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Instant Messaging Controls and Indicators Disclosure Number: IPCOM000032976D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Nov-19
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Nov-19

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Instant messaging has taken over the workplace and the internet in a big way. It involves two or more parties or persons exchanging messages ("chatting") in real time. Normally all of these parties have to be logged on to a messaging server before they can exchange messages. This form of messaging is viewed as a convenient, readily available, and economical way of communicating for teaming, collaboration, and in general conducting business in the workplace. However, once a party logs onto a messaging server, there is little control of who is able to contact him or her. This paper describes a few methods for providing messaging controls so that the parties do not feel overwhelmed by the messages that they receive, while at the same time not blocking all messages. Further, methods of automatically indicating the "busyness" of a party are also provided.