Are unanswered pings on IRC, SMS, instant message, and instant chat annoying?

Should the naked ping be stopped?

The naked ping
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Have you ever received a naked, unanswered ping?

288 votes tallied
117 votes
38 votes
What's a naked ping?
133 votes

The naked, unaswered ping. It might leave you wondering, what did that person want? Was it important? Why didn't they just ask me what they needed?

If you use any type of instant messaging program or even text messaging, you could be the recipient of a naked ping. It's when someone sends you a message that simply says "ping", but there is no other context.

Typically, a ping is meant to find out if someone is available. If you are, you may respond with a "pong" or some other way to let them know you can chat.

But the naked ping is different. You might be away from your desk or pre-occupied on the phone (otp). And by the time you respond, you get no response.

Is it time for the naked ping to stop? Should we give some context to our messages? What are your thoughts?


About the author

Jason Hibbets
Jason Hibbets - Jason Hibbets is a senior community evangelist in Corporate Marketing at Red Hat where he is a community manager for He has been with Red Hat since 2003 and is the author of The foundation for an open source city. Prior roles include senior marketing specialist, project manager, Red Hat Knowledgebase maintainer, and support engineer. Follow him on Twitter: @jhibbets