Just had a really great first experience at Qunu asking obscure questions about our email server. It was an obscure subject, but I needed generalized advice, so I didn't have a listserv (such as a particular software group) to turn to immediately. I was able to connect to a geek in a few minutes and have, basically, a web-based IM chat. Highly recommended if you need computer-related advice. I think there were probably only a few people online that I would have trusted as experts in this particular field, but hell, that's pretty great considering it's alpha. I hope the service grows. God bless the web.
As a follow up to the previous post (see just below this one) please be 'ware that Global Voices is hosting an online (IRC) discussion of the handbook on Tuesday at 15:00 GMT (that's 11:00 AM, New York time).
New to IRC chatting? It's simple. Here's instructions from the ground up:
1. Download & install an IRC client for your computer. This is the program that will let you access IRC, just like a web browser is the program that lets you access web pages. Here are links to IRC clients for Windows users and for Mac users. (I use Chatzilla, which works easily as a plugin with Mozilla Firefox browsers. Download it here.)
- Connect to irc.freenode.net. How exactly you do this will depend on which client you install, but you should be able to find support pages online for any good client program.(In Chatzilla, all you do is type irc://irc.freenode.net into your Firefox browswer window - but this only works after you’ve downloaded the Chatzilla plugin.)
3. Once you are connected to irc.freenode.net, create a username for yourself. This will identify you to the other people in the IRC channels you join.
4. Join the channel “globalvoices” - again, how you do this will depent on which client you’re using.(In chatzilla, all you need to do is type irc://irc.freenode.net/#globalvoices into your Firefox browser window.)
5. Once you’ve joined the channel, you’ll be able to see everything anyone else in that channel says, and you can say things to the rest of the channel.
For more resources see this IRC tutorial and the Freenode info page.