You can contact your online friends through Capillata's message system, to pass such messages as 'Did you know your Norns are all leaving you?', or 'What is this Grendel doing in my world!'.
There are two different communication agents on board the station - the chat agent, and the messaging agent. The chat agent allows you to talk to a person in real time online. The messaging agent can send messages to a single user for them to receive either right away, or if they are offline the next time they log on.
To chat to someone, you must have an entry for them on your contact list. Go to the Comms area, and press the Chat button. This will open up the chat agent. Choose who you wish to chat to, and click the green tick. This will then send them a chat request. They will be able to choose whether to accept or refuse this chat request within the next 60 seconds. If you get no reply, they are probably busy or away from their computer. If they accept, the chat window will appear. Type in the bottom box what you wish to say, and press return. The other person will receive your message within seconds.
The messaging system works more like an ordinary email service. Press the envelope button next to the main screen, and then press the button to the immediate left of the screen that looks like a pen and ink-well. You must then choose a recipient. Just like in email, type a subject heading, then write the body of the message, and press the green tick to send it.
Both the chat and messaging agents can be detached from the Comms screen and wander the ship with you. Press the bottom 'jigsaw' button to make the agent float, and it will stay on your screen. The shrink button above the jigsaw button neatly tucks the agent away so that you can see your Norns easily.