Did I give you my card?
The always interesting Get Real blog from Stowe Boyd over at Corante (www.corante.com/getreal) has already posted on this, but it is interesting enough for me to add my two cents' worth. Back at VON Europe in June I included in my presentation some data from Nielsen//NetRatings (http://www.nielsen-netratings.com/pr/pr_040416_uk.pdf) which showed that European IM users rack up roughly 180 minutes per month across the seven major platforms, and if we take only the three most popular (MSN, Yahoo! and IRC), the figure is around 240 minutes. This, I noted, was a pretty good approximation for the average outgoing minutes of voice on a typical European PSTN line in a given month. The conclusion, and one that Skype seems to have grasped more than any other VoIP player to date, is that among its devotees, IM is a very serious source of voice traffic displacement. AOL's new AIM revamp takes this acknowledgement a step further, by providing a template for AIM users to create an AIM Buddy Card (http://aimtoday.aol.com/features/main_redesign.adp?fid=aimbuddycards). Conventional business cards still often contain largely useless information like FAX numbers and other relics of the pre-IP age. Why shouldn't we be including our IM/VoIP user IDs instead as more relevant bits of our identities?