When you start iChat, your buddy lists automatically appear (Figure 21-2). If you don't see them, choose the list you want from the Window menu: Bonjour, Buddy List, or Jabber. (Or press their keyboard shortcuts: ⌘-1, ⌘-2, or ⌘-3.)
Adding a buddy to this list entails knowing that person's account name, whether it's on AIM, Mac.com, or Jabber. Once you have it, you can either choose Buddies→Add Buddy (Shift-⌘-A) or click the + button at the bottom-left corner of the window.
Down slides a sheet attached to the Buddy List window, offering a window into the Address Book program (Chapter 19).
As you accumulate buddies, your Buddy List may become crowded. If you choose View→Show Offline Buddies (so that the checkmark disappears), only your currently online buddies show up in the Buddy List—a much more meaningful list for the temporarily lonely.
Figure 21-2. Left: Click the + button to add a new buddy, either by choosing from your address book or from scratch (by clicking New Person). If you've used AIM before, you may find that you've already got buddies in your list. AIM accounts store their buddy lists on AOL's computers, so that you can keep your buddies even if you switch computers. Right: Is your Buddy List taking up too much screen space? Use the options in the View menu to lose the buddy pictures and other chunky icons to streamline the window.
If your chat companion ...