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

Have you ever received a naked, unanswered ping?

The naked ping
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What's a naked ping?
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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 architect at Red Hat which means he is a mash-up of a community manager and project manager for He primarily works with the DevOps Team and Open Organization community. He is the author of The foundation for an open source city and has been with Red Hat since 2003. Follow him on Twitter: @jhibbets for a fun and shareable feed of his open source (and other)...