mmmm....well....depends how to approach I think. A simple Hi is a dead end if there is nothing interesting following somehow. If someone wants to get to know someone then there is some intention or simple interest. so why not simply talk about this interest? I mean...wasnt there some reason to say Hi? Aside from that. When someone tries to talk to me, actually I check this person's profile. If there is nothing inside mmm...well...hopefully the "greeting" has something that keeps the conversation going. On the other hand I try to keep it up as well but I'm nobody who will do all she can to simply keep it going at all cost when it's feeling like "mmm....boring". Sure I also talk to people first but this heavily depends on their profile. The only places when it's not that important is at clubs or crowded places in general, because people talk in public and one can simply participate and thus get to know the people and maybe IM if it's personal interest or just enjoy the public talking. Depends, depends. Yeah, the character-limit is very annoying with regard to profiles but there are ways to solve that. One doesnt have to write an essay. Though one can use the picks as well. Some of my friends do so and so do I. So...every taste is different and sure every response can be different as well. Though if one feels like talking to a bot....mmm...bad bad.....When I'm at crowded places people usually are already talking about something in public so participating is easy. If one prefers IMs, well...use that public topic or come up with something similar or anything else....just add a topic. Sometimes people talk about something that contrasts their profile or is some opposite. One should be careful about that if you fill it with something interesting. People like me will raise an eyebrow e.g. when you say you love yellow in your profile but then stress you love green. Hope you get what I mean. Or if you just copy some of those catch-phrases. Ok, many people dont care about profiles. But I'd say also many do. Did I already say every taste is different? *giggles*.
BTW, when you talk to someone you're often at some place. You can grab the topic of that place for example (park = scenery, club = music, event and soo ooon)