Wikivoyagers can sometimes be found conducting real-time conversation on the various semi-public off-wiki Internet Relay Chat (or IRC) channels hosted by the Freenode Foundation. The conversations are conducted through real-time feeds, like MSN's Instant Messenger, Skype, or Facebook chat, and they're quite lively and informal. They're also often the fastest way to contact other contributors. However, most IRC conversations are not logged or archived as public conversation, so if you want to make formal announcements or proposals to the community, or have anything written publicly recorded, consider doing so on the wiki instead so that others can more easily follow the discussion.
Connect to irc://irc.freenode.net via your IRC client and /join one or more of the channels listed below. Wikipedia has a large comparison of IRC clients assembled into a list. For example, Firefox web browser users can install the ChatZilla client as an add-on. Opera web browser users can simply click on the IRC client already integrated into their browser. For those of you who do not have an IRC client installed or preconfigured, or who want to remain behind a proxy or for any other reason at all, you can use Freenode's free webchat client page, which is accessible from any browser. To connect, simply enter any nickname you want for yourself and the channel you wish to join, such as "wikivoyage" and then complete the CAPTCHA. Alternatively, you could also click here. If you don't already have one, consider registering a Freenode nickname. It's quick and easy, and it simply reserves your chosen nickname so that others are prevented from using it.
For more information on IRC, see Wikipedia's article on IRC, and meta:IRC for information on IRC channels affiliated with the Wikimedia Foundation. There is also a list of IRC commands on Wikipedia and IRC instructions on Meta that may be helpful for new IRC users.
Just some guidelines to help you out:
- On IRC, you must allow people a degree of anonymity online.
- These channels are for discussion related to constructive work on the Wikivoyage website.
- There may be social chit-chat, but it is social chit-chat amongst people who are known on the site.
- If you abuse the channels in any way you may be kicked or banned by one of the channel operators.
The main general-purpose channels relevant and related to English Wikivoyage are:
- Main, interlingual general Wikivoyage related chat channel.
- Other Wikimedians in the overarching Wikimedia movement.
- Technical discussion about the MediaWiki software, the underlying software that runs Wikivoyage. See MediaWiki.org for more details.