A time before social media

Social media is everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram are some of the big names of social media. However, there was a time before all of this.

Internet Relay Chat

Enter Internet Relay Chat. Internet Relay Chat, or IRC for short, is a protocol used to send instant messages to a server, where clients are connected to among different channels.

Yup. Instant messaging started here; people exchanged information and files with no bloat or hassle.

However, nowadays the use of IRC has been in a steady decline. Not only because the common folk do not know the existence of this ancient protocol, but platforms such as Discord fufills their requirements and ease of use.

Using IRC

An example of a Hextchat instance.

Still anyone can use an IRC client program to connect to servers. I recommend Hexchat because it is a Guided User Interface(GUI) program, easy to use for the average computer user.

Once you open Hexchat, you are greeted with a window to set your username and the server you want to join. After connecting to a server, you are free to connect to the channels it offers using the commands:

/list || /join

The /list command lists out the available channels a server has. The /join command allows you to join a channel. Simply preceded the channel name with the # sign. Example:

/join #channel_name

Some servers include a service where you can register your username under an email and password. This is to make sure your username is not taken by anyone else.

IRC bots and other perks

Another point of interest relating to IRC are IRC bots. IRC bots are automated programs that connect to a server and channel as a user. They can be programmed to accept developer defined commands for the bot to run.

You can pretty much have the bot do anything from pulling information from the web to controlling multiple bots to take down servers.

An perk to note from IRC is the relative anonymity it offers. Since most if not all IRC client programs are modular, we can use encryption modules to secure communications.

Of course, IRC is declining because the common folk prefer to give out their personal information for instant content and information in the current social media. I hope social media reinvents itself in a way to offer the perks of IRC. Until then:



A tropical monk i.e. an ocean man living through cyberspace.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Roman

    Heh. I remember using IRC from the Linux command line.

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