Wednesday, January 8, 2014


My friend Jamie, I met on Twitter. He was the friend of a friend and we hit it off right away, triggering our friendship groups merging. My friends on Twitter and his friends on Twitter all following each other in a virtual friendship ecosystem, all based on 140-character replies to each other.

There comes a point, though, where Twitter stops being useful for the number of people all trying to join in a conversation at once. And after an aborted attempt at linking everything using the hashtag #wangingout (forgive the juvenile dick joke; 2012 was a different era), and being geographically disparate enough to make regular in-person hanging out tricky, we took it old school and set up the IRC channel #wangingout on the Freenode servers. People keep a window open on their PCs during the day and in those little stretches of five-minute downtime everyone gets between tasks at work, we hang out.

And it’s awesome. There have been surges in my IRC use over the years, notably when I was 10 and used to rush home from school every day to get online and talk about Pok√©mon with other kids, and of course in the bash/qdb heyday of ten years ago. I always remembered IRC bots from those old days, little programmatic tools that could take on the role of channel op and curate a library of text-based commands to help out the channel or just entertain. So: wangbot.

Will Wybrow
Basingstoke, UK

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