Browse Prior Art Database

Displaying a Buddy's Buddies in an Instant Messaging Client

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131132D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Nov-07
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-07
Document File: 1 page(s) / 20K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

This publication describes a mechanism for providing access to the buddies list of a client's buddies. Using instant messaging, we are unable to view the buddy list of a person listed in our buddy list. For example, if I have a person listed in my buddy list, I cannot see the list of buddies that they have on their instant messaging client. This idea -- to enable clients to display the buddies of a buddy -- solves that problem. In this way a person can easily get in touch a friend of a friend.

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Displaying a Buddy's Buddies in an Instant Messaging Client

Taking the example of IBM Lotus ® Sametime Connect (although, this idea could be applied to any instant messaging server), if person A clicks on a person B listed in person A's Sametime client, person A is able to see all the people and groups that person B has on their Sametime list. If person B chooses to hide some groups and people, or conversely, only allows certain groups and people to be visible, then person A only sees those that B has allowed for public viewing.

Lotus Sametime Connect's buddy lists are stored on a server (and similarly for other instant messaging services). When person A right clicks on a person B and requests to show the members of person B's buddies list, the messaging server is contacted and, with the required authorization or credentials, obtains the list and graphically displays it.

Further, by repeated applications of this process, a tree of buddy lists is obtained -- by following each buddy or member and traversing that member's sametime list. A client view of nested buddy lists is formed so long as the lists are available for public viewing.

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