Build it and they will come! Perhaps. TAY now has an IRC chatroom! What is IRC you say? It's a pretty primitive chat program, it's how hackers talk when they don't want to be overheard (kidding). No signups required, and it's actually as simple as clicking this link, typing in your name, and then "tay" as the channel. And you're in. Wowzers. Of course there's a little bit more to it which I'll explain below.
So what exactly is IRC? It stands for Internet Relay Chat, and like Bittorrent and HTTP it's not software or a service but a protocol. This means you don't have to go through any annoying signup processes, download anything, or really do anything. You can get the whole thing through the webchat if you like. At the end of the day it's a lot less clunky and way more accessible than the Skype chatroom we're currently using for run club *hint hint*.
Now while you don't need software it can be preferable to use a dedicated client rather than the webchat. Popular ones are mIRC (freeware/nagware for Windows), Colloquy (freeware for Mac), and X-chat (freeware, windows/linux) but find one you feel comfortable with. There are also alternative web clients like Mibbit.
All you need to know when using a client is the server:
And the channel name:
Another thing you may want to do when you get comfortable is to register your nickname. But Odin you say! I thought we didn't have to register? Well that's only partly true. You don't need to register to chat, but if you don't it means anyone on the server can use your nickname. If you're not registered you also can't have privileges (say if you're made a moderater) applied to you when you join the channel. Once you've registered you'll have to identify whenever you connect to the server (like logging in) and then you'll be recognised. Otherwise you'll have your nickname forcibly changed. To register simply type:
And hit enter. You should be able to follow the help prompts from there. /ns is a shortcut for querying the nickname server (nickserv) and is the same as typing /msg nickserv. Yes IRC can be a little command liney at times.
I'll put together more helpful tips and tricks later. In the mean time please feel free to join me in their and start talking amongst yourselves!
P.S. If no one is talking just lurk for a while, it's going to be slow to start with until this gets seen enough.
P.P.S. To those running the open forums I'd appreciate if you promoted this.