Instant messaging does not have to solely be limited to use of widely
distributed chat clients. I wrote an application earlier this year that
utilized instant messaging technology but worked by embedding the
technology into the application itself.

The business case was to improve the situation of businesses trying to
source scarce foreign exchange in an economy where the telephone system
was quite bad, making it a pain to comb several commercial banks and
forex bureaux looking for foreign exchange. Calling eight banks could
easily take the whole afternoon, and foreign exchange, especially in
large quantities, can often take a long time to source.

The answer was to create an application that published foreign exchange
rates, allowing banks and forex bureaux to publish their own rates.
Users could click on a price and chat with the person who set the price.
In addition, due to the use of store and forward technology,
disconnecting from the network and later reconnecting to the network
resulted in all price updates being received in such a manner that each
party using the system would see up to date prices in all the major

This may not necessarily be instant messaging work with volunteers, but
I think that it is interesting all the same and wanted to share it with
others, especially since I was the one who wrote the application, so it
was a labour of love.

I am considering rewriting this and generalizing the application to work
with multiple markets but this time based of a wireless handheld GPRS
device, or cheaper handheld device that can utilize the telephone

Write to me in private email if you are interested in more details.

On Tue, Nov 12, 2002 at 01:42:56PM +0100, Jayne Cravens wrote:
> Volunteer managers already have phones and email to work with offsite
> volunteers. What is the advantage of using Instant Messaging (IM) with
> such volunteers as well? UNITeS <>, the ICT
> volunteering initiative of United Nations Volunteers
> <>, has created a new article to help
> illustrate the advantages for using IM to work with volunteers, based on
> feedback from various online discussion groups, from our own staff
> experiences, and other resources.
Guido Sohne                                [EMAIL PROTECTED]
203, BusyInternet               
Depart not from the path which fate has assigned you.

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