IRC, or more specifically, the #joiito channel on the Freenode network has become a very important part of my life. I use it during conferences, meetings, when I'm thinking, when I'm trying to find some information... It's become one of my main modes of keeping in touch with people. What I sometimes forget, and what most people don't even realize is that Freenode is actually not "free". It's run by real people who fight denial of service attacks, set up servers and keep this incredible network running. There are many IRC networks, but Freenode is the one we use.
I've tried to promote Freenode by mentioning it in interviews I've done recently, but "chatting on #joiito on Freenode", usually gets abbreviated to "chat". ;-)
So this is an official request and a plug for Freenode. Freenode is a service of Peer-Directed Projects Center, an IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation. If you've benefitted from Freenode at a conference, at home or have started hanging out on #joiito, think about donating some money to the organization that keeps this going. Lilo, the director of Freenode is too humble/proud to ask for money on the channel, but I'm going to do it here.
I am not involved in running Freenode and obviously since it is a non-profit, I have no financial interest in Freenode