The Beauty of #freenode

#freenode channel, as it currently exists, is a veritable work of art – people who come to the channel are nearly always provided help or referred somewhere for the answer. The really beautiful thing about #freenode, though, is that at least 50% of the help provided comes from network users (rather than freenode staff).

Almost two years ago, the channel #freenode was recreated with new guidelines and philosophy consistent with freenode’s. The ideas weren’t that new – they had already been (somewhat) in use in the old #tapthru channel. The activity in #freenode is generally within the channel guidelines, which may be found at http://freenode.net/poundfreenode.shtml and is highly recommended for anyone planning to participate in the channel.

Whilst many help channels utilize specialized staff to answer questions, one of the most refreshing things about #freenode is that anyone who knows the answer to a question can, and often does, provide the answer or help to the user in need – regardless of status or staff-ness. Numerous users lurk in the channel, either to learn from others’ questions, help other users through their queries or generally just to take up space :)

Some of the more common questions can be, and are, answered by a multitude of people. Keep in mind that being on staff is not a prerequisite to having the correct answer to your question! Here are some common questions:

  • How do I register a nick? A: http://freenode.net/faq.shtml#nicksetup
  • How do I register a channel? A: http://freenode.net/policy.shtml#channelnaming /msg ChanServ help register http://freenode.net/group_registration.shtml
  • How do I set auto-ops on a channel? A: http://freenode.net/channel_guidelines.shtml
  • What is a cloak and how do I get one? A: First set your nick up this way (http://freenode.net/channel_guidelines.shtml), and then message a staff member. Some users whose accounts have been registered recently may be asked to wait a short time before being eligible for a cloak. Cloaks are privileges, not rights – they may be removed in the event of misconduct on the network.
  • There is someone trolling my channel! What should I do? A: freenode strongly encourages the idea of catalysing and has gone so far as to make it part of its policy for staff and official network channels, as well as encouraging others to use the same principles. For two helpful guides on freenode’s catalyst policy, please see http://freenode.net/catalysts.shtml and http://blog.freenode.net/2007/02/the-heart-and-mind-of-a-catalyst/. Part of dealing with trolling is understanding the motivations of the troll. Feel free to read this blog post on the subject or catch a staffer for more ideas: http://blog.freenode.net/2007/05/silence-is-golden-handling-trolls-and-spammers/
  • I’ve lost my password! Can someone help me regain access to my nick? A: If you set your nick up properly when you registered, staff is able to send you a password reset key. Ask in #freenode and when a staffer is available, he/she will be happy to do so.
  • I would like to use a nick that is already registered, will you drop it for me? A: again, staff can assist you. However, try running /msg NickServ info $nick – be sure it’s at least 60 days unused. Then /nick to the nick. Staff will not drop the nick unless you are using it when you ask for the drop. There are situations where, even if a nick is unused for at least 60 days, staff cannot or will not drop it. Be prepared to find another nick if that is the case.
  • I’ve been banned from a channel! Let me back in! A: #freenode is not the place to ask. If you have been banned from a channel, you need to contact the operators of the channel and request to be unbanned. May I suggest doing so politely? No matter how indignant you are, demanding to be unbanned is likely to not serve your goal. To find channel operators, try /msg ChanServ access #channame list
  • How do I find a specific channel if I don’t know the name? A: You can try using ALIS. /msg ALIS help

These are just a few of the many and varied requests in #freenode. Please feel free to feel free to hang out, learn, help and listen!

3 thoughts on “The Beauty of #freenode

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this with us :D You guys (AND LADIES!!!) do a great job. Cheers! robbmunson

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