posted by Nicole


I am an avid reader of Glamour magazine, one of my favorite section is the fashion dos and don’ts. I am definitely not a fashion expert so I will not be commenting on J-Lo’s latest outfit but I do like to think of myself as an Messenger expert so here is my take at a Messenger Dos and Don’ts list.


Remember these are just my take on Dos and Don’ts everyone has their own style…


Display Name

  • Do keep it short and sweet. Bonus points if it is just your name! It helps your contacts find you and allows for a really narrow, functional Messenger contact list.
  • Don’t use more than 2 emoticons, save them for your IM conversations.

Personal Message

  • Do use it to wish people good wishes, birthdays, thank yous etc. Make people smile.
  • Don’t use it to spread rumors, or negative thoughts – if you have something you want to say to someone — say it don’t display it!

Display Picture

  • Do use a great picture of yourself (feel free to edit it photo shop or my favorite mspaint.exe)
  • Do use a look-a-like dynamic display picture (DDP). My favorite are the Meegos!
  • Don’t use a picture so gross that your contacts can’t stand to look at it.

Conversation Window Background

  • Do use your favorite color (create a very small picture in paint make it just your favorite color then set it as your background). Good times.
  • Don’t use a picture of yourself as your background. A little too much you!


  • Do stick with the default color if you wish, it is the default for a reason.
  • Don’t feel obligated to set a different color for everyone on your contact list.

Main Window Background

  • Do copy your favorite gif file to C:\Program Files\MSN Messenger and rename it to LVBack.gif. Even more good times and impress your friends with your secret Messenger knowledge.
  • Don’t make LVBack.gif all black, your contact list will be impossible to read.


  • Do check out the featured packs. Featured = Free! Just click the present in the conversation window.

Alerts and Sounds

  • Do try setting your own sounds for Messenger events through Tools -> Options -> Alerts & Sounds -> Sounds.
  • Don’t leave sounds on when at school, library, in meetings, etc. You can turn them off through the options dialog but it easier to just mute your computer.

 IM Etiquette

  • Do start an IM conversation by asking if the person is available to talk.
  • Don’t nudge too much, remember the boy who cried wolf? Yeah either do I!
  • Do send that pig wink over and over again. I love the dancing pig!
  • Don’t use ALL CAPITALS unless you want to convey you are yelling
  • Do respect people’s status. I have decoded the meaning of status below
    • Online – IM me!
    • Busy –  IM me if really urgent. I may not reply.
    • Be right back – IM me please! I will reply soon.
    • Away – IM me! I will reply when I return.
    • On the phone – IM me! I am talented and can IM and talk at the same time.
    • Out to lunch – IM me! I will be in a food coma when I get back so replies maybe slow.
    • Offline- OIM me! I will reply when I get back online.  
    • Mobile – SMS or call me!
  • Don’t leave people hanging, "brb" and "got to run" has saved many a friendship.
  • Do read this post from Leah – IM Polite

MessengerSays Blog

  • Do keep up-to-date on the blog by signing up for MessengerSays Alerts  
  • Don’t post comments about getting a Beta Invite instead sign up here.
  • Do comment on this post about any Do’s or Don’ts you disagree with.