Techcrunch wrote this morning about a Vivaty plugin that was written for AIM.Â The same plugin was also written for Facebook’s platform.Â Vivaty Scenes was one of the plugins that launched in June when we released AIM 6.8 and AIM Modules.Â First, I want to say it was nice that Techcrunch gave OpenAIM some love, as some of our apps and plugins rival the usage of the most popular Facebook or MySpace apps.Â AIM as a platform sometimes flies under the radar of the blogosphere, but it is the only synchronous real-time communication platform that allows the building of your own applications as well as application hosting and sharing of our social graph via the AIM Buddy List.
A few people have pinged me this week asking me about two AIM plugins on the AIM Gallery, one called AOL iTunes, and the other called RSS.Â They asked me if these plugins were copied from Goowy.Â The answer is that these are actual Goowy widgets that we have made into AIM Modules.Â Goowy is a widget company AOL acquired earlier this year, and Alex and his team have been churning out awesome widgets that can be distributed across dozens of different platforms, including AIM.
The AOL iTunes plugin shows you the top 10 songs being downloaded across specific music genres.Â The RSS widget is a way you can host your RSS feeds directly in the AIM client.Â These two widgets feature all the same customization you get today with Goowy’s YourMinis platform.
These two plugins are the first widgets we have from Goowy, and hopefully there will be more to come.
I have a new version of TwitterMan that I posted to the AIM Gallery today. This version includes additional features like viewing your friends timeline and being notified of when your friends have posted a new status message. The flyout showing your friends timeline contains your friends icon, link back to your friends feed, status message, and of course the time the tweet was sent.
We have added lots of documentation and samples so you can get started building AMOs. AMOs are simply zipped up packages with an ‘AMO’ extension, instead of ‘ZIP’, so rename the package to ‘ZIP’ and unpack the file to view the code.
We have also helped out developers by adding a secure way of storing preferences via the Open AIM APIs. Developers who need users to enter in their credentials for their plugin can now store those credentials or other data securely.
AMOs are downloadable from the AIM Gallery and require AIM 6.8 or greater.
Today we launched the best AIM client ever. I say this, and I really mean it. I have been working on AIM since AIM 2.5 in 1999, and I can confidently say we got this client right. AIM 6.8 builds upon the themes of Open AIM of giving users what they want by customizing the AIM experience via a new type of plugin called AIM Modules. I will have a follow up post getting into further details on what an AIM Module is.
AIM 6.8 also supports C++, C#, and VB plugins just like previous clients, so AIM Tunes and AIM MusicLink will still work.
AIM 6.8 also gives users the ability to import or export their Buddy List, a feature that had been a plugin I wrote years ago is now part of the client.
One last thing to point out we have made the black skin on the AIM the new default skin. All the old ones are still there in case you want to switch it up.
AIM MusicLink was updated this afternoon. When I fixed the Songbird plugin issue I accidentally packaged an old version of the AIM MusicLink dll, so this is now fixed. You can download AIM MusicLink version 188.8.131.52 here. The latest version of AIM MusicLink will display a music note in the status message and has support for over a half dozen different music players.
I have also updated the AIM Stats plugin so when all the stats are expanded you will get a scroll bar. AIM Stats can be downloaded here. I will be adding more stats over the next couple of weeks.
We have posted a couple more plugins today to the AIM Gallery that are fun little utilities. The first is a plugin that was written by Gus, called IM Freaqs, that will show you the buddies that you interact with the most. You can easily launch an IM Window from this plugin by clicking on the screen name. IM Freaqs will show you the frequency score, online state (away, online, offline, etc) and buddy icon of each user. We are using the Open AIM API to get a user’s frequency score via AccUserProp_Frequency. This is the same API that was used to create the Google Desktop Gadget.
The other plugin called AIM Stats allows you to view a few different stat categories. You can now view how close you are to the maximum buddy list size as well as group maximum. AIM Stat will also show you how many IMs you have sent and received during the session.
I posted a new version of TwitterMan for AIM 6.8 Beta 3. This plugin was a collaboration between myself and one of my teammates, Gus.
This build will only work with the latest AIM 6.8 Beta or newer. For those unfamiliar with TwitterMan, this AIM plugin will set your status message on Twitter to the same status you have currently set on AIM. Recently Twitter added the ability to push your Twitter status to social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Blogger, and others. So now TwitterMan will be able to propagate your AIM status from AIM to Twitter then to Facebook for example. The latest version will securely store your Twitter credentials so you do not have to enter them every time you sign into AIM. The latest version appears at the bottom of your buddy list where you can log into Twitter and manage your settings.
We will be making some improvements over time, including getting alerts when your Twitter Friend Feed has changed.