agreed. but i think irc is nice coz its real time. if there are even just a few people lingering on the edges in a room dedicated to a certain topic, they may notice people asking questions and be able to help there and then. also it puts users directly in touch with others and they can exchange ideas and bounce things of each other live….
those are just a couple of reasons i like irc. all i can say is ive been using this stuff for about a year now and i know i would hang out in such a channel if there was a link on the main page others might turn up…who knows…cant hurt to try though!