Friday, August 31, 2007

Everybody Chat

Library Voice has an excellent post, and step-by-step directions, for setting up Pidgin to work with your Meebo Me Widget.

Like Chad at Library Voice says, this is a great combination if your library uses a Meebo Me widget on the library webpage, and also runs a separate software client (or clients) for IM reference. We're not doing IM ref yet, but I wanted to give it a try because while I love Meebo, and I especially love my Meebo Me widget, I have found that I a.) sometimes close the Meebo tab by accident and then forget to log back in, and b.) have a fussy internet connection that sometimes spazzes out and momentarily "interrupts" - which is just enough to disconnect my Meebo tab (and sometimes I have no idea this has happened).

So, I downloaded Pidgin, grabbed the plugin, followed the directions (easy), and voila! - I am now running Meebo through Pidgin, and I don't have to have the Meebo page open at all. Very cool.

The one thing I have noticed is that there is a very slight lag with the widget when you are viewing the blog; in other words, when you first visit Cool Librarian, the widget is likely to say that I am offline. But if I am online and running Pidgin, it WILL change my status to available if you give it about 10 seconds to catch up. When actually chatting with a widget user, I haven't noticed any lag at all.

This is actually the first time I have used Pidgin, and I like it. It operates with many IM platforms, is fully functional, open source, etc, - it's great. But, and this should come as no surprise, I think it's ugly (and, apparently, unskinable). There's a blog post about this, and if you are in the mood for some of the most obnoxious Linux fanboy yapping around, read the comments. I only mention this because, as I read the comments, I wondered if this is why some people think the "library 2.0 cult" members are so awful. Do we sound like this? Gawd, I hope not. In any event, I am completely unapologetic about the fact that I like my apps "pretty." But, I'll live - the Meebo and Pidgin combo gets a big "thumbs up" from me.

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