Member Rara Avis
There were two reasons for the question, Sharon, one of which has been definitively answered, I think.
Our current software provides a field in the Profile for a Member's ICQ number. As many of you know, I'm currently rewriting our software from the ground up and, of course, I know that ICQ is no longer the king of the hill it once was. Profiles in the new software will need fields for each of the major IM contenders, so I needed to know who those might be. The definitive answer seems to be ICQ, AIM, Yahoo, and MSN. Members who want to do so will be able to more easily share their IM contact information with the new software.
The second reason for the question was to get a "feel" for the current IM technology. Our new software is going to include MUCH more than just interactive forums, though those will always be central to our Community. But a community needs more than just one building with a lot of different rooms. We need more buildings, some with very different purposes. I have considered the possibility of adding either IM or Chat, and wanted to get a feel for how people are using those tools. I didn't really get a definitive answer on that one. Not sure there is one?
FWIW, I'll be asking a lot of seemingly stupid questions like this over the next few months. In fact, I think I'm ready to post the next one tonight …