This is a great idea. I spend my day in my IM client and having many of my former colleagues present there is invaluable. Curious to see if that can be broadened without becoming too distracting. I'll try and get in the habit of logging in regularly to see how well this might work.
To lower the barrier to entry for those who've never used IRC, a few links to clients (all free):
Hey all, we got a good little list of people in the chat room today thanks to the mailing list! We were discussing what you might think about having a topic chat once a week/month/blue moon. We could run a poll the week before, see what's on people's minds, then at a designated time have an impromptu IRC roundtable about it. Possibilities include things like using RSS, Facebook usage, CMS challenges, accessibility concerns, etc.
Just thought I'd bump this up. We still have a few people who hang around the IRC chat room. You should come by. I load the Chatzilla extension in Firefox and have it bookmarked with my home page so that I always have IRC up with my browser.
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