Method and apparatus to manage messaging providing different communication modes depending on one identifier and not requiring to disclose contact information

  • US 10,492,038 B2
  • Filed: 09/14/2017
  • Issued: 11/26/2019
  • Est. Priority Date: 12/08/2003
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. An article for managing messaging of a plurality of users using at least a network-based portal at least based on Internet protocol, with different communication modes allowed, depending on each of the plurality of users having an identifier for use with the different communication modes, with the corresponding identifier being set via the network-based portal, and without requiring the plurality of users to disclose their contact information to each other, the article comprising:

  • a non-transitory computer readable storage medium comprising a plurality of instructions, when executed by at least a server, result in the at least a server;

    providing a plurality of communication modes to a first user to allow the first user to use one of the plurality of communication modes as a selected communication mode for a message from the first user to a second user via an electronic device associated with the second user, with the first user being identified at least depending on a prior registration process by the first user regarding the use of the network-based portal,wherein the plurality of communication modes include at least text communication using a personal computer, voice communication using a personal computer, text communication using a mobile phone, voice communication using a mobile phone, and communication with at least an image, andwherein messages are eligible to be received by the electronic device associated with the second user based on any of the plurality of communication modes, all depending on an identifier associated with the second user being set by the second user via the network-based portal, at least in view of the network-based portal based on the Internet protocol;

    receiving an urgency indication regarding the message, wherein the urgency indication being from the first user via an electronic device associated with the first user; and

    enabling, via the network-based portal, the message to be received by the second user through the electronic device associated with the second user, using the selected communication mode, based on the identifier associated with the second user, in view of the second user not blocking the first user from using the selected communication mode to reach the second user, via the network-based portal, wherein the plurality of instructions, when executed by the at least a server,further result in the at least a server;

    receiving, from the second user, contact information associated with the second user to allow the second user to participate and at least receive messages via the network-based portal;

    determining availability of the second user; and

    enabling a notification to reach the second user via the network- based portal, at least in view of receiving the urgency indication regarding the message and at least in view of the first user not being blocked from reaching the second user via the network-based portal, with the notification for notifying the second user,wherein even when the message is received by the second user through the electronic device associated with the second user depending on the identifier associated with the second user, the contact information associated with the second user is not provided via the network-based portal to the first user through the electronic device associated with the first user, andwherein the identifier associated with the second user is distinct from the contact information associated with the second user.

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