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Instant Messaging (IM) FAQ's

Q. What is Instant Messaging?
Instant messaging or IM (for short) is real-time communication (called "chatting") over the Internet in which users type short messages back and forth using software networks such as AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), Yahoo! Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, and Google Talk. IM is similar to e-mail communications, only faster. IM is also like a telephone conversation, except that the users communicate via text messaging instead of speech (although some messenger applications can send and receive audio and video through microphones and "webcams".)

Q. Who can use this service?
The service is available to current students, faculty, and staff of Rogue Community College.

Q. Where can I get IM software?
IM service providers generally offer a fee IM client, which you can download, in most cases for free, and install on your computer. If you want to be able to chat over multiple messaging services from one application, try a free multi-protocol IM client, such as Pidgin or Trillian. If you don't want to download anything, or you are using a computer on which you can't install software, use a Web-based IM service like meebo, which allows you to access your accounts via the Web. There are many IM service providers; however, RCC supports the most popular ones listed below:

Q. How do I IM a TRiOSSS Mentor?

  • Launch your IM application software or use a Web-based interface.
  • Add an appropriate screen name to your Buddy List.
  • Double-click on the Buddy name
  • In the message window, type your message.
  • Press the enter or return key on your keyboard.

Q. Can I use IM if the computer I'm using doesn't have IM software installed?
Yes. Most IM services provide Web interfaces that do not require client software. Examples include AIM Express, Yahoo! Web Messenger, and MSN Web Messenger. There are various Web-based aggregators of IM services, which allows you to connect with all your IM buddies from multiple IM services, available on the Internet. No software download is required. Here are some free browser-based sites which can connect to multiple instant messaging networks:

Q. What is a screen name?
A screen name is a name that you choose to identify yourself online when instant messaging with others. You will need to set up a screen name with an IM service before you can log in and IM a TRiO mentor. RCC's TRiOSSS screen name is different for each IM i.e., AOL, Yahoo!, MSN, and Google IM services.

Q. What is a buddy list?
A buddy list consists of the screen names of people you frequently IM. Add RCC's TRiO mentor screen name to your buddy list, so that you can readily IM a TRiO mentor.

Q. What hours is IM reference service available?
Monday through Friday 8 A.M. to 5 P.M.

Q. What types of questions will be answered?

  • How do I sign up for a college tour?
  • How do I learn more about tuition free classes offered by TRiO?
  • How do I sign up for a mentor?
  • How do I make an appointment with a transfer advisor?
  • How do I sign up for a cultural event or workshop?
  • Questions about TRiOSSS services

Q. What happens to the transcripts of my IM session?
TRiOSSS retains all transcripts in order to compile statistics and improve our service. Personal information, such as IP address, email, names, phone numbers, etc. that is embedded in an IM transcript, is not shared outside of the college.

Q. How can I offer feedback on the mentoring IM service?
The TRiOSSS staff welcomes your feedback. Use the suggestion form to send us your comments.

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