Imagine an alternate reality where the only chat protocol that ever proliferated was IRC

Now how do we get to this reality...

9 times out of 10, I can find a channel for exactly what I want to talk about and instantly get several people (usually experts) into a discussion (from health to software, informal chatting to gaming). Every other communication platform I've tried (besides email) seems shockingly barren in comparison, from XMPP to discord to slack.

If anything, the universe where IRC is the only chat app that has proliferated is the one we are in right now.



Teach me your ways, please! I *like* IRC, but 9 time out of 10, when I show up to an IRC channel, it seems dead/abandoned—even the ones with dozens of people signed in have few to zero responses to any given comment or question.

In contrast, even simple questions on here or a (decent) subreddit seem to get far more of a response, and frequently from people who seem pretty knowledgable. So what's the secret to getting more out of IRC

@codesections @jgkamat you've gotta stick around. It could take hours or even days but you'll probably get your question answered

@codesections @jgkamat everyone's not watching the chat all the time, so...

@sir @jgkamat

Maybe that's been my problem—I stick around for a bit, but certainly not for days. I tend to conclude that, once my question or comment is ~2 screens off the page, that it's not likely anyone will scroll back up that far to see it (and re-asking feels rude). So I tend to give up and wander off after an hour or so.

But I don't actually log out—maybe I should SSH into my WeeChat server and see if any of my questions got answered after I wandered off…

@codesections @jgkamat it's generally safe to ask again if it's been several hours and your question has fallen off the backlog

@sir @jgkamat @codesections Yes and no. Depends on the community. Some are very active on IRC. Others have since abandoned it for slack or discord or whatever

@codesections @sir As Drew said, on a low traffic channel, your best bet is to wait. If it's obscure enough, your best bet is probably E-Mail.

Sometimes, you just have to find the right channel (which may be on another network!). For example, my go-to channel for systems programming help happens to be a channel registered for a browser game. IRC lets you find that single person on earth who can unblock you the most effectively, whereas most other platforms will represent the "average person".

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