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1.
putting a quote from or referencing another person in ones away message, thus giving them status. That way anyone who looks at the away message:
1. thinks to themself, "WOW that Person A must be SO cool/funny because they are in Person B's away message"
2. sees that the person putting up the away message must have liked the comment so much they want all the people on their buddy list to see that they interact with cool/funny people.
please note: away message status (or simply, status as it has come to be called) should not be freely given to just anyone. The recipient's comment must be witty, clever and well-timed. Also, it is acceptable to make comments in hopes of getting status, but one should never beg or ask for status (that is a sign of being desperate)
Example of Away Message Status:

Screename: I think I just peed my pants, wait just milk
...out call the cell...
by ScottScott January 01, 2006