Tag Archives: Google

Answers to Common Questions About Gchat

Below, I’ve done my best to answer some common questions about Gchat, Google’s free-of-charge Windows web-based application for instant messaging and voice over internet protocol (VOIP).

Scroll down to see all the answers or click on a specific question:

How are contacts added to Gchat?

Contacts are automatically added based on the number of times e-mail messages are exchanged. Contacts must be using Gmail as their e-mail provider.

Is there a way to receive an alert when a contact signs on to Gchat or becomes “available”?

Unfortunately, there currently is no way to receive an alert when a contact signs on to Gchat or becomes available.

Can my employer (my boss or my company) read my Gchats?

The short answer here is ‘maybe’. It depends on what/how your company is monitoring your computer use. One way to make it a bit harder for someone to track your Gchat conversation is to sign onto Gmail securely which will encrypt any data within (include Gchat). Here’s how to change the setting to make sure you are always signing in securely: Sign in to Gmail. Click Settings at the top of any Gmail page. Set ‘Browser Connection’ to ‘Always use https.’ Click Save Changes. (Note that “Always use https’ is now the default setting in Gmail but it is good to double check this.)

Changing the HTTPS setting in Gmail

However, companies can monitor every keystroke made and even take screenshots of what you are doing on your computer, so it’s best to be careful about how you use your computer at work!

Can I be invisible to some people on Gchat and available to others?

No. The status that you set – Available, Busy or Invisible – will be shown to all your contacts. Currently, there is no way to have different statuses for different contacts. If there are a few people that you’d to not be able to know when you are online, the best alternative is to block them.

Can you recommend an app for signing onto Gchat from an iPhone?

I think Fring and IM+ both work well for this, but I personally use Meebo. All three do the same. (I’ve just had a Meebo account for a few years so I liked that I could easily extend it onto my iPhone.

I have other questions about Gchat that you haven’t answered. Where can I learn more?

Simply leave your question in the form of a comment below and I will do my best to help you.

Dating 2.0 – Best Medium for Post-Date “Thank You” Message

I date. I dig Social Media. And I spend a lot of time thinking about both. Because the problem is, like I always say, that in dating and in social media, it’s the blind leading the blind. Well, now, I think it’s time to pin down some answers. And that is what has inspired “Dating 2.0” category on this blog. In each post, we tackle dating situations made sticky by this wired world we live in. I ask for your opinion. I give you mine. It’s fun, I promise. And maybe we’ll even set some standards along the way.

So far, we’ve tackled whether or not it is acceptable to getting a potential date’s phone number off Facebook and at what point to Facebook someone you are dating.


The digital dating dilemma of the day deals with the post-date “thank you” note. I think anyone who dates will agree that the process is almost like an interview at times. And so, the same way a follow-up note is almost mandatory for success during the hiring process, the same can be said for dating. In 1980, the only option to convey the message would have been through a phone call. In 2000, an e-mail might have provided another avenue of communication. But in 2010, with so many options, what’s the best medium to use?

What is the best way to convey a post-date "thank you" message?

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Photo Credit: iain

Julie’s Take on Google Wave

I’ve had Google Wave for about three weeks and have enjoyed being able to explore the service… In talking with those not in the tech sphere, I’ve run into three types of people:

1. People who have no idea what Google Wave is

2. People who have heard of Google Wave but don’t understand it (and are therefore apathetic)

3. People who have heard of Google Wave and know they should be excited about it but just don’t understand it

Let me take a stab at an explanation:

From using it, I think the easiest way to grasp what Google Wave is to imagine the intersection of a public bulletin board and an online document that people you invite can edit (think Google Docs). To me, the power of the service is the ability to collaborate with your social network (ie your Google Contacts) as well as connecting to others around the world who share a similar interest.

I found the video and Lifehacker article below really helpful when trying to wrap my head around the idea of Google Wave. I think they may help you as well:

googlewavebestusecases

Click the image to read the Lifehacker article

As you see below, I recently was awarded Google Wave invites to give away. If you’d like one, leave your e-mail address in the comments or send me an e-mail and I’ll be happy to send you one. 🙂

googlewaveinbox