What about two new widgets … one that would insert a shoutbox for the author(s) of the blog (that only they could see), and another to display the status messages?
It strikes me that there are many times when I would like to make short Facebook-type comments, that wouldn’t be appropriate for a blog with a specific theme. Status messages / asides in the sidebar would free the blog author up from that problem. They could make small comments in relation to anything they needed to, and it wouldn’t have to relate to the blog theme as a whole.
There is already a way to make asides, or rather to mark posts as asides … this would be one logical step forward with that. You could remove the asides from the normal flow of posts, and put them up in the sidebar.