May 19th is unofficially becoming a very important day in instant messaging. It is becoming the day that legacy protocols are dropped, such as Yahoo, MSN, AIM and ICQ, and only open IM protocols are used, such as Jabber.
Currently, I use all protocols. I have for a long time, and I have many contacts who use all of them as well. They just seem to collect from school, family, friends and work. Recently, I just posted about how you can contact me via these protocols. Well, I'm updating the post saying that only Jabber will be used from May 19th and on. No exceptions.
Threre are a couple of reasons for this. First, being a very out-spoken advocate of Open Source Software (OSS), it makes sense to use only open protocols- protocols which the source code is released. It seems almost hypocritical to say "Use OSS!" then turn around and login to MSN. Second, Jabber combined with other services, such as Gmail gives me some features that are important to me, such as archiving my conversations. Jabber is in the works with Jingle to provide VOIP capabilities using Asterisk over the Jabber protocol, while still using my Gmail account. Finally, becase Jabber is OSS, I can setup my own Jabber server, although personally, I have no need to. This is nice as it increased security when using the IM service. I don't need to send my messages out through the internet for the others to receive them. Everything can stay within the network.
At any rate, May 19th, I'll be making the pull. If you are in my contact list, and read my blog, realize that I will turn off all legacy IM connections on that date. Of course, those in my contact list will get an IM from me when logged in about the decision.
I encourage you to make the switch to Jabber also. Again, you can use your Gmail account, of which I'll probably put in a seperate post. It will be the last switch you ever make. You'll wonder why you ever used the legacy IM services to begin with.