV on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 05:58:58 PM EST

What's your server? :)

[ odiv.net ]
[ Parent ]
Works for me. (none / 0) (#33)
by Nikolai on Thu Jul 12, 2001 at 04:13:07 AM EST

I've been using the debian unstable packages for gabber.

0.8.1 crashed alot, but 0.8.2 and after have been working just fine for me. One or two crashes, but not enough to stop me from using it.

I like cheese.
[ Parent ]

creature feep (4.11 / 9) (#4)
by Speare on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 02:20:21 PM EST

I'm sure I'll be seen as some luddite for saying this, but I think it has to be said.

Creature feep, the evil twin of feature creep, is the propensity of an engineering project to bolt on any feature that is somewhat easy to implement.

Easy to implement does not mean worthwhile or desirable. In the regular feature creep, there's at least some strategic reason for considering the ideas. Creature feep has a mind of its own. That mind is chanting, "wouldn't it be cool if..."

The 'diary' system is another example of a creature feep. If individuals want to express themselves, why not use a hosting service (even geocities) to make a webpage of their own? I do. Others do. Link to your homepage on your K5 sig or on your User Information page. There's no strategic reason for the 'diary' sections, it was just an easy thing for Rusty to add to the database framework. Feep.

Messaging each other would be another creature feep. What is ICQ? What is AOL IM? What is Jabber? People can publish their contact information and use those other well-defined channels of communication, if they so choose. Bare-bones messaging is easy to add technically but doesn't fit the strategic mission of K5. Feep.

Kuro5hin is a source of information, a newspaper where YOU choose the headlines. Remember that? It's not an experiment in digital convergence, and it's not a drop-in replacement for those who can't afford hosting or messaging service providers.

If people donate money to Kuro5hin, how do you want it spent? I want the best platform for a source of information, a newspaper where I choose the headlines.
[ e d @ h a l l e y . c c ] spare time? know java? earn cash

Evolution (4.66 / 3) (#7)
by wwwebb on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 02:36:38 PM EST

I disagree. K5 is whatever rusty and crew decide to program into it. The fact that they have included diaries and "Who's Online" says to me that the k5 community is just as important as the news. I think enhancements that encourage the evolution of this site, will keep the users interested and involved.

[ Parent ]
Ironically. . . (4.00 / 3) (#12)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 03:04:04 PM EST

Many of the old timers have repeatedly say that the only reason they continue to hang around is the quality of the discussion in the diaries.

Perhaps creature feep is not a bad thing in and of itself. . .

[ Parent ]

Creature meept (4.00 / 2) (#15)
by slaytanic killer on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 03:41:48 PM EST

Many of the old timers have repeatedly say that the only reason they continue to hang around is the quality of the discussion in the diaries.
Interesting to consider whether the diaries contributed to the perceived decline of K5. The "ghetto of K5." All these changes have unpredictable side effects.

Away from the utilitarian UNIXness to the feature-rich, comfy Windows. It may not be sound to make that connection... but I notice things are less sound but more creative.

[ Parent ]
I agree... (4.00 / 1) (#22)
by theboz on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 04:24:39 PM EST

The diary section gives some cohesion to the site. If you can easily see a list of people's names and information they put in there about themselves, you get to know them better.

I like that better, because when I respond to people on an article I might already know more of where they are coming from. That is one of the things that seperates K5 from (I hate to compare but oh well) slashdot. On slashdot, it is a news site set up to relay information. It sounds like the original poster wants to limit the site to being slashdot with open story queues and moderation. That is fine, but that destroys the whole sense of "online community" that seems to be a focus of K5. This is a discussion site rather than a news site. We like to have conversations about whatever news is posted rather than just seeing it and then having 50 people write a bunch of comments nobody will read.

Ok, I'll stop now because most of this should have been in a comment to the originator of the thread rather than you, lee. I'm too lazy to change it so hopefully he reads this.

[ Parent ]

Reminds me of Major BBS (4.00 / 3) (#5)
by dyskordus on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 02:24:44 PM EST

I remember Major BBS had a similar feature that allowed you to page other users. It was nice, it made the board more of a community.

"Reality is less than television."-Brian Oblivion.

It exists (4.10 / 10) (#8)
by finkployd on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 02:41:07 PM EST

and it is called #kuro5hin.

IRC does the whole 'chatting' thing best, why attempt to redesign it in a web interface?

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
why? (5.00 / 5) (#10)
by starbreeze on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 02:45:01 PM EST

because not everyone can irc from work.

"There's something strangely musical about noise." ~Trent Reznor
[ Parent ]

Fix that problem then... (4.50 / 10) (#13)
by wnight on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 03:33:56 PM EST

If IRC does what we want it to, but not everyone can use it, maybe we should look at getting a web->irc gateway, instead of adding a bunch of stuff to the main site.

I personally would like to stick to IRC, I've got a bunch of scripts that log stuff, highlight keywords, etc. That level of customization really makes IRC the chat-platform of choice IMHO.

So if we let non-IRCers (by choice or by firewall) join in, it lets the die-hards use their tools of choice and lets everyone else join in.

If we coded up some non-IRC webhack, it'd suck for everyone.

[ Parent ]
Web <-> IRC interface (4.00 / 2) (#27)
by ScrO on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 06:54:40 PM EST

I agree -- we'd probably be best off with a Web interface to the IRC channel, getting the best of both worlds. I've seen many Java implementations, but I won't start in on how embedded Java applets are evil. (=

I do recall back some time ago there was a bot on some channel (I'm drawing a complete blank) that, when you asked it to translate something from one language to another, would contact babelfish with the query and return in on the channel. It seems to me that it would be fairly straight-forward to use a similar idea where a bot could publish and recieve from a database or some other backend. This could also be useful for only transmitting worthwhile content (ie not join/leave/quit/kick/topic/notify messages).

Just a thought. (=


[ Parent ]

Alternative: E2-style chat (4.30 / 10) (#9)
by ScrO on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 02:42:03 PM EST

I tend to agree with the people saying that integrated instant messaging will detract from the content, however, a middle-of-the-road type of feature may be an IRC-like chat box like they have over at Everything2 (you may have to be logged in to see the "Chatterbox").

This allows people to communicate directly with other users, while keeping it in a (semi-) public forum so others can chime in. With private messages, you could keep private conversations private, as well. I believe there is at least some use for a tool which allows people to simply chat, as opposed to writing thoughtful and important comments to posted articles.

I'm not actually saying this is what K5 should do, just a suggestion. (=


forum (3.50 / 2) (#11)
by starbreeze on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 02:49:37 PM EST

that idea, i really like.

just because i made a suggestion doesn't mean it has to be implemented, and if it is, it doesn't have to be implemented exactly like what i suggested. i am aware that there is an irc channel but ircing from work is ungood, and even when i've tried, i never pay attention to it.

i didn't think about the impact that messaging might have on comments.

"There's something strangely musical about noise." ~Trent Reznor
[ Parent ]

Not a good idea (3.25 / 4) (#16)
by WinPimp2K on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 03:50:56 PM EST

When posting comments, people tend (at least some of the time) to take a moment and reflect on what they are trying to say. Sometimes we even resist the temptation to take that cheap shot (not always, I will admit to occasionaly allowing my thrifty Scottish nature to control my trigger finger).

However, I feel that adding an inherently intrusive messaging system would result in a general decline in the level of semicivilized discourse. - Just imagine what would happen if someone like gisano were to get bored and decide to "chat" with everyone "online" with whatever 5K tale of oppression he has loaded up in his cut-n-paste buffer. Now imagine receiving such wisdom while trying to respond to a comment or article with your usual level of erudite wit and savoir faire. Now who wants K5 IM capability?

gisano has his uses (4.00 / 3) (#21)
by ubu on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 04:20:57 PM EST

Sometimes you just want to feel good about your own life. For moments like that, there's gisano.


As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
what.. (2.50 / 4) (#17)
by rebelcool on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 04:07:55 PM EST

you mean like COG?

(hehe, so shameless)

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

Kind of (2.00 / 1) (#31)
by delmoi on Thu Jul 12, 2001 at 12:40:12 AM EST

but less lame.
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
its in the eye of beholder (none / 0) (#35)
by rebelcool on Thu Jul 12, 2001 at 01:11:31 PM EST

then again, most people could care less about tech weblogs..

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Hehe (3.00 / 5) (#19)
by babylago on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 04:16:59 PM EST

Rusty puts in a Buddies list and all of the sudden it's AOL Keyword: kuro5hin.

[ Blog | Hunnh ]

So easy to use... (4.00 / 2) (#34)
by rusty on Thu Jul 12, 2001 at 09:08:42 AM EST

...no wonder it's number one!

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
A good idea but poorly executed (3.25 / 4) (#20)
by Orion Blastar on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 04:17:53 PM EST

Having your messenger info posted public on a public forum is a good way to get on the SPAMMERS lists.

List your YIM, AIM, MSM, ICQ, and other messenger accounts on a public post and then watch the idiots that send you the "Visit http://www.stupidspam4u.com live nude screen otters three dolla!" etc.

Also do you really want someone paging you while you are writing something? On MajorBBS and other BBS software that used to tick me off that someone could page me while I was writing a message or email. Don't interrupt me while I'm talking! ;)
*** Anonymized by intolerant editors at K5 and also IWETHEY who are biased against the mentally ill ***

Naw, IM spammers dont harvest (4.00 / 1) (#36)
by coryking on Thu Jul 12, 2001 at 07:04:03 PM EST

I seriously doubt that spammers harvest ICQ numbers. I think what most ICQ spammers use is some kind of program that you give range of ICQ numbers (1,201,230 -> 1,203,456) and it just squentally spams all of them. That or it just pulls random numbers out of it's ass, and spams those. It would be way to much trouble to harvest ICQ nubmers, how do you differentiate ICQ numbers with other "real" numbers?

I think hotmail & aol spammers probably do the same thing. They probably have a list of base names (kitty, joey, sammy) and then randomly add numbers to the end (killy10, joey103, sammy420). Remember, spammers dont care about the bounces - it's all getting the most about of "eyeballs" in a short amount of time.

Otherwise, how do you explain my virgin ICQ & hotmail addresses getting spammed?

[ Parent ]

All I know about IM Spammers (none / 0) (#38)
by Orion Blastar on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 09:24:34 PM EST

Is as soon as I post my ICQ number somewhere I get "Hey visit this web site at xxxxxxxxx" messages, and when I don't post it anywhere I don't get those kind of messages anymore.

ICQ and Hotmail do have a directory that spammers can lookup names or profile that fit their target. Either that or a website you entered the info on had spammed you from the other database.

Whatever you do, never, ever enter your email and IM info on a Newsgroup posting!
*** Anonymized by intolerant editors at K5 and also IWETHEY who are biased against the mentally ill ***
[ Parent ]

Idea from gaydar.co.uk (none / 0) (#37)
by kyrbe on Fri Jul 13, 2001 at 09:48:15 AM EST

gaydar has an online web based IM system. If you don't want to receive messages online, you just close the small "Assistant" pop-up. Re-activate it when you're ready to receive again. Simple!

Equal Rights, Representation, Education and Welfare
[ Parent ]
stickiness (or whatever the buzz word du jour is) (3.33 / 3) (#24)
by yankeehack on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 05:16:36 PM EST

Wouldn't it make sense to the Great Powers That Be that perhaps having a feature that would make the audience stick around a bit longer (and look at ads, if you don't suscribe...heh) would be a good thing? I can talk to my neighbor while out in the yard, isn't that a hallmark of a community? Or perhaps I'm just thinking like marketing? Just asking...

Anyway, I like the the idea of a message feature just for k5. Perhaps it could be a premium service?

Here's hoping that this Democratic Senator will run for President in 2004.

A better idea (2.66 / 3) (#26)
by DoomHaven on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 06:45:32 PM EST

Rusty, or some volunteer member, or some group of volunteers, takes our ICQ/AIM/YIM/MSM IDs and keeps them in file somewhere utterly private. To receive the list, you have to contact said person/group to be put on the list and then have the updated list sent out to everyone on the list. Rusty, or said person/group, would have to make the judgement call, per applicant, on whether to include them. Make it quite clear that your status on K5 will be the deciding factor: what you post, your user id's longetivity, etc. All we know about anyone here is what they post on K5, and that's all we can judge them on.

My bleeding edge comes from cutting myself on Occam's Razor.
Human Factor (4.00 / 1) (#29)
by ScrO on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 09:31:15 PM EST

It seems to be that the best way to handle this (and most Web problems) is to take the human factor out of the program. Relying on a person or people to keep things current is scary at best. What happens when on vacation, their net connection dies, or their reasoning goes south, etc. A good idea, but the dependence on people is not a positive step forward, IMHO.

Plus, the initial idea for this messaging tool was so you wouldn't have to be running another application (or many). The goal is integrated messaging within K5.


[ Parent ]

to much damn work (none / 0) (#30)
by delmoi on Thu Jul 12, 2001 at 12:37:13 AM EST

an automated solution is definetly needed here...
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Something like Yahoo! has... (3.00 / 1) (#28)
by Andrew Dvorak on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 07:06:12 PM EST

Or set up something like yahoo!'s instant messaging features, where you can send an "instant" message over the web to an online user. With K5, maybe this could be set up in a private diary section, almost as comments, hidden from everybody but the recipient, who could read these messages. Maybe these messages could expire after, say 2 weeks, and be trashed. Optionally, the recipient may delete them, too.

This is no more far fetched now than before K5 had a diary feature.

Of course, the whole purpose of K5 is to facilitate group discussion and it probably would be counter-productive to allow people to confine their discussion, person-to-person -- that's what email is for, after all, right? Although it might be nifty to be able to contact somebody who hasn't listed their email address.

It might also be nice to know if somebody had read a message I sent them.

Take a look at... (4.00 / 2) (#32)
by LukeyBoy on Thu Jul 12, 2001 at 01:01:14 AM EST

e2 has a great messaging system... For the people who haven't used it, the site has a "chatterbox" running down the right hand side of the page showing public chat taking place as well as any private messages to yourself. And sending messages is as simple as a /msg <nick> <message>. It'd be pretty cool to have the same thing on k5.

Hmm... (none / 0) (#39)
by Zarniwoop on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 03:01:32 PM EST

Plastic has a similar system set up. They've implemented it like a basic webmail setup, with inbox, sent, favorite users, blocked users, etc...

It seems to work pretty decently. It's a handy feature to have sometimes.

K5 Messaging | 39 comments (38 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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