Hey I just got an idea... on my google mail if one of my contacts is online, I can click on the left hand side of my mail page and shoot them an "instant message" sort of like a PM but quicker to do. Then IF they reply (and rarely do! haha) a small window pops up and we converse for awhile. What if we did something like this on the right side of the screen rather than at the bottom. Show who is online, and make it where you could click on their name and chat w/them? Like GFD is online right now, I could send him a message in real time and he could reply back.
...and on that day when my strength is failing, the end draws near and my times has come, still my soul will sing Your praise unending, ten thousand years and then forevermore!