A typed chat works like this: Each time you or your chat partner types something and then presses Enter, the text appears on both your screens (Figure 21-6). iChat displays each typed comment next to an icon, which can be any of these three things:
A picture they added. If the buddy added her own picture—to her own copy of iChat, a Jabber program, or AOL Instant Messenger—it will be transmitted to you, appearing automatically in the chat window. Cool!
A picture you added. If you've added a picture of that person to the Buddy List or Address Book, you see it here instead. (After all, your vision of what somebody looks like may not match his own self-image.)
Generic. If nobody's done icon-dragging of any sort, you get a generic icon—either a blue globe (for .Mac people), a light bulb (for Google Talkers), or the AOL Instant Messenger running man (for AIM people).
Figure 21-6. As you chat, your comments always appear on the right. If you haven't yet created a custom icon, you'll look like a blue globe or an AOL running man. You can choose a picture for yourself either in your own Address Book card or right in iChat. And Web links your pals paste into messages are perfectly clickable— your Web browser leaps right up to take you to the site your friend has shared.
To choose a graphic to use as your own icon, click the square picture to the right of your own name at the top of ...