I got this topic idea from Smogon and I think it's a great idea so I'm stealing it. Also, I'm taking this time to clarify #bulbagarden rules.
[Note to admins: sticky plz]
1. Getting a client
You need a client to connect to IRC. If you don't want to bother with a complex client or you're not allowed to (all IRC programs I link to are 100% safe, btw), you can use the java chat by clicking this link.
If you ARE willing to use a more complex client (which, btw, I recommend), I suggest the following:
Mac: XChat Aqua
(There is a version of XChat for Windows, some people prefer that, not sure why, but this is up to you. I'm better when it comes to helping with mIRC.)
Download the installation file and run it. Answer all the questions and run the program. mIRC will require a name, an e-mail, and a nickname (the name and e-mail need not be your real name and e-mail if this is a concern), I assume XChat is similar.
2. Connecting to IRC
If you're using our java chat, this is simple - simply press the "Join Chat" button. You will automatically be connected to our chat (assuming port 6667 is not blocked by a firewall; if you can't connect, check any firewalls and routers.) Your forum name will be entered as your nick; any illegal characters will simply be removed (i.e. Pokémon becomes Pokmon, as Water Pokémon Master has found out.) If you're not a registered forum user, your name will be set to BMGfGuest###, where # denotes a random number.
If you're using an IRC client listed above, you'll have to enter:
Then you just start chatting! Note that the chat may be inactive at certain times - this is unavoidable as the chat is still in its infancy. Simply wait until people become more active, particularly at hours that would be late for US residents.
3. Registering a username
Like BMG forums, registration in the chat is optional; however, it is highly recommended. This will keep other users from stealing your nickname. Further, if you come consistently and are active, you will be recognized as a chat contributor and be given a voice (+v). In order to make this permanent, you will need a registered username.
To register, type:
/nickserv register password e-mail
where password is a password of your choosing and e-mail is your e-mail address. Note that, like with mIRC, your e-mail need not be real; HOWEVER, it is RECOMMENDED that it is real, for the reason that, if you lose your password, it is easier for Dejatoons staff to retrieve it for you.
Later, when you connect to IRC, you can identify to your username by typing:
/nickserv identify password
where password is the password you registered with. If you have a voice, it will be automatically applied when you identify.
4. Rules of Bulbagarden chat
Like the forums, #bulbagarden chat is very lax on rules. This is mostly an extension of my personality and experience with IRC and what is really worth dealing with.
1. Like on the forums, SWEARING IS ALLOWED. This includes anything up to shit and fuck and whatever else. However, this does not apply to blatantly racist terms (n***er comes to mind), and I expect some restraint.
2. Flooding (streams of messages in a short amount of time with the intent of disrupting conversation) is NOT allowed.
3. My general opinion on spam and advertising is that I could care less; it never works and it's easier to just ignore it than to be a dick about it like certain other channels. However, if you're just there to advertise your channel, expect to get some shit or even a ban. Bulbagarden is for chatting, not to pimp your site (or channel). The good news about this is, if you want to paste links or channels in the chat, you won't get auto-banned like in certain other chats that I won't mention.
4. As a rule, unlike certain other channels, I tend to look the other way about certain exploits in other channels. If you're going to be a jackass in someone else's channel, it's their problem, and if you're a jackass in a network channel, well, you're not going to last long anyway. EXCEPTIONS: if you're a known flooder or a spambot, I have no tolerance for that sort of thing. I may make other judgement calls if necessary, but I mostly wait until you become a nuisance for MY channel, and then I take action.
5. This should really be common sense and applies to the whole internet, but if you get a link from someone you don't know in private message, DO NOT CLICK IT. Report it to an op, especially if the link ends in .exe or .com. These are often trojans or viruses. Similarly, if you get a message with "$decode" in it, don't execute it. These are invariably methods to screw up your computer.
6. Trolling is allowed IF IT IS FUNNY, if you have a good gimmick and I enjoy your presence, then I'll play along. On the other hand, if you're just being a dick for your own pleasure and you're not enjoyable at all, then you're gone.
7. Don't voice/op beg. This is a standard IRC rule, but I'm saying it here for newbies. You get voice and op when I say so - never sooner. Voice is easy to get, just be a respectable chatter (no, I don't voice idlers, sorry). Eventually I'll notice you and give you what you deserve. Op is VERY difficult to get, I do careful profiling of all the people I give ops to, and they're all people who I believe will carry out channel justice in the way that I have laid down. People have been going to Bulbagarden almost since its creation and not gotten op; it's not that I don't like them, but more that I feel that they aren't fit for it. And no, idlers won't get ops handed to them either.
For the most part, the rules can be summarized as follows: don't be an asshole. Bulbagarden is a fun chat, and I like to keep it that way. If you're being a sadistic jackass, that's not fun for anyone, and I don't tolerate that, not from anyone, least of all my ops. I believe in open communication; if there's a problem, I want to hear about it (unless it's stupid and/or bigoted.) I encourage people to join and be respectful to others, and in that way be respected themselves. The bigger #bulbagarden gets, the better it will be (assuming the usual idiots are dealt with); and I want everyone to at least give it a chance.