Now from what I gather ICQ has been purchased by a Russian company, and MIRC is probably still a subscription as you go shareware or chat engine.
To build the perfect chat engine. First, you have to make it broad based. Include everybody. Do not require people to verify themselves, only if they want to put their name, password, and phone number that will do. This causes more people to be on the chat engine. More people, means more dollars. Does not matter who is behind doing what they are doing, long as they do not spam or harass people. They are customers too. So for those who want to give more information, it is really up to them and not necessary. You could have a verified account with a star near the user, or a different color star near a non verified account.
You can have friend windows, to open up where all your friends can see what you are writing. You can have small pic icons of your friends, much like Goodreads does now. By click on the persons icon, you can either 1. private message 2. e mail your friend 3. send files
Much like the other chat engines, you can create chat sessions with 2, or many more people, just including those people at any time and then disband when you want. A private session between all of these people at the time. You could even share video, files, on this system you have created with a few friends without anyone seeing anybody else seeing the stuff.
By posting in the friends window, only your friends can see what you put up there. If all your freinds are logged into your friends window, only they can see what you post. If you wish to make your window available to the world, then you can open it up and allow access to everyone. And, everything you post also in duality goes to your own, post window, so you can check again on your stuff you had just posted. Deleting this stuff can delete it wherever you posted it.
This format can facilitate advertising. Facebooks format is bulky, and unattractive in my opinion. I had a hard time to catch on to allot of its features. You can design a site, very easily, on how to advertise, if it is done in a certain format. The advertising has to be done in small pop up windows, as not to obscure the main chat screens.
Do not get me wrong. At the end of my Facebook run, I was using their forums to advertise my book. I was not on there long enough to use it to my full advantage. But, there was a great deal of forums there, and they were free, just to share a comment about a book.
Twitter is good, but I find there is allot of lag times. And, when I post something, sometimes it does not show up in the channel for a very long time. Then your hash tag does not stay up long enough in busy channels to probably catch much of an advertising bang. Thus, another problem with high volume social media sites.
But, twitters icons are great. You click on the name of the person or the small picture, and you can instantly chat with that person. This is a great format, which can be utilized to a greater extent, to do much more. Just as I had explained up above.
Twitter, utilize your people icons. Put more into them. Enable them to do more stuff. Then, you will have a hit and roll over the competition..
Till next time...