Barb Darrow 2018年12月03日


《呐喊》 图片来源:Photograph by UIG via Getty Images




某些联系人将Google Chat或Hangouts作为首选沟通渠道。而制作播客的朋友,则选择微软的Skype。



此外,实话实说,如果苹果公司没有放弃对AOL Instant Messenger的支持,我依旧会使用这款产品。它绝对是即时通信产品的鼻祖。(理论上,你依旧可以通过iChat访问这款应用,但使用体验实在太过痛苦。)

Backblaze公司的首席执行官格莱布·布德曼同样经历过“过度连接”所带来的痛苦。他有一些联系人使用Google Chat和Hangouts、LinkedIn以及Facebook,他通常会选择最适合对方的沟通渠道。



他指出,目前的情况与即时通信应用的鼎盛时期类似,当时AOL、Yahoo Messenger和MSN Messenger为争夺精神份额和市场份额而展开激烈竞争。几乎每个人都有多个账号,所有人不得不依靠另外一款应用Trillian来管理所有这些不同的账号。



他说道:“尽管公司只有150人,但我们使用过Hipchat、Hangouts、Skype企业版和Slack。我们不得不做出决定,否则数据归档将面临严重问题。”最终,公司将Slack作为内部用户的标准通信应用,将Google Hangouts用于外部通信。

他指出,没有一款与Trillian类似的产品,可以整合目前的即时聊天应用,因为这些应用均较为封闭,无法与其他应用整合。例如,他表示,你无法将Slack整合到Google Hangouts当中。






For many people who work in distributed organizations—and often from home offices—real-time messaging applications such as Slack, Jive, and Yammer, et al., are vital lifelines. But few people stop with those. News junkies rely on Twitter as their de facto news feed as well as a conduit for seeking out quotes and expertise on the fly.

So, it was interesting to read research by BetterCloud finding that 57% of big companies surveyed use two or more real-time messaging products. But more surprisingly, 20% of those big shops use five (five!) or more of these applications. That seemed a stunning number—until I thought about my own personal use of such tools.

At work, our editorial team essentially lives on Slack. But on a personal level, things fragment fast.

For certain contacts, Google Chat or Hangouts are the communications channels of choice. For podcasting buddies, Microsoft’s Skype is the go-to choice.

Then there is, as mentioned, Twitter, which makes for five messaging apps for me alone.

But wait, there’s more! There are some long-time friends and sources who prefer to communicate via Facebook messaging, and for other business contacts, LinkedIn messages are still important. That brings the count to seven.

And, to be honest, if Apple hadn’t dropped support for it, I’d still be on AOL Instant Messenger, the great granddaddy of this type of product. (In theory, you can access AOL IM via iChat, but it’s too painful to keep up.)

Gleb Budman, chief executive of Backblaze, shares the pain of over-connectedness. He also has contacts on Google Chat and Hangouts, LinkedIn, and Facebook—and pretty much uses whatever channel is most appropriate for that person.

As a company, Backblaze tried out Sqwiggle, a presence-based instant chat application for a bit before switching to its current platform, Slack. He agrees managing all those channels is a handful.

“Sometimes I’ll get a message from someone on Facebook, and they’ll send me a LinkedIn message as well.” he said. The problem then becomes, what is the best way to respond?

This, he notes, is a throwback to the heyday of instant messaging when AOL, Yahoo Messenger, and MSN Messenger were all duking it out for mind- and market-share. Almost everyone ended up with multiple accounts and then had to resort to yet another application, Trillian, to manage all those multiple accounts in one place.

The problem now is that the latest flock of real-time tools cannot be knit together, said David Politis, chief executive of BetterCloud, a New York-based company that helps customers use and manage their cloud applications.

Ironically, BetterCloud had its own challenges there.

“We used Hipchat, Hangouts, Skype for Business, and Slack, and we were just 150 people. We had to make some decisions or we’d have problems with archiving,” he noted. The company ended up standardizing on Slack for internal users but uses Google Hangouts for external interactions.

Alas, he points out, there is no Trillian equivalent for today’s instant chat applications because none of them are particularly open and receptive to integrating with the others. You can’t tie Slack, for example into Google Hangouts, he said.

Update: As is often the case, once this story posted, a company, Sameroom.io, asserted that it can connect different real-time technologies.

So one problem is the lack of integration for diverse applications. The other is the sheer cacophony of all those inputs, which turns useful tools into a distraction. The question, then, is: Does the new utility of the tools outweigh the noise?

“I think it’s a wash,” Politis said.