To be honest most of the moodle discussions are encouraged to take part in these forums so other people can learn from the discussions also be that at the same time or when searching in the future.
Moodle Chat isn't an acceptable replacement. Among other things it just isn't easy to idle in the web browser format (TODO: insert quantitative evidence). (Maybe we need a moodle chat to irc/jabber bridge.)
Sometimes it is nice to be able to discuss options and incubate questions with live responses before going to the forum. An IRC chat can often be useful to point people to the appropriate places in the forum. The Using Moodle forum is enormous and always growing. It is difficult to wade through such a wealth of information. (This could be helped if Moodle adopted thread timeout and archival system such as that used by MIMF [http://www.mimf.com/]. Do note that this is one of my least favorite MIMF features because it causes some pertinent discussions to fall into limbo between the archive and the forum, but procedural changes could alleviate this problem.)
Rob, Moodle is certainly a large enough community to sustain an IRC channel. (The only negative I can see is that it might be one of those large quickly moving channels that is hard to follow.) If you start hanging out at #moodle on irc.freenode.net and see if we can get something rolling.
Well, I think a real irc channel is really necessary. Every other big project has one and that make people to get involved deeply in such as nice project as Moodle.
I hope that can be reachable soon : ).
It's 2:10pm Thursday (EDT) and I joined #moodle on irc.freenode.net for the first time.
There are 22 users connected now, me included, but the channel is dead...
- Is it the wrong time? if so, when is the chanel more active?
- What would be a better alternative for real time communication?
as much as I love IRC... it's yet another communications channel to maintain. If they don't have people to maintain it, they shouldn't launch it. Same goes for a facebook page, a LinkedIn group, a twitter profile, an Instagram or Flickr account. It's better having 1 or 2 well maintained support channels than a whole bunch of channels that are all dead or starving.
I ended up on this page too after looking for the #moodle channel on Freenode... but as much as I regret it not being very active, I'm glad Moodle keeps their energy focused!
I logged into #moodle yesterday. Here are two pages of transcripts:
It reminded me of my days back in overseas university when I would log onto the Internet Relay Chat via mIRC. My conclusion is that it is a useful tool for instant feedback and to chat with other like-minded (and not-so like-minded!) people. I did find myself straying into the realm of playful banter and verbal/intellectual one-upmanship and the time just flew if I was not careful to watch the clock. The entire chat-conversation was living for the moment and nothing was recorded - unlike these forums - for others to glean information from. So yeah, IRC, you either love it, if you have tons of time to kills and want instant feedback from someone, or you hate it because it can be a time-waster and you didn't even know that it stole your time from you.
Just my two Pence, I mean cents.
The IRC channel has a small number of regular users (5-10 - I'm one of them) and it is largely a social channel.
On the whole I would not recommend relying on it for help and advice as discussions are not preserved for others to search later. Using the forums is preferable so that others with the same or similar queries to yourself can look things up later.
Thanks & Regards
I fully agree that for archival reasons a forum deserves preference over IRC.
Yet... it is a threshold to know that all the dumb beginner questions I now ask, will pollute the internet for the rest of my days
That said, I don't care that much - I have the intention for also helping others on the forum as my skillset grows ;) (and then people will see what a nice, smart and goodlooking guy I am and they'll all be impressed by the modesty that goes out of my posts... like this one)