Chat on IRC
A number of us are idling in #communitydata on OFTC (irc.oftc.net). IRC is basically a chat system that is similar to Slack in many ways. In fact, it was the inspiration for Slack!
To use IRC, you'll need a client. A really good one for folks new to IRC is IRCCloud. With IRCCloud there is a web interface as well as good Apps for iOS and Android.
One limitation of IRCCloud is that, after a 1-week trial period, the system will disconnect folks every two hours. There are a couple options for this. The easiest one is subscribing to IRC cloud which costs $5/month or $50 a year. You just pay for a year and send the receipt to User:Ashaw who will pay the bill! If you are totally new to IRC and just want something easy and straight forward, this is our recommendation.
The other options are more indirect, technical, and/or involve a bit more work or figuring stuff out:
- On option is an IRC "bouncer" such as ZNC.
- IRC Bridge/Matrix
- Another option that a few people are doing is connecting connecting through a service with an IRC bridge. One popular one is the Matrix protocol. While there are numerous clients, User:Salt recommends Riot which is freely supported on every platform. Once you get Matrix Join the room
#_oftc_#communitydata:matrix.orgto bridge into IRC from Matrix. Get in contact with User:Salt if you want to go this way.
Registering your "nick" (i.e., IRC username)
Due to spam, we have on a couple of occasions in the past had to block "non-registered" users from posting to
#communitydata. This helps a lot with the spam but has a big disadvantage in that if you speak on the channel but are not registered, nobody else will be able to hear you!
It's a good idea to register your nickname or "nick" in any case because it means that can essentially reserve your nickname so that nobody else can have it.
If you've already done this long ago, you can stop reading, there's nothing new to do. If you haven't gotten fully registered and verified, here are the four "easy" steps, heavily mediated by the NickServ bot:
- From IRC (irc.oftc.net),
/msg NickServ register <<your password>> <<your email>>
- Verification is via the website, see: 
- Ask NickServ '
checkverify' and she'll tell you if you're verified.
- Please say something on the channel to test. If you do not get a response, your messages can still be seen by community members.