Fun and useful instant messaging tools

The Internet would be a lonely place without instant messaging. It’s hard to imagine life without Adium, Pidgin, Kopete, or the Jabber messaging protocol. SourceForge hosts a number of really cool projects that center around instant messaging (IM). Some add functionality or features, some are just plain fun.

The Last.fm plugin for Pidgin adds your Last.fm profile to the user information displayed by the popular IM client. It’ll even scrobble your most recent songs so your friends know if you prefer rocking out to Queen or Rick Astley. For a broader application, try Pidgin-Current Track. It’s little plugin that updates your user info from several media players including Amarok, RhythmBox, iTunes, RealPlayer, and more.

Use the Jabber client Gabber on your GNOME desktop, or konverse on KDE, to connect with your friends and co-workers. It’ll let you connect with people you know on other networks, like AIM, Yahoo! MSN, and IRC. Moving to Jabber from another instant messaging system? Use JabberTools to import contact information from ICQ, AIM, and other IM platforms, then use it to manage your account info and roster.

Control your (or someone else’s) PC over the Jabber network with Remote Control via Jabber, send a receive voice messages with VoIM, or IM from the beach with Jabber Mix Client for portable devices. If you need a special Jabber client for your next raid, you can’t beat Gamers Own Instant Messenger (GOIM), to let you know who’s playing what game on which server.

What’s your favorite instant messaging client or plugin? Let us know in the comments.