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Randy Fisher--wikirandy 15:49, 27 October 2007 (CEST)

Using Yahoo Instant Messenger or Skype Voice-Over-IP (VOIP)

This page is a placeholder for OMD Meeting Information. Below are instructions for setting up Yahoo Instant Messenger. A companion section for Skype VOIP also follows. You may want to PRINT this page for easy reference.

In general, Yahoo Instant Messenger (IM) and Sype (VOIP) are free, easy to use and well-known applications that allow you to chat and conferences with your colleages.

For Fielding OMD courses, you will have to "record" your conferences - (In Yahoo IM, you can set this "Record" option in your "Preferences". In Skype, you can set this "Record" option in "Tools -->Options --?Privacy (or Chat Settings) --> Keep Chats Forever, or for 3 months (until you've had a chance to copy them) [see below]).

After you've completed your conference / chat, please make sure to cut-and-paste the record / transcript of your conference / chat or conference into FELIX.

Getting Started with Yahoo IM

If you're not the least technical, don't worry - here are some step to get you going! (If you're using a business machine, you may want to ask your IT person if s/he can install Yahoo IM for you - so you won't have to deal with security / firewall issues. There usually aren't any, but this is just in case!)

To use Yahoo Instant Messenger, you will have to download and install the standalone Yahoo Instant Messenger application. (Please note that we recommend that you use the standalone application - not the one that's embedded within the Yahoo email account.)

Before Joining a Conference

  • To use Yahoo Instant Messenger, you will also have to create a Yahoo email account so you can log in to Yahoo Messenger with your user name and password. Please create a Yahoo email account at
  • Please take the time to install Yahoo IM before joining a Conference. It will take you at least 10 minutes to install the application and configure it for your needs.
  • You may also wish to test it...this will save you and everyone else a lot of time - so your application works when you want it to.
  • When installing Yahoo IM - - make sure that you don't have your anti-virus running - you can always put it back on...

After Installing Yahoo IM

Setting Your Preferences

You can set up your "preferences" in Messenger, by going to the top-level menu - "Messenger" --> scroll down to "Preferences". A fairly big screen will pop up, with many preferences for you to choose. For our purposes, the following Settings are the most important:

* Archive - allows you to save all chats and calls
* Calling and Audio - allows you to set your audio (i.e., microphone, speakers), and choosing appropriate hardware options (i.e., USB headset, if you have one)

    • You can also set your computer up to make voice calls - Use the "Open Call Set Up Assistant" Wizard to walk you through the options.

* Connection - select the speed of your modem (i.e., dial-up, DSL or T1)

Adding Contacts

IMPORTANT - When you are logged into Yahoo IM, you have to add contacts, so that you can see them online!! This will also help you to invite your contacts for conferencing.

Adding contacts is easy - you can do this in one of two ways:

* Send an invitation. Go to the Menu Bar, Select "Contacts" and then scroll down to click "Invite People to Join".
* Add contact - if you know the user's' name. Go to the Menu Bar, Select "Contacts" and then scroll down to click "Add Contacts"

When you return to your main Messenger screen, you'll know that your contacts are online, when the the Yahoo happy face icon is displayed in yellow.

Important Options

  • "My Status"- customize by going to the IM Menu Bar (i.e., Messenger --> scroll to "My Status" ---> scroll to "Available"
  • "Preferences" - customize by going to the IM Menu Bar, and select "Messenger" --> scroll to "Preferences"...and then configure the appropriate preferences
  • "Add Contacts or Invite People to Join" - customize by having your contact's appropriate email address (i.e., from Yahoo or Hotmail / MSN). - customize this option by going to the IM Menu Bar, and select "Contacts" --> scroll down to "Add Contacts" or "Invite People to Join"
    • Look for their highlighted Yahoo Happy Face (in yellow) when they are online.


Plug-ins give Yahoo IM extra functionality. I like "Web-Ex Browse" - because it allows you to surf the web with others! You can share a website with 2, 3, or more people!!

Here's how you install the plug-in "Web-Ex Browse":

  • In your Yahoo Instant Messenger Window - click on the tab "Featured Plug-ins" - this tab is linked to:
  • Do a search for "Web Ex Browse"
  • Download the "We Ex Browse" plug-in
  • After it is installed, you can search in your Messenger for the plug-in...under My Plug-ins, and click "Start".

... More info coming soon!

Problems? Troubleshooting?

  • Install full version of standalone chat client (i.e., Yahoo Messenger)
  • Make sure you have the proper settings enabled
    • Hardware connection
    • Recording settings
  • Check the Yahoo IM site
  • Ask someone you know for help!
  • Be Patient, and just try out the application!

Getting Started with Skype VOIP

Skype VOIP is an easy-to-use and free application. Just like Yahoo Instant Messenger, you can identify when someone is online. You can also call them. (You can now do this with Yahoo IM, but more people feel comfortable with Skype.)

  • Note: the more technical people refer to this as a VoIP connection for synchronous audio-conference meeting!

Installing and Using Skype

You Will:

  • have to register, create an account and set your "user name".
  • have to download the Skype software - so please make sure you turn off your anti-virus protection for that event so you can properly install your software.
  • set up your Privacy Settings to keep your Chats in "History" ~ particularly if your group wants you to keep records of conversations, and post them in FELIX. (You can do this by setting up the "Record" option in "Tools -->Options --?Privacy (or Chat Settings) --> Keep Chats Forever, or for 3 months (until you've had a chance to copy them). After you've completed your conference / chat, please make sure to cut-and-paste the record / transcript of your conference / chat or conference into FELIX.
  • Download and install useful extensions to help you to be more productive. There is a list of these available on the Skype site.

Holding A Skype Conference

  • Some people in your group may have varying levels of comfort and sophistication with technology. For this reason, I recommend that you help people via telephone conversation WHILE they are are setting up Skype, and walk them through the process.
    • Do that one person at a time for each person who needs it.
    • Tell them what to look for --- i.e., notification that the person in their Contact List is online.

Common Problems

  • Settings are incorrect
    • You can't hear, or be heard through your headset --> Check your settings in Skype and also Windows or Linux, or Max (Windows XP: Control Panel -->Sound). Each Operating System is different, but basically, you want to set the Microphone and Sound to Your Headset (you'll have to select this).
    • You can't see who's online, or they can't see you --> Check your settings in Skype --> to make sure you're online and visible
    • You are not recording Chats --> Check your settings under "Tools --> Privacy (or Chat Settings) --> Select the Amount of Time you wish to keep Chats

Logistics of Setting Up Meetings

Facilitating Online