Thank you for your response. Is there a way to modify this behavior or to request a feature? We had replaced present.ly with our own status.net configuration when present.ly converged with social spring and was no longer free to use.
It looks like it's calmed down. It appears to have started when a new user went to add their IM for receiving messages, but had not added the user 'firstname.lastname@example.org' as a buddy before hand.
I'd appreciate any help on this.