I have noticed in the last few weeks that my use of instant messaging tools has evolved into two separate and distinct types of interaction. The primary use is when the other party is also online and we type back and forth, chatting up a storm. Nothing new. But what’s interesting is that I now also find myself having drawn-out ‘serial’ conversations where I’ll send a message or two to someone else knowing that they won’t respond for many hours. Then they respond while I’m away, and I respond to them when I have a chance. Eventually we might both be connected simultaneously and chat. Now I’m curious whether anyone else is finding that IM tools are really good informal ways to shoot a time-insensitive question to someone else without resorting to email?