Back in the 2000s I used to be an avid user of first Trillian (Windows) and then Adium (2006 onward) to be my single IM app. IM, Microsoft Messagener, ICQ*, Google Talk - They were all in my Adium and I didn't care.

Then 2010s came, and sometime after we've lost technology of message aggregators, and entered era of walled gardens. Whatapp can't talk to Allo, Allo can't talk to Hangouts*, Telegram, Snap, Line, Wire etc.

I complained** first year, but soon I realized that it's a feature! I can use multiple messenger systems to wall off different types of activities, at this very moment I have:

  • Whatapp - Boring. Home errands, work chat.
  • Telegram - Friends and Gifs.
  • Allo - I'm sort of trying this out, integration with Assistant could make it viable solution for home errands and other stuff actually.
  • Signal - Using this one for emergencies. It's installed on all of my devices but only limited amount of people can text me on it. 3 to be exact.

So I created all those walled gardens and decided that while it's a hack it's a workable solution that actually brings calm into my life. But how do we move this from the "hack" to a proper solution?

What I really want from messenger apps is two things:

  • Have an ability to intercommunicate.
  • Have an ability to install multiple versions of same app in different contexts/profiles.

What is a context?

Context

Context is a combination of Time, Activity, and Location.

  • Monday - Thursday from 10:00 to 19:00 - It's work time, I want work related messages to be shown up in my notifications center I want to know that I have messages that I might have to triage.
  • Everyday from 5:00 - 9:00 when I'm at Gym - I want only emergency images to pop up.
  • Everyday from 5:00 - 9:00 when I'm not at Gym - I want all non work messages to popup.

We could also add device to this algorithm - When it's morning, I'm not at gym and I'm on tablet - That means I'm working want to focus on task. If I'm on my phone - then please disturb.

Notes

[] Microsoft rebranded their messenger every weekend so I don't remember it's original name ny more. [] Anyone remembers this one? Outside of Russia :)? [] Google SRLY? You supporting 2 messengers and they can't talk to each other? :) [**] I complain a lot about things, and then I realize that I complain and I enter meta complaining loop - when I start to complain about me complaining about stuff.