Get out and Vote on AIM

If it was up to you, who would you and your friends vote for? AIM Vote 2008 lets you cast a virtual ballot for Obama or McCain and then view how the other buddies on your buddylist with this plugin are voting right now.

This morning we published AIM Vote ’08 to the gallery, so get out there and make it known who you are voting for.  The vote total dynamically updates, so you can see in real time the results.

Download AIM Vote ’08 here.

And next week go from the virtual AIM voting booth to the real voting booth, make your voice count.

Vivaty AMO and some Open AIM love on Techcrunch

Techcrunch wrote this morning about a Vivaty plugin that was written for AIM.  The same plugin was also written for Facebook’s platform.  Vivaty Scenes was one of the plugins that launched in June when we released AIM 6.8 and AIM Modules.  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.  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.

With regards to Vivaty Scenes, their app is hosted in the AIM Buddy List as an AIM Module (AMO).  Their app is currently in beta, and requires XP or Vista with IE6+.  You can download the AIM Module from the AIM Gallery.

Goowy AMOs

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.  They asked me if these plugins were copied from Goowy.  The answer is that these are actual Goowy widgets that we have made into AIM Modules.  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.  The RSS widget is a way you can host your RSS feeds directly in the AIM client.  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.

Partners who are AIM-ing with AMOs

When we launched AIM 6.8 last week, we shipped the client with a new type of AIM client extension or plugin, known as AIM Modules, AMOs for short. While Gus and I wrote a handful of AMOs to test the APIs early on, once we felt comfortable with the API we brought in a few launch partners to help get things kicked off right and to help them with reaching our audience. So with Vivaty, Goodreads, TenCent, blogTV, shopIt, and phonevite, we welcome you to the OpenAIM family.

TwitterMan updated

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.

Download TwitterMan 0.5 here.

If you are new to Twitter, the first friend to add is the MarsPhoenix lander.  Its fun since the lander is tweeting in the first person.

Taking AIM with AMO

In the next evolution of Open AIM client extensions, today we are releasing as part of the AIM 6.8 client a new type of AIM plugin called AIM Modules. These AIM Modules, known as AMOs are client extensions written using HTML and JavaScript. These plugins have full access to the Open AIM APIs that so many of you use today, but it also provides hooks into the AIM client itself, so developers can now get specific information about the Buddy List window (location, height and width of the window) and other AIM application properties.

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.

AIM 6.8 is Live

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.