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Chatting to Distant Cousins/Friends Online for Free!

Chatting to new found 'Distant Cousins' and/or friends around the world is something that my wife and I take for granted these days.

However we know that some of you, that are new to the delights of the Internet, have not tried the various 'messenger' services.

If you are amongst the latter, then fear not... I'll explain how to get started, using the MSN messenger service. There are many more messenger services on the Internet but they all work in a similar way.

First of all you go to the MSN site and follow the simple instructions to apply for the service. If you already have a 'Hotmail' account, then you are half way there already. If not, again follow the instructions to get your 'Hotmail' account.

Once you have your hotmail/messenger account, you then tell your relatives and friends your email address and ask them to add you to their contact list. You do the same and add them to your list.

Once you have some names on your contact list, you can chat with them online. "How will I know when they are online?" That's easy...simply open your messenger list by clicking on the little green man that you'll find lurking close to your PC's clock! If any of your contacts are online, their little man (at the side of their name) will be green. If they are not online it will be red.

To chat with them simply click on their name and a chat box will appear as if by magic!

At the bottom of this box you will see an area where you type your message. So type hello and click send and with any luck your contact will respond. When you've finished 'chatting' don't forget to say "byeeee". You'd be surprised how many forget!

Good luck and if you get stuck, go back to the MSN site where they should be able to answer any questions.

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Resource Box: [This article is the copyright of Mr J Ackroyd 2004 or of another author who has given their permission for their article to be published on  - http://familyhistory4all.co.uk.  Please visit this site for more articles and information relating to 'Tracing your Family Tree'.]

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