That’s the question we asked Windows Live Messenger community celebrities Sunshine (Netherlands), RebelSean (USA), Kip (USA), Jonathan (Canada), mynetx (Germany) this week as part of our Messenger 10th Anniversary blog post series.  These guys (and girl) not only strive to help make the product better through participating in betas and providing enormous amounts of valuable feedback, but also generously volunteer their time to help other users on forums/IRC etc, or even through their own blogs.  And I repeat, they don’t work for Microsoft, but do it out of the goodness of their . All also happen to be Windows Live experts and established industry bloggers.

It’s always great to speak with Messenger enthusiasts and we will definitely need to follow-up with more in-depth interviews in the future, but for today, I’ll just share with you a few questions/answers from our conversations.

Q. Why do you use Messenger?
mynetx says: I love Messenger because it enables me to stay in touch with my friends continuously, whether they are living in my neighborhood or on the other side of the world. Messenger allows me to chat, to help, to think, to share, to meet my most dear friends, regardless of their actual location, and without me having to leave the house.

sunshine says: it’s indispensible to keep in touch with all those online friends (uhuh, can’t you tell I’m a geek…lol) and to talk to co-bloggers of course, imagine having to call everybody, and the time differences…!

Kip: I was not a messenger user until I got involved in betas. I was kind of dragged into it by the other LiveSide members, but now I find it indispensible, I use Messenger every day, it’s the best way to ask a quick question

Q. Why do you beta test?
RebelSean says: There were lots of reasons why I became a beta tester. The main reason I’d say is because I wanted to see Messenger grow and become more functional. I believe I and every other beta tester over the years have shaped WLM into what it is today. Another reason would be is the fact that I enjoy testing software and finding bugs and incompatibilities. I do remember one (bug), it was some sort of random key combination that instantly crashed Messenger and BSOD’ed my XP machine. Was confirmed by almost everyone on Connect (Connect is the Beta forum)

Q. Why do you help people with their Messenger issues?
mynetx says: I think sharing my knowledge about Windows Live Messenger is the least I can do. I find it odd if somebody has knowledge about a certain product, yet does not share it—you cannot make best use of Messenger unless you connect to its users and find out what is in their mind.  People often have problems with Messenger, but that is not always caused by the program itself. Thus I help to detect the real cause for errors and thus encourage people to get to know more Messenger features.

A few fun facts:
– Jonathan once had a 24 hour Messenger audio call (he left the computer a few times during that time period but the call was connected the entire time).  Somehow the call was disconnected and he ended up being unable to reconnect to the internet until the other computer was turned off since it was flooding his connection with requests. (this bug has since been fixed.)🙂
– Sunshine turns her computer off at night incase it short circuits and catches fire while she is sleeping!🙂
– Jonathan uses the emoticon on average 1.4 times per message.

So in the end, what was their favorite emoticon?  Here are the results. How about you? What’s your favorite emoticon?  Leave a comment with the characters… like🙂 or (@)
RebelSean-    mynetx –   Jonathan –   Kip –   Sunshine –

I asked everyone what they would write on a birthday card for Messenger, and here’s what they said.

 

Today’s Messenger story comes from RebelSean himself.  I’ve cut and paste the story from our chat below.  Enjoy.

Using Windows Live Messenger as a security system🙂,
RebelSean, USA.

RebelSean says:
Lets see, a story regarding Messenger. Last year when we were on vacation in Chicago, someone called my mom’s cell phone from our house phone. Knowing that my entire family was in Chicago at the time, someone was obviously in our house that shouldn’t be. So I thought and thought, is there anyway I can somehow hack into my computer and open my webcam to see if we can see anything. Then I remembered that we had left the computer on and I had left Messenger signed in. So using MPOP and a virtual desktop connection I got my webcam up and running.

Apparently my neighbor had heard my dog was making very loud noises like it was hurt, and broke into the house to make sure he was ok. He had gotten stuck under our couch in the den and couldn’t get out, so she saved his life.

Lonn says:
oh wow, that’s an awesome story, so did you actually see anything on the webcam?

RebelSean says:
We saw our neighbor leaving the house as for our desk in the living room is a corner desk across the room from our front door.
So we knew something had to be wrong for them to come into the house, and we called her and she explained the situation.

So that’s how you use Messenger as a security system…😉

Fun Fact of the day:
Messenger connects people worldwide with their friends and family – did you know that with a IM category reach of 60%* Windows Live Messenger is the most widely used free instant messaging service in the world. All over the world 6 out of 10 instant messaging users choose Windows Live Messenger to chat with their friends.

Less than 1 week until the 10th Anniversary!  Thanks for reading…

– Windows Live Messenger Team

*Source: Comscore May 2009