Why multi-protocol? The trivial argument for me to use an multi-protocol client is because it allows me to use all my IM accounts at once with one program. But why do I use multiple accounts then? First of all I havn’t been able to convince the whole world (or even all my friends) to unite using only one IM protocol. There are pros and cons with every protocol. Having many at hand one can use the one best fit for the situation. E.g. In a situation where one network is down one can simply use another.

But it’s not the official client! No it is not. Where’s the harm in that? What’s wrong with being able to configure the client how you like it? In my opinion you are in general allowed to configure more things in multi-protocol clients – more settings and plugins available. There are multi-protocol clients that require less resources compared to many of the official clients. So in short I’ve got a client without ads, consuming less memory and it’s tweakable. Also, it allows for me to be online with more than one account on the same protocol.

Why Pidgin and not any of the other multi-protocol clients? Because I don’t have a Mac. I can’t use Adium. My first multi-protocol client was Trillian. I used it for years. After that it was Miranda for a long time and now I’m using Pidgin. There are a few others I’ve tried but turned down too quickly to say I’ve really used them. As with everything else there are pros and cons with every client. The pros with Pidgin appeal much to me and there are no cons that bother me. Pidgin supports grouping buddies by owner, creating contacts. Privacy is supported. It runs smooth, looks good and I find it easy to use and configure.

Trying to describe why one should try Pidgin is like explaining what a picture looks like. I recommend that you have a look for yourself! And while you are at it, consider some plugins. Note that not all of the plugins are available for all platforms. There’s a drawback with Pidgin. Some of the plugins I want are only available for Windows, some are only available for Linux. Seems one can’t have it all at once.

Speaking of which – If anyone have been able to get Gfire (Gaim plugin that connects to the Xfire network) working with Pidgin (formerly known as Gaim) please let me know how. Either I’m having a dumb moment not being able to figure out how to get it working with 2.3.1 or the plugin only runs with older versions. It’s the only IM client I’ve got running besides Pidgin at the moment.