Why don't more dopers join the #straightdope irc chat room?

It’s a shame. I’d love to have a more real-time natter with some of the regulars of the sdmb.
Get hold of some irc software. go to #straightdope. chat.

It’s a bit more complicated than that, Lobsang, but close enough.

#straightdope moved to the NewNet IRC network a couple of weeks ago (long story), so you’ll need to connect your IRC client to irc.newnet.net to join the channel.

Oh, and the usual disclaimer:

#straightdope is not affiliated with nor sanctioned by The Straight Dope, the administrators and moderators of the SDMB or by the Chicago Reader. Some restrictions may apply, see store for details. No purchase necessary to enter. For a free game piece, send a SASE to Reed Richards, The Baxter Building, New York, NY 10011 or visit http://thisurldoesntwork.org. Member FDIC.

OK. I’m an IRC virgin and can’t figure it out. If you can’t give me some direction on the board, my email’s in my profile.


I used to be somewhat of a regular in chat when i was a student - hmmm…lab report, or chat? But now that I’m working full time, I’m out of the house 11 hours a day (crazy commute) and I just don’t seem to have time.

Heck, I bought this laptop 2 months ago, and I don’t even think I ever got an IRC client! I didn’t know they moved, either! I should swing by more often!

I think I’m connecting correctly (using GAIM) but when i join #straightdope I’m the only one in the room - so I figure I must be doing something wrong.

Any linky-linky for a step-by-step, for the IRC impaired?

I always intend to do it, but somehow I never end up doing it. I prefer IMs but I’m too something to send those most of the time, as well.

I find chatrooms too confusing. I can, however, have four IM conversations going on at once. Go figure.

Because it is soooo 1999.


Of course, that doesn’t stop me from peeking in every now and then.

If it’s not a rhetorical question, I suspect that it may be because a lot of Dopers are constitutionally suited to the correspondence-like format of a message board, where you have the opportunity to digest what the other participants are saying and then take time to organize and compose your responses.

'Tis for me, anyway. I never could stand “chat” – even when it was just something you could do with the SysOp.

It *was a rhetorical question, wasn’t it? Never mind.

If you’re the same Earthworm who signed in this morning, I saw you and said hello.

There are a number of ways to connect to us.

The first is to use a Java-based chat applet here. Fill in the values requested, then when you get to the status window, type /server irc.newnet.net then when you get logged on, type /join #straightdope

The second is to download a chat client. mIRC is what most people use. It’s a shareware program that allows you to join any IRC network anywhere. When you download it and install it, find servers for the Newnet network and type /join #straightdope

The main reason we made the jump from Undernet to Newnet was because Undernet was getting flaky, and we lost our channel owner, so Undernet took away our services bot, forcing us to re-apply through their rather Byzantine process. Since we’re a small, special-purpose channel, we couldn’t do that. Newnet, OTOH, allows immediate channel registration with the service bot, and since it’s a much smaller network, doesn’t have the technical problems associated with it. You can also register your nickname, which helps.

There’s also a LiveJournal community for #straightdope. It can be found here. It gives instructions and information.


Ditto what Larry said. I prefer a MB format or e-mail. Don’t go much for IM, either, but chat is especially annoying for me. I tried the whole chat and IM thing for quite a while back when I first got online and everything about the net was so shiny and exciting. Didn’t like it too much even then. Some of us just are suited for other forms of conversation/interaction.

I was hanging out there regularly several months ago, and I just kind of drifted away from the habit. Thanks for letting me know about the move, though!

I’ll try downloading an IRC client since I can’t seem to get on any other way.

Everyone should come on and hang out with us cool people :slight_smile: I love talking to you guys on IRC.

It’s not on undernet any more? Hmm, this would explain the empty room yesterday.

I don’t go in very often. I tend to write 20-word sentences and expect to have conversations that stay on subject and explore them.

Although that happens a hell of a lot more in #straightdope than any other IRC chat I’ve ever attempted to participate in, it’s still a world of fast 3-word responses and rapid flocking from one momentary topic to another. It’s like being at a party instead of debating a subject in a classroom. I hate most parties. I like to bring my six-pack of beer and talk for 4 hours about comparative strategies for managing diverse personnel, labor politics, top-down versus small-group initiative, and perhaps veer off eventually into telling tales of the worst managers we’ve ever had to work for or with, and also the best. Or whether an angry male condemnation of traditional female flirtational behavior is anti-woman, potentially pro-feminist, affirmatively revolutionary male, or conventionally role-normative male, and how various gender politics theories impinge.

Which at most parties makes me as much fun as a keg of flat, no-alcohol beer with a busted tap.

If you asked the same question in chat, I’d type out these paragraphs, and if by the type I had hit Enter for the third it looked like everyone else was going for the quick two-word quip and the subject was already changing, I’d be sorely tempted to type “QED” and “bye” and close the window.

We have a chat room now?

Hey, me too! I’m all by myself over heare, so I figure I’ve done something wrong… :confused:

Over heare?! No wonder no one wants to chat!

Do the following things:

  1. Download mIRC from here: http://www.mirc.com/ and install
  2. Go to View and then Options
  3. Click Connect and fill in the fields
    a. Nickname is what you will be known as in the chatroom
    b. You should also fill in an Alternative if the first one is already taken
  4. Under Connect, click Servers, and scroll down until you see Newnet
    a. IRC Server should say: Newnet: Random Server. If it doesn’t, change it.
  5. Click Options. Into the default port, put either 6666 or 6667
  6. Click Identd and then check the Enable Identd Server

Then click Connect again, and then click Connect to Server.

mIRC will then try to connect you to a Newnet server. When it does, a lot of stuff will scroll down. When it stops, type /join #straightdope.

You will then be in a chatroom with all of us. The best times for chatting seems to be in the evening hours. But sometimes I’m in there in the afternoon, so it just depends. I really hope we see more people there!

I tried the instructions above and have ended up cast into limbo - apparently I am now talking in #allnightcafe, fortunately to myself.