What happened to ICQ?

Danny asks “Why did we all stop using ICQ?”

I’ll tell you why (I was a very early user of ICQ, which was the first instant messaging client that I remembered seeing. It was sold to AOL eventually where it never got best of class status, always remaining spiritually behind AOL’s other IM client, AIM).

For me IM started sucking more and more until it got to the point that today I can’t use it.

Why? Everytime I start it up I get a flurry of messages. Unlike Twitter IM has an expectation that you’ll answer it sometime soon.

But that’s my problem and I’m an outlier. So why did everyone else stop using ICQ?

It got too cluttered and stopped being developed. In 1996 it seemed like there was a new feature every few days. At some point after 2001 it stopped seeing radical improvements.

I think they were scared of taking stuff out which people liked, too, which made it hard to improve.

Today Facebook and Twitter (and Pownce and Jaiku) have totally replaced IM for me.

How about for you?

PS my ICQ number was 165361. That means I was the 65,361’st person to use it. I haven’t turned it on for years, though.

For developers: Joe Hewitt introduces iUI for iPhone

I saw Joe working on this on Saturday. His new iUI library makes developing iPhone web apps easy. Well, easier than before. If Apple really had its act together for developers then it’d have a ton of samples already out and a ton of real APIs, too. But we’ve been through why Apple is fumbling with developers.

Instead Joe Hewitt, who was one of the developers on Firefox, wrote a neat little library that developers will appreciate.