Dating Metadata?
October 12, 2008 8:13 PM   Subscribe

I'm a playa. Well, not really. But how do I keep track of people I talk to from dating sites - what IM client do I need?

I message people on dating sites and Myspace and they (occasionally) give me their screenname - usually AIM or Yahoo. My memory isn't the greatest, so now I have a long list of screennames of people that I don't remember. To help, I've started tagging the "alias" or "nickname" with the screenname of the site the person belongs to, but it's not enough. If someone doesn't sign on often, I find myself asking the same boring questions (name, location, etc.) every time, and it doesn't really help making any kind of meaningful connection with people.

Obviously, besides talking to less people, my solution is a database-based IM client. I tried keeping a plain text file, but it was too ponderous to keep up with. Right now I'm using Digsby IM, and it's nice, but doesn't seem to fit the bill. I need something that can quickly and easily store data about each person I contact, and add to as I learn more about them. Having it be searchable would be nice too. Does such a thing exist? I know there are ways to do this with the official AIM and Yahoo clients, but they seem like afterthoughts.

If anyone has encountered this problem or have any other ideas (besides reminding me that I'm spreading myself too thin and meaningful relationships are formed through communication blah blah blah), I would love to hear them!
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Use a client (such as Trillian) that keeps a history of your IMs. You can search through those instead of your own notes. If no one suggests a better integrated application, you could always store notes in your own database.
posted by grouse at 8:20 PM on October 12, 2008

You can use meebo and you can rename anyone, call them whatever you want after you add them. It does AIM, Yahoo, MSN, Google Talk, ICQ, and Jabber in a browser window, so you can sign in from any computer also.
posted by lee at 8:32 PM on October 12, 2008

Pidgin has a plugin called Buddy Notes that should let you do this. You would simply write the pertinent data in a note and be able to use it whenever. Additionally, pidgin lets you group multiple usernames and services under one alias. So on your buddy list you'd see, for example "Sarah" and then within that would be "sarah99" for AIM and "" for MSN and so on. Plus, it's multi-platform and open source.
posted by papayaninja at 8:41 PM on October 12, 2008

Sorry for the double-post, but I just actually turned Buddy Notes on and wanted to report back. It works pretty well. You just right click and hit "Add note" and type what you want. Then, when you mouse of your buddy the context bubble pops up and says the normal stuff, like screen name, status, and so on, and then just has more lines for whatever the note is. You can even format it with bold and italics and put in smilies if you're so inclined.
posted by papayaninja at 8:49 PM on October 12, 2008

If you're using OS X, Adium is a great multi-protocol client that lets you rename contacts and assign notes to them. It even directly interfaces with Facebook and MySpace's respective chat clients if you're talking to people there.
posted by squorch at 9:04 PM on October 12, 2008

ichat in osx lets you rename any contact and can archive all chats.
posted by krautland at 9:24 PM on October 12, 2008

Sometimes a low-tech method is actually much simpler. Just keep a text file with notes, and use the screenname as the first line of each section. Open the document, CTRL-F, and boom, you've got your info.

Why make this more complicated than it has to be?
posted by chrisamiller at 9:37 PM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

Seems easiest to just enable logging in something like Pidgin. When someone IMs you can can just goto File, View Log, on the window and look at the history of the first chat.
posted by zephyr_words at 6:21 AM on October 13, 2008

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