[tor-project] IRC for Complete Beginners (to send to friends who want to volunteer for Tor)

Erin Wyatt ewyatt at torproject.org
Wed Mar 20 22:46:24 UTC 2019

Thanks, Kate! This will definitely come in handy for new peeps. :)

> On Mar 20, 2019, at 1:43 PM, Kate Krauss <ailanthus at riseup.net> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I recently decided to rejoin IRC, and it was complicated and glitchy. It
> took weeks of troubleshooting and a manual re-set from pastly, who was
> working with someone at OFTC. Many thanks to phoul and pastly for their
> kindness and help. I know that it takes one minute or less for a very
> experienced person to start and troubleshoot a new account on IRC, and I
> am not that person. 
> I have written a short guide for people who have never used--and maybe
> never heard of--IRC before. You can forward this email (or whatever
> final version is developed) to friends who want to volunteer for Tor but
> are daunted by IRC. The persona I'm focusing on:
> **A person who has not used IRC before and may or may not be
> technical.** (I’m starting with English, but other languages are needed
> as well.)
> The goal is to get new people up and running, talking on IRC to Tor
> people, in real time, with as little frustration as possible. 
> There are also cultural aspects to IRC that require explanation to
> prevent frustration, so below I have linked to a couple websites that
> can help. Moving people from webchat to a special client is a project
> for another time. 
> Please send your input, focused on this hapless individual who has never
> used IRC before but wants to help Tor. I wonder if there are better docs
> on IRC culture? Apologies in advance for anything that is annoyingly
> inaccurate. Can fix! 
> Cheers,
> Katie
> ——————————
> Tor staff and community members communicate using IRC (Internet Relay
> Chat) to do their daily work. IRC is a group chat platform a bit like
> Slack, but it is open source and non-commercial. Here is the simplest
> possible guide for getting onto IRC and starting to chat with Tor people
> in real time.
> 1. Click this link: https://webchat.oftc.net/
> 2. Fill in the blanks:
> NICKNAME: Anything you want, but choose the same nickname every time you
> use IRC to talk to people on Tor. If your nickname is already being
> used, you will get a message from the system and you should choose
> another one.
> CHANNEL: #tor
> 3. Click Enter, and you will enter the biggest Tor channel, #tor, which
> is essentially a chatroom. The #tor channel is like a big train station.
> It usually includes Tor developers, founders, and other community
> members. There are some random people in #tor as well. Feel free to
> ignore.
> You can ask questions here, and people may be able to answer right away,
> or there may be a bit of a delay. If you want to talk to someone
> specific, start your comment with their nickname (if you know it) and
> they will typically get a notification that someone is trying to contact
> them. 
> Sample questions: “This is my first time ever on IRC. Who can I talk to
> about doing translations for Tor?”
> or:
> “ailanthus: Who can I talk to at Tor about volunteering for UX?”
> Tor also uses another channel, #tor-project, for discussions and to
> coordinate work. Your nick (nickname) must be registered to join this
> channel. You can follow instructions for registering your nick using the
> IRC cheat sheet linked below. If you get stuck, you can ask for help in
> the #tor channel.
> To switch channels, type: 
> /join #nameofchatroom
> then hit Enter
> IRC has been around for decades, and has its own culture. 
> Here are some tips for navigating IRC:
> An IRC cheatsheet
> https://gist.github.com/xero/2d6e4b061b4ecbeb9f99
> (includes instructions for registering your nickname)
> More on IRC: https://www.drupal.org/irc/usage
> Good luck! My nickname is ailanthus and I’m often on IRC. Come say hi!
> *Tor also maintains an email list for its Community Team, which includes
> volunteers. To join this email list, start here:
> https://lists.torproject.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/tor-community-team
> --ailanthus 
> ——————————-
> Kate Krauss
> Twitter: @aidspol
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