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WordPress IRC Live Help

There are several resources for WordPress users to get help. There is this online manual, the WordPress Codex, the WordPress Support Forum, and the IRC WordPress Live Chat.

The IRC WordPress Live Chat is just that. It is a live conversation with WordPress enthusiasts and experts to talk about WordPress. They will also take support questions, if they know the answer, but support questions are encouraged to be put on the WordPress Support Forum. The following are answers to questions people commonly have about using the IRC Chat and how the #wordpress channel works.

To get online to the IRC #wordpress channel, see the WordPress IRC Channel Guide to help you download an IRC client. If you already have an IRC client, click here: IRC #wordpress channel.

What IRC server do you use?

IRC Server: chat.freenode.net Channel: #wordpress

What is #wordpress chat?

Essentially, the IRC Live Chat #wordpress channel is a WordPress chat room for anyone to visit should they run into a problem or want to talk about WordPress. Not all questions may be answered, if the traffic volume is high, so do repeat a question after about 10 minutes if it has not been answered. Not all questions can be answered by those online. They will, however, often direct you towards a possible resource to find more information.

A lot of what the #wordpress chat channel is about is socializing and sharing information about WordPress. You will find a wide variety of people and skill levels there.

Like the WordPress Forum, the IRC WordPress Channel is totally run and staffed by volunteers. They do the best they can, so have patience with them.

What is IRC?

For information on what an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is: http://www.irchelp.org/

For a list of IRC clients you could use: IRC

Wow, what are they talking about?

While a separate WordPress Help Channel was started, people continued to come to the #wordpress channel, which evolved into more of a developers and hackers room. Hang around a while and you may see a wide range of topics from sheer silliness to complicated discussions about code and programming. For someone who is new to IRC, entering a room of 70+ people talking about regex and SSH and other linux / programming terms is rather intimidating. In truth, it's a highly social place and many of the volunteers have become quite good friends.

Still, don't let them intimidate you. Just ask your question, and repeat it a few minutes later if it is unanswered.

Who will be there to help me?

Who knows. It will depend on what time of day it is.

Do you promise to answer everything?

No. We can't do that - though we will try. In some cases we might ask for assistance from someone else or tell you that it may be that a forum post is the best way to get a solution. Usually, you are directed towards other possible resources.

Can anyone help answer questions?

Yes! If you know something, help someone else out. Something like this cannot succeed with just one person doing the answering - hopefully you'll join in too!

How will I know who is who?

An IRC Chat Room's list of who's there usually contains nicknames. Some are the person's real name or personal nickname, while others are just made up names. It isn't meant to "hide" who is who, it's just the nature of a chat room.

While the majority of the volunteers are extremely helpful and friendly, before you give anyone access to your blog - if they ask - you should satisfy yourself that you know who they are and you trust them.

Can I log in and just watch?

Yes, you are welcome to join the channel and watch the proceedings without participating.

The purpose of the channel is to provide questions and answers about WordPress and it's activities and efforts, a lot of work goes on there, even though on the surface it appears to also be very social. You can just watch or "lurk", but if you participate, help don't hinder the work going on there.

And if you leave yourself logged in and walk away, your name will still be on the list. People may think you are there when you aren't. If you walk away, please mark your nickname as "away", such as Podz|away or use the "away" feature in your IRC client. Or log out.

No one is there and it's quiet

As the WordPress IRC channel is run by volunteers, sometimes no one might show up. Or no one will be talking as they are busy doing other things and have just left their nickname marked as active. It may or may not mean that someone isn't paying attention. Ask your question and be patient. Someone may be there or back in a few minutes and might be able to answer. If not, then return at another time to see if there is someone there to help. Or post your question on the WordPress Support Forum to make sure someone sees it.

Dos and Don'ts

Yes - Even the IRC has standards!

DO NOT:

  • Copy and paste a lot of text into the chat window. If you do, this will have two immediate effects: (1) Others will ignore you, (2) You will probably get auto-kicked from the channel. Use PasteBin instead.
  • Give out personal information or passwords. If necessary, and you trust the volunteer, use private messaging.
  • Make a fuss that your problem is more urgent /dire /important than everyone else's. It isn't.
  • Insult people at all. Not good. Does you no favours.
  • Private Message people unless you have asked BEFORE doing so.
  • Solicit, spam, or aggravate the volunteers on the channel with unrelated issues. They are quick to ban or kick out offenders.
  • Say anything you want. While this is an open channel, and there is a lot of leeway, it is for WordPress business so confine chatter to WordPress when possible.
  • Swear and use potentially offensive language and topics. It happens, but generally it is constrained. And if it happens, these words are usually used in a sentence. ;-)
  • Start conversations about personal or private matters. You never know who is watching.

DO:

  • Be polite. No one has to have all the answers to your questions.
  • Remember, be patient. First come, first serve.
  • Chat with people - it's the friendly thing to do.
  • Ask about anything if you aren't sure.
  • Address the volunteer on the channel helping you by using their name, such as Podz: Did you mean..... This helps to keep track of who is talking to whom.
  • Set a good example. Be what you want other people to be. If you want them to be calm, be calm. If you want them to be courteous and friendly, be courteous and friendy. The habitual behavior of people on a channel is the most powerful influence on newbies arriving on the channel.
  • Be nice if someone messages you. They've gone to the trouble to seek out someone with the background to help them. You're it! Be flattered they've singled you out. If you think they'll get better support by asking their question on channel, just let them know.