Let's bring the #scouting IRC channel to life
Norman J. MacLeod (gaelwolf@MARLIN.SSNET.COM)
Mon, 7 Aug 1995 17:01:52 EDT
For those who do not already know, there is a Scouting channel on
Internet Relay Chat (IRC) that is kept open 24 hours a day. You
can get into it any time through an IRC server in your area. If
your local server is busy, you can also connect through any other
available IRC server.
In order to have access to IRC, your service provider needs to
have the service available to you. If you do not know how to get to
it, your ISP (Internet Service Provider) should be able to give
you the information you need to get connected. It's worth noting
that local ISPs are frequently far less expensive than the larger
commercial ISPs (such as AOL or Compu$erve). Mine charges only $25
a month for full Internet access, including IRC.
Although the IRC channel #scouting is open all the time, it does
not have a lot of traffic as yet. However, this is a very popular
time for it, since the Jamboree in The Netherlands is active on
the IRC quite a bit of the time.
With the delivery of Windows 95 just around the corner, we expect
that access through local ISPs will become much easier for more
people than we have seen yet. With this in mind, ther are some who
think that this would be a good time to set up some more or less
fixed times when larger numbers of us will check into #scouting to
see if anything is going on.
We are thinking that we should begin with a couple of days a week,
with perhaps three two-hour intervals through the 24 hours so that
we can give all time zones a chance to take part.
I think we will also need to have someone, somewhere, who can log
the IRC activities, save them as a file, and archive them on one
of the FTP sites.
This service can be used for interactive discussion of programme
ideas, programme building, problem solving, simple chatting about
what is going on, meeting and greeting, and so forth for all
members of the Scouting family. Perhaps we will have some
scheduled topics, if that is what people wish to see.
There is, of course, nothing to say that the IRC channel couldn't
be used at unscheduled times for any number of Scouting activities,
such as two or three Scout Groups getting together on-line for an
interactive virtual meeting from different parts of the world.
What we are trying to do is to get #scouting channel into a more
active form than it is at present.
We know that there are a lot of people checking in from tiime to
time, but this doesn't necessarily work out very well, if we don't
know who is going to be there when. Scheduled times will give us
starting points that we can use to move this into something that
will enhance our programmes on a more continual basis.
For instance, today we had a post from a BSA Committee Chair (CC)
who is having troubles with a malfuntioning Leader in the Troop. We
can post back to the CC, but we don't have a lot of details in the
original post. If this were to have come up on IRC, we could have
sked questions and discussed the issue to a good plan of action.
We can do the same thing through rec.scouting, but it is likely to
This is ideas time. What would you like to see, how can you help,
and what are the best times for scheduled IRC sessions?
Let's see how much interest we have for this at this point in time.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City