I don’t even know how to describe except that it’s imaginative and awesomely creepy. The concept in a nutshell – it’s a way of keeping track of when someone was online in IM and when they were not and what their status messages were. One for stalkers, obsessive compulsives and those who think their husbands lie to them, I guess…

3 replies on “On…”

MSN Messenger has had similar (albeit fairly clunky and/or unreliable) web-based programs available for quite a while now which let you find out if somebody who appears to be offline actually is offline, or if in fact they’ve simply blocked you. I did actually use one once when I’d had a heated IM-based row with a girlfriend over – well, it could have been anything to be honest, let’s say it was about potatoes – and suspected that she’d blocked me, a suspicion backed up by surreptitious use of the block detector. I phoned her up (in hindsight the fact that we preferred to IM rather than chat on the phone probably says a lot about why that particular relationship never led to marriage and six children) and told her that I knew I’d been blocked and wanted an apology. My speech was delivered with the same kind of self-righteousness asserted by those mad women who hire actresses to chat up their husbands in order to prove their paranoid suspicions that they’re being cheated on. In retrospect, using a block-detector wasn’t quite the noble and entirely justified move I thought it was at the time, but I did get an apology – and one only slightly marred by the accompanying accusations that I was a paranoid weirdo. Hurrah!

Having friends who are cyberstalkers with their gfs/bfs/dolphin lovers, I can’t imagine this is particularly useful.
Anyone who’s savvy/sad enough to use this will also presumably be logged in to their IM all day on a big fat broadband connection at work/home, and will notice anyway. All this does is concentrate the data – but how useful is this data, really? Unless of course you’ve made a pact with your gf/bf/dolphin not to go on AIM!

Comments are closed.