Calum’s blog post showing a bunch of talking heads on his panel is pretty cool. I have the presence part of this already done in Galago’s gnome-presence-applet. It doesn’t display a talking head, but it displays service indicators and first/last names. It wouldn’t be hard to make it optionally display an avatar instead. The messaging wouldn’t be there until a future release of Galago, though.
A Galago release is imminent now. Just a few things left to do.