1. Email is old hat. I use it at work and at home. However, probably not to the extent that others do. Unfortunately, I still find myself occasionally reaching for the phone when I should be emailing. Probably my age - I grew up when phone numbers still had only 4 digits and there were no computers. Emailing groups is a whole lot easier than emailing (or phoning) each individual person. Email is a wonderful thing, but you're right, it can be a time waster, too... However, I can't imagine life without it now.
2. Instant messaging is something that I know very little about. Our library is trying to start virtual reference using IM, but I was on vacation during the training session, so I'm not familiar enough with it yet to know how successful it will be. We're going to be using Meebo.
3.Text Messaging. never tried it - probably won't. I know my kids do it, but typing on those little phone keys is way to difficult for me. I've watched people do it, and am surprised they can still move their thumbs.
4. Web conferencing. I watched a Minitex webinar on starting up an IM reference program. There are lots of things about it that I hadn't thought about before. Since we are preparing to start up, I'm curious to see who takes advantage of it, and how effective it is. It sounds like it might be the way of the future.
Our library system had a seminar on customer service recently that we were all required to attend. I think this would have been a perfect use for a "webinar" Instead of having everyone travel to a different location for the meeting, we could have stayed in our own branches and gotten the information in a much shorter time. It would have been much more convenient.