> so he doesn't have to assume no-one uses it if he doesn't get any reports back
Would it be possible for beta versions of the program to add an extra contact? One the author sets up for this purpose. This could even be used for feedback to the author. (Status could be away or available for feedback).
In release versions this could be an option.
Grapevine has one feature i love - changing screen name each message from a file.