Perhaps that is where the confusion lies. IRC is not being promoted for
official or even reliable, person-to-person communication. Rather, we use it
the same way you use efnet, to contact a group where there is a critical mass of
technical people such that someone may have an answer and a discussion may
ensue. It has more of a conversational feel than you get in a forum or mailing
It also works well as an IT watercooler.