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Most people would associate an Instant Messaging (IM) program with chatting idly to friends all day long but in actual fact a lot of companies have been developing chat bots which enable you to use your IM program to make you more productive. The best one (in my opinion) is Imified. I use it on a daily basis and I can’t say enough good things about it. I’d like to show you today some of the things it can do to help you.

Imified basically allows you to connect with online services using your chat program. Whether you are a user of Google Talk, AIM, Windows Live or Jabber, information from these online services is securely passed back and forth, allowing you to do everything from your desktop. This can be anything from updating your Twitter stream to checking an IP address. One thing is for certain. Imified is going to be the most valuable friend on your IM contact list.

So the first step to setting up Imified is to get the bot onto your contact list. This is extremely simple. All you have to do is pick your chat service, take the associated email address and add it to your contact list :

    AIM: IMified

    MSN (Windows Live Messenger) : imified@imified.com

    Google Talk: imified@imified.com

    Jabber: imified@imified.com

Once it is on your contact list, send the Imified bot a message to wake it up. It should then be approved and brought online either right away or after a short period.

The first thing you will get is an activation link to the Imified website and a very small menu, one of which will say “My Account”. Ignore that for the moment. First, click on the activation link as this will activate your account and get you into the Imified website.

Once you are in, you will see 3 pages of widgets which you can add to your IM client :

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All you need to do is just go through the lists, choose the ones you want and add them to your IM client.

How do you add them? It’s very easy. See those green plus signs in the top left hand corner of each widget? Just click on the green plus sign for the widget you want to install. That opens it up. You’ll be asked to give it a preferred name and depending on the app, you may also be asked for a username and password. Then click “enter” and suddenly your IM program will update!

It’s a bit hard to explain here. It’s one of those things where it’s easier if you just do it.

OK now this is basically what my Imified menu looks like on Google Talk. I’m sure I’ll add more later but right now, I’ve confined myself to these five apps.

If at any time I want to access my Imified account, all I have to do is hit “6” and Imified will create an unique URL for me to get into the website.

Let’s take a look at some of the things on my menu to demonstrate how useful Imified is :

NetLookup :

By using certain commands, you can find out all kinds of information about a domain.

    ping ********.com – Pings the given hostname five times and outputs results.
    traceroute ********.com – Outputs a traceroute (orig. in Munich, Germany) to the given domain.
    alexa *******.com – Prints Alexa info about the given domain name.
    whois ********.com – Looks up information about the domain name in the WHOIS database.
    enum +1-604-958-1212 – Looks up ENUM entries for a phone number at multiple ENUM registries.

Post to Delicious

We all know about Delicious, the bookmarking site. Well, using Imified, you can send bookmarks straight to Delicious. You can even add descriptions and tags.   There’s a slight delay before the bookmark gets added to your profile though so don’t expect an instantaneous addition. But it DOES work!

Post to Twitter / Jaiku

I’ll lump these two together since Twitter and Jaiku are essentially both microblogging services and do the same thing.

No delay with this one! My Twitter feed is updated instantly!

There are LOTS of widgets you can add to your Imified bot which can help you do things faster.   Which ones do you like?

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