An announcement about Quizbowl IRC

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An announcement about Quizbowl IRC

Postby Matt Weiner » Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:04 pm

There has been some recent discussion of the underutilization of the IRC quizbowl channels as a tool for outreach and other quizbowl improvement. The outcome of that discussion is as follows:

Big changes:

Quizbowl IRC is now a "sponsored project" of hsquizbowl.org.
Hsquizbowl.org has appointed Eric M. as the IRC Coordinator.
Several new channels are being forked off from the main one -- see the end of the post.

What is IRC?:

IRC is a real-time chat protocol that is nearly as old as the public Internet itself. While it is not as flashy as modern means of instant communication such as Facebook chat, it offers substantial advantages for groups configured like quizbowl, in that it allows people to connect without having to find a pre-existing network of people they know in real life but still has moderator controls to exclude spam and abuse, and it is easily configurable to "run in the background" so that the user is always "in" the chat room but can choose whether or not to pay attention to it at a particular time.

Quizbowl IRC has existed since 2001 and is used for chat about quizbowl, chat about non-quizbowl topics by quizbowl people, reading publicly available questions for practice/fun purposes, and other ends. It is a very good way for people in remote areas who don't get out to many tournaments to integrate themselves into the "quizbowl community."

You can get to IRC using an IRC-over-web-browser type client like Chatzilla, an online interface such as Mibbit, or a standalone client such as mIRC for Windows or Colloquy for Mac. If you plan on using IRC often, a standalone client is very advisable.

For quizbowl IRC, the network is Slashnet. You can use "irc.slashnet.org" as the server name and it will connect you to the network through a random server. If you need to use a specific server, the currently operating ones are listed here: http://www.slashnet.org/servers/

The main channel is #quizbowl. Additional channels are listed below.

What is the purpose of reforming quizbowl IRC?

We are trying to make quizbowl IRC less of an "in-crowd" and more of a general outreach tool for quizbowl. All quizbowl people should feel welcome and encouraged to use the resources presented.

Policies

As on the forums, there is no anonymity in the IRC. You must identify yourself when asked at least to the level of "[firstname]" from "[team]."
Eric M. (Slashnet name InfiniteStryker0) is maintaining the access lists for the various channels and should be your point of contact for any issues.

The channels available are as follows:

#quizbowl - general chat about quizbowl and/or by quizbowl people.
#qb-helpdesk - channel for immediate help only. there should be people idling here nearly 24/7, so if you need help resolving a protest or dealing with some other time-sensitive situation at your quizbowl tournament, this is a great place to go. can also be used for longer-term things like advice on question writing or studying.
#quizbowl-adults - only college and post-college people allowed, for discussions of a sensitive nature that should not include high schoolers.
#quizbowl-politics - the #quizbowl ops may ask people to take political/religious discussions here if they are making the main channel uncomfortable for other people.

It is also trivially easy to create your own channels on the same network, which you can use for whatever purpose appeals to you such as discussion within your own quizbowl organization or playtesting questions. IRC allows you to control access to your channel (or even hide your channel's existence from those who are not invited) so it is a relatively secure way to communicate about such matters.

I have read this whole post and am still confused about how to get onto the IRC channels or what the policies are.

Feel free to use this thread to ask questions. Thanks.
Matt Weiner
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Re: An announcement about Quizbowl IRC

Postby jonpin » Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:33 pm

As Matt noted:
As on the forums, there is no anonymity in the IRC. You must identify yourself when asked at least to the level of "[firstname]" from "[team]."


That said, many people have usernames that are not directly related to their name--for instance, I generally have a nick of RminusQ. A list of regulars to the IRC and their handles is available on the QBWiki.
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Re: An announcement about Quizbowl IRC

Postby Auks Ran Ova » Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:16 pm

Hello, current and potential IRC users.

Eric M. has resigned as IRC Archon to spend more time with his family. Apparently, I have been elected to the position. My plans going forward aren't particularly complicated: outside the current status quo, the only thing I'm really going to push harder on is enforcing the use of #qb-politics for particularly rancorous or otherwise unpleasant discussions. I may look into reviving some of the other side channels in the future; I don't think #quizbowl-adults ever got too much use and #qb-helpdesk seems fairly redundant given that I can't imagine it's often full of people who aren't also in #quizbowl (though I could be wrong!). Remember that private or temporary side channels for short-term use are always easy and free to create.

I am seeking one or two more moderators for #qb-politics--you don't have to hang out in there all the time or perform any official debate moderating functions (unless you really, really want to), you'd just need to be in the channel with some regularity in order to exercise control if necessary. PM me if that's something you're interested in.
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Re: An announcement about Quizbowl IRC

Postby Cheynem » Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:34 pm

A lot of this seems to have never really taken off. I'm uncomfortable with the idea of HSQB associating with IRC, at least IRC as is, and I'm not sure it ever really worked out. I might suggest keeping #quizbowl as its informal chat channel and creating a HSQB sponsored chat where people at certain times are always going to be (or at least post a go fishin' sign or something) to actually address specific quizbowl questions (so basically like "help desk" but more formalized). It just seems weird that we encourage a channel to be used for outreach that is also used for things like discussion of quizbowl memes or sports games or James Bond movies.
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Re: An announcement about Quizbowl IRC

Postby Cheynem » Sun Sep 18, 2016 7:28 pm

I'll reiterate that I don't think this worked out at all. I'm not advocating for mass changes to the IRC, just the awareness that everything in this thread is fairly irrelevant in my opinion.
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