For many many years I have used instant messengers on the ICQ and the Jabber protocol. Currently I am using pidgin and my contact list has grown large. It is a pain to organize my contacts especially since I never know which group to assign my contacts to. Should I put the dude to "friends", "town X", "university", "my sports club", "my hackerspace", "event foobar" if all those things apply to a certain person? I tried that once, but any time I was looking for a contact I had to scan the full list anyway, because I could not remember which group I choose for this person. Thus I never really used the groups and now my contact list is an unordered mess.
The obvious solution would be to not organize the users in groups, but to use tags or in other words to assign contacts to multiple groups. But despite that Google showed me several feature requests for something like that in pidgin I could not find an implementation. Somebody must have already written a plugin for that or not? I'll be happy to accept that the tag assignments are stored locally on my computer if the protocols don't support tags.
If someone can recommend another instant messenger that runs on Ubuntu and that features what I describe I'd be happy to have a look at it.