Agreeing with Donna & Chris:
The fast pace left me at a loss to keep up with anything at all & also on Chris' note, yes, by the time you responded to a comment - (either on-track or off-track from academic/classroom purposes) the conversation had drastically changed, which made an interesting quirk to the context of the reading - when words were posted, they are read in the order in which they are posted NOT in the order which you intended them to be read. So that your response to comment X, was way down and out of context which makes for double entendre type reading of absolutely everything at once!!! How can we even analyze the intend if it is disjointed and out of synch? That is Chelsey's toil this weekend. I saw her printing the transcripts of the chat and there are quite a few pages to translate.
Back to the speed & alienation. There is definitely exclusionary language at use with the experienced IMers & the speed with which they typed was absolutely blazing! I found myself thinking - What the heck does that mean? On the flip side of that - within the comfort of computer hardware, I found the ability to become more expressive - because of the anonymity we associate with Internet relationships, the rhetorics of formal classroom behavior are somewhat tossed aside, for example Tony's naming of our professor as "K9000" and subsequently "K9000's" reference to the band "Poison" at least I hope it was the band and not the Christian Dior perfume (mai bad) the naming of bands, Poison & Grand Master Flash are, interestingly enough, social insight, but that is another topic entirely.
Would I use this as a classroom tool? I plan on using it at the end of the semester, that very last dusty week when we are all thinking, Hell Yeah - I'm gonna be free - So it would be at this time of anxiety when there is nothing left to teach, and we are all just counting the minutes. I would set them free on chat, with the premise of academic concerns, but not really expecting earth shattering epiphanic moments of learning, but rather a time like we had, when I could tell Rachel I Heart U, before she graduates and returns home. This is the fundamental tool I expect from synchronous chatting - for my students to learn from each other one last time & be able to tell each other things that they need to, before our bond as a class is left behind.