If you take a look at IMVU, you have a buddy list on your side bar with avatar images (can be personalised) of the people registered to the site.
Is there anyway or anywhere a plugin like this is available?
The bar on the right of the image is the idea. Basically you can click on their avatar and send an IM or mail.
Very similar to facebook Instant chat.
Its not a chat room, but more of a notification/pvt IM.