For real-time chat with other Wikimedians, there are several Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channels, located on the freenode network (chat.freenode.net:6697 / non-SSL: 6667). #wikipedia-en is the main forum (see here for other channels); these are the responsibility of, and controlled by, the Group Contacts. If you don't use IRC, there are other communication methods, including a Jabber chatroom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The recent changes channels are now located on the Wikimedia IRC network (irc.wikimedia.org:6667). A channel exists for each public Wikimedia wiki which has been changed since the last time the server was restarted. In general, the name is just the domain name with the .org left off. For example, the changes on the English Wikipedia are available at #en.wikipedia. However, some wikis which are not Wikipedias have the .wikipedia suffix (e.g. #mediawiki.wikipedia for MediaWiki.org). See IRC/Channels#Raw feeds for details.
If you're new to IRC see the IRC instructions for help.
On IRC/Nicks you'll find a list of people whose nickname on IRC is different from their Wikimedia username.
Many IRC clients allow automated login upon connection. Usually this is done by entering the username and password (or just password) as the "server password" in the client's settings. Some clients must be closed and restarted to recognize a server password or change of one; just disconnect/reconnect alone won't do it.
IRC hostmask cloaks allow a user to replace their IRC hostname with a string such as wikimedia/JamesF. User cloaks allow you to show off your pride as a Wikipedia editor, hide your IP address for security and privacy reasons, and prove that you are the user on Wikipedia with that user name. For more information, including instructions on how to obtain a cloak, see IRC/Cloaks.
- IRC channel scripts
- IRC channels
- IRC Meeting Recommendations — advice for how to have a happy, productive meeting via IRC
- IRC public channel logs
- IRC office hours
- Simple IRC RC Bot
- WM-Bot — utility which allows you to set up RC feed in any Wikimedia channel and other useful stuff
- A helpful list of IRC tricks
- IRC statistics: most active users, random quotes and fun tibits:
- General IRC information: