Trial run with instant messages. In the months since starting this blog, I have enjoyed engaging in conversation with people who write in, both in the comments and through private email — all the while rather surprised that anyone was even reading at all, let alone bothering to return. Since the conversation is in some sense the whole point, I thought it would be fun to try opening one more avenue of communication, through instant messages. An instant message link has been added to the right sidebar. I am hoping to keep it up for at least a little while, depending on how and how much it is used. Perhaps this is a bit of a risky move on the “world wide Internets,” and I have no idea how it will turn out — it really is just a trial run. In any case, clicking on the link will open a new window with a Google chat screen, but you do not need a Google account to use it. Please check first whether the status button is green or red.