Tuesday, June 12, 2007

AIM Adds New Buddies/Bots

AOL has added new Buddies, or bots, to its instant messaging system. Here are the reviews.

Prof Gilzot

"Created by a team of experienced tutors who have helped thousands of students raise their test scores", Prof Gilzot is here to help high school students prepare for their SAT with practice questions.

Looking like he just got out of grad school (but received his Ph.D. from Stanford in 2002), his image is supposed to make things more comfortable and fun for your driven child. This bot is a nice idea, but there's a catch; you can only study so much with the bot. Methodtestprep.com is where the courses originated, and you can take them if you're a paid subscriber.

This is a nice idea for high school students who don't want to leave their computer to study. It's a trial version of the whole package mom and dad can subscribe to.


According to Mike Blackwell, CEO of ShareThis, "ShareThis makes it easier and faster for everyone to share stuff like photos, videos, and web pages, to whoever you want to communicate with, wherever they are located... whether on AIM, MySpace, Facebook, email, or even a cell phone." Sharethisdotcom enables users to send messages to their friends without having to be registered to ShareThis.

Users already can share via AIM. That's one of the reasons we have it. Why do we need this?


Don't get her confused with other bots. Born in Avignon, France, Spleak is a "21-year old virtual girl currently living in the heart of San Francisco, California." She has her own blog and is currently 'stressing out' about job interviews at several retail stores. Spleak has her own virtual friends, too (even LDFs (Long-Distance Friends). You can make more friends by using BuddyHub and creating your own profile. Originally created for MSN Messenger, this young woman is more than willing to spread gossip about every celebrity, from Lindsay Lohan to My Chemical Romance.

She can be somewhat of a tease.

And with the right imagination, Spleak is scandalous.

This 'virtual girl' is 21 years old, but she's not fit for the audience Spleak has targeted. They've also put a restriction on her; since she has a birthdate, she has to get older. She's going to have to keep up with what is 'in' for her particular age group and not the teeny boppers. Lohan will be old news, and Haley Joel Osment may be the next Hollywood hunk (doubtful, though). If your child uses this, steer clear of the BuddyHub program, as it is probably not monitored.


The Wall Street Journal online updates you with current monetary events when you type in "news". You can also manage news alerts and choose for them to be delivered to you at 10 AM, 1 PM, or 5 PM (EST). Lastly, you can receive quotes on any publicly traded company (with a 20 minute delay).

It's faster than typing in www.wsj.com in your Web browser, and there are text advertisements, as opposed to the interactive ones on the site, at the bottom of the article. The bot sometimes displays links (News, Financials, Charts, etc.) which connect you to interact via their site. Subscribers have full access to the Online Journal's Quotes & Research section for complete news and press releases; others will have to take what they can get. You are limited to news headlines and will have to read other articles on the WSJ site.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Prof Gilzot has turned out to be an amazing online tool for my kids to prep. I hope they keep updating their questions until the exams in the fall!

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