Leah already told us all about our friend the Encarta bot, but I thought I’d give you another way to chat it up with new contacts on Messenger. Did you know that it’s possible to click a link on a webpage and have it open up a conversation window with someone? We’ll use the Messenger Blogger’s group email address/IM contact – MessengerBloggers@hotmail.com – as the example address; you’ll want to replace it with your own address.
If you’re familiar with HTML, you might know that you make links using the <A> tag – so, for example, a link to MSN Messenger’s home page would look like this:
    <a href="http://messenger.msn.com/">MSN Messenger’s home page</a>
    MSN Messenger’s home page
Instead of putting a plain-ol’ http:// web address, you can add almost anything. A common example is a mailto: link that when clicked starts an email, like so:
    <a href=mailto:MessengerBloggers@hotmail.com>Email me!</a>
    Email me!
But why use email when you could use a fancy-shmancy msnim: action! Watch the magic:
    <a href="msnim:chat?contact=MessengerBloggers@hotmail.com">Chat with me!</a>
But, wait, there’s more! Check out these cool actions:
  • <a href="msnim:add?contact=MessengerBloggers@hotmail.com">Add me to your contact list!</a>
  • <a href="msnim:voice?contact=MessengerBloggers@hotmail.com">Voice chat with me!</a>
  • <a href="msnim:video?contact=MessengerBloggers@hotmail.com">Have a video conversation with me!</a>
 All these things work with MSN Messenger 7.5; you don’t need to wait around for 8.0 to use them. So go forth, add these cool links to your webpages/blogs/email signatures, and get some more people to chat with! If you have an MSN Space like this, you can combine it with the HTML Powertoy to add this to your space!
Are there any other actions you’d like to see added in future releases of WLM? Leave us a comment!
[Edit 12/12/05 10:20am – Spaces doesn’t seem to handle these links properly, I had to remove them .]