One of the things I like best about Live Messenger is the fact that you can take your contacts and categorize them. You can even give those categories names that are appropriate to what you truly believe about that person. For instance, I have a category called Tinfoil Hats. I also have categories called Host-A-Bitch and Goo People.
|What you see here is my work version of IM. It's not as cool as the version available for Windows 7, but it does the trick.|
Over the years, as Messenger has grown and changed, so has my list. When they began to allow categories I went a little crazy. I had about 20 possible areas to drop people into. Since then I've narrowed it down a lot. Because of all the advances in IM technology... I can hide when I want, from who I want, block entire categories of people (without add-on programs), remain invisible to everyone, or simply one person in a category. This is helpful when CERTAIN people piss me off and I don't want to see their stupid font, but I've not yet reached the point where I want to block and delete them.
I used to host and co-manage a help and support community on MSN that grew to quite a large following. I maintained a list of hosts to notify about issues. "No, I don't want to add you to IM." is a really difficult thing for me to say and so my list grew longer and longer.
Tinfoil Hats grew from the latter... my inability to say 'NO'. These people seem nice enough in the beginning. They lure you into conversation and have a few interesting things to say. You begin to think there is potential for additional conversation there. You add them to IM and pretty soon you're getting emails about all of the strange things that happen to them, government conspiracy theories, and you realize this person will soon be abducted by aliens. To avoid discussion related to their latest anal probe, you have to move them to the Tinfoil Hats category. This category allows you to realize their insanity while maintaining invisibility. It also allows you to keep track of the crazy.
Never underestimate knowing what crazy people are doing and when. It could one day save your life. For example, let's say aliens are real right? The news begins to talk about strange sightings in the skies all over the world (think Independence Day). You are worried because you never thought it could happen on earth and you've not prepared. You know who has prepared? Tinfoil Hats. These are now your go to people. Believe me... they WILL be on IM when the shit goes down. Aside from being a bit off their rockers... they are technologically savvy and will have found a way to sign in from the most remote locations without notifying the invading life forms of their presence. Just sayin... keep them around.
What are your categories (IM or otherwise)?