This is the mission statement I seek to uphold when I provide support on the Freenode
To support users of node.js and their related projects to create a collaborative, creative, diverse, interested, and inter-generational sustainable culture of programmers of all skill levels, with room and encouragement to grow.
One of the great criticisms of IRC channels for software support is that they’re often the blind leading the blind. Experts have little direct incentive to jump in with half-formed questions, and it takes some real skill to elicit good questions that can be answered accurately. There’s some incentive for some members to use questions to opine their favorite tools, and to show off clever answers not necessarily in the best interests of the person asking.
The other problem is times of day – American nights and weekends have a lull, and questions asked then are often left to the void. Hard to answer questions – vague and incomplete ones especially – are the easiest to ignore. Let’s do the hard work to encourage good discussion, even among the less carefully asked, hurried questions.
We can do this and be unusual among technical channels. We’ve the critical mass to do it, and we’ve a great culture to start with. Let’s keep it up!