I've noticed several of these posts could be loosely organized as "Information about features of Cyberspace I find interesting." Or perhaps a series titled "Andy teaches you N00bs about teh Internets."
Today's Lesson: IRC
IRC, or internet relay chat, is one of the great grand-daddy internet applications. Its the chat utility most favored by hard-core geeks and nerds, who often spend VERY significant amounts of time chatting with people they have never met IRL (In Real Life) there. Many chat rooms on IRC are open to all, and can be a useful resource for projects that need a publicly available space for synchronous that isn't bound to a particular proprietary piece of software or website. This includes the Wikipedia project, as well as some less wholesome projects, including pirate software groups that use IRC to distribute the location of (often hijacked) FTP servers offering software for download. IRC is a fairly wild, uncensored piece of the internet that hasn't been "tamed" by recent mainstream commercial interest in the 'net like the web has.
Of course, homeland security is probably monitoring everything that goes one there, they aren't dumb.
Anyway, IRC's uncensored culture can be both liberating and fun, and abusive and cruel. Several websites I've recently discovered via Stumbleupon post excerpts of transcripts of IRC chats containing jokes, funny typos, and various comical goings on from IRC. I think they do a pretty good job of capturing both the fun and more abusive side of the culture there. (WARNING - PAGE CONTAINS SOME FAIRLY UNPLEASANT TEXTUAL CONTENT)
Here are some excerpts for y'all. (note for readers: IRC conventions put the name of the user "speaking" in angle brackets, like this <+username>
<+thumb>do you know of any major organizations that are similar the CDC?
<+thumb>center for disease control
<+lucent>i said WHO
<+thumb>what? i'm asking you
<+lucent>World Health Organization
(Another, demonstrating the jargon of young nerdlings)
(And another, demonstrating how speech and action are conflated in the space of IRC, and one clever user's application of this fact.)
<+mOrphz> damn it :/
<@Lego> damn it :/
<+mOrphz> stop that
<@Lego> stop that
<+mOrphz> Lego smells
<@Lego> Lego smells
quit: (Lego) (~leet@apex|Lego.user.gamesnet) (Quit)
(NOTE: I've had to add the "+" sign to usernames to keep blogger from thinking they are html tags and deleting them. Stupid blogger.)