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AOL Instant Messenger. Tips and Tricks for your office or the Reference Desk. Getting Started. Creating a User Account. AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) is free It’s also popular: Many common names are already taken. I dare you to try “Rebecca” or “Keith”. 

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aol instant messenger

AOL Instant Messenger

Tips and Tricks

for your office

or the Reference Desk

creating a user account
Creating a User Account
  • AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) is free
  • It’s also popular: Many common names are already taken. I dare you to try “Rebecca” or “Keith”. 
  • A possible convention: [campus user name][phone extension], i.e. rogersjp3328. What else might work?
getting a screen name
Getting a screen name
  • Go to
  • Now follow me…
downloading aim
Downloading AIM
  • Go to
  • There is usually a HUGE ‘Download Now’ button on the front page. Click that.
  • Don’t click “New Users”; that will ask you to create a new screen name. Click “Upgrade”.
  • Download the latest version of AIM.
install aim
Install AIM…
  • Install! There should be a program on your desktop (which you just downloaded) called Install_AIM.exe. Run it!
  • You do NOT have to register for any additional services (like Netscape). Click ‘no’ at will.
logging in to aim
Logging In to AIM
  • Start the program
  • Enter your new screen name in the top box
  • Enter your new password in the second box
  • BEFORE you click to Sign On…
logging in to aim1
Logging In to AIM…
  • Do you want AIM to save your password?
  • Do you want AIM to automatically log you in every time the program starts?
now you re in
Now you’re in.
  • First step: Get someone to talk to. (Add Buddies.)
  • To add a buddy, click on SETUP.
  • Now, you have options… you can add, delete, or edit groups, and you can also add buddies.
  • Click on ADD BUDDY and enter the person’s screen name.
add some buddies
Add some buddies!
  • Known College Libraries Buddies:
    • PotsdamLibrary
    • compeakw
    • trithadi
    • Jenica26 and rogersjp3328
    • marianne2673308
    • Who else?
away messages
Away Messages
  • You must use Away messages.
  • It’s polite, and it’s a part of messaging culture. If you walk away from an ‘instant’ message, the person on the other end needs to know you’re not there.
  • Click on AWAY, and then click on EDIT AWAY MESSAGES.
  • You can add, delete change, and save Away messages.
away messages1
Away Messages…
  • If you’re leaving your office, you can right click on the toolbar icon, select Away, and then select the message.
away messages2
Away Messages
  • When you return, simply click “I’m Back”.
im jargon
IM Jargon
  • Just as there is IM etiquette with Away Messages, there is IM language.
  • Do a Google search for “IM Jargon” or “Chat slang” or any combo of the terms.
  • Or try
jargon 101
At a minimum, you should recognize:










asl, or a/s/l


b/f, g/f



Jargon 101
jargon in action
Jargon in action…
  • ‘allo?
  • Brb, afk
  • K
  • Hey. How’s your Monday?
  • Monday-like. You?
  • I’d like to skip Mondays pls
  • LOL Sounds familiar
We all love smileys, right? Too bad, they’re stickin’ around.

Basic varieties:

:) The Smile

;) The Wink

:D The Grin

:P The Stick-y-Out-y Tongue

8) The Cool

O:) The Innocent

:( The Sad

emoticons in action
Emoticons in action
  • You coming down this wknd?
  • Yes! :D
  • LOL. You just want to go to the mall.
  • No, that’s not it at all… ;)
  • I’m cool with the mall.
  • Yay! 8)
so you have a problem user
So you have a problem user…
  • If a screen name is spamming the PotsdamLibrary account…
  • OR a screen name is asking inappropriate questions (ie, A/S/L)…
  • First, you can check the user’s info. Who are they?
so you have a problem user1
So you have a problem user…
  • If they’re clearly a Potsdam student, you can try explaining the appropriate use of the service.
  • If they’re not, or they don’t listen, you can…
  • Block them. This prevents them from contacting you again from that screen name.
  • If a user starts to “Warn” the PotsdamLibrary account, block them immediately. They can seriously damage our ability to provide IM reference.
other settings
Other Settings
  • AIM is infinitely customizable.
    • Font, font color, font background color, font size
    • Sounds
    • Window background color
    • Time-stamp
    • Privacy
    • Pop-up notification and alerts
    • Smileys and Buddy Icons
    • Stock and News tickers
  • All available under “Prefs”.
in closing
In closing…
  • There’s SO MUCH MORE. Direct connections, video, file transfers, dancing smiley faces…
  • For Reference work, you need to know:
    • How to use the basics of the program
    • afk etiquette
    • How to understand the user’s communication culture
    • How to put your proverbial foot down.
what else do you want to know

What else do you want to know?

This is your chance to pick my brain…