As Tucows’ new resident developer schmoozer, one of my job responsibilities is “building community”. That’s a rather touchy-feely crunchy-granola primal-scream-session-is-over-let’s-have-a-group-hug-ish way of saying “talking to people who are doing interesting things in the geek world so you know what’s going on out there.” If these people gather in one place, the job of talking to them becomes much easier.
Lucky me, Joichi Ito, better known as “Joi” (you pronounce it like “Joey”, and for a while, he spelled it that way too) has his own IRC channel, #joiito, on FreeNode’s IRC servers. It’s become a hangout for lots of people, many of whom you might have heard of: Mark Pilgrim, Cory Doctorow, Halley Suitt, Marc Canter, AKMA, Aaron Swartz, Elizabeth Lane “mamamusings” Lawley, Kevin “Morbus Iff” Hemenway, Dave Sifry, my boss Ross Rader and many other characters. Maybe I can get Elliot on there — he and Joi have some kind of mutual admiration society going.
The atmosphere is friendly and the conversation flows like delicious pork gravy down Marlon Brando’s throat. Jeanniecool plays den mother to us all, while AKMA serves as the chaplain and I play part-time court jester. Once you’ve figured out the commands for jibot, a bot that heralds you entry into the channel, you can have it announce your presence with a quick summary of who you are! It’s like a 19th-century salon with intellectuals exchanging ideas and bons mots, except for the lack of absinthe. We’re working on that.
To join the channel, point your IRC client at irc.freenode.net and then /join #joiito.