Unfortunately, I had to close my buddy list about a week or so ago, because I was getting too many spam IMs. It was particularly annoying, because I forward my IMs to my phone when I go idle. So now, only people who are already on my buddy list can IM me. Everyone else sees me as offline.
I don't want it set up that way, but I'm also tired of these "There are 424 singles looking for sex in your area right now" messages and I certainly don't want them on my phone.
First off, I'm sure there are more than that... that's probably an undercount.
Secondly, the screenames that these messages come from are obviously fake. They come from lvrgirl32144153153 or sxybtch1341431251. These are not screennames that real humans have.
Whatever the signup process is for instant messager accounts is at AOL (could be Yahoo!, too... I was using Trillian), its not blocking spammers well at all. If some product manager over there wants to shed some light on this, I'd love to hear what they're doing to fix this, so I can open up my IMs to the world of real humans again.
Otherwise, if you'd like to chat, just put your screenames on the footer of your e-mails and I'm happy to add you.