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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.
IRC Server: chat.freenode.net Channel: #wordpress
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.
For information on what an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is: http://www.irchelp.org/
For a list of IRC clients you could use: IRC
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 knows. It will depend on what time of day it is.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Yes - Even the IRC has standards!