Sorry to dredge up a somewhat old thread, but this actually seemed like a good place for my question and comments.
I've popped in chat a few times, but I find the web interface a little awkward, and given that, and the fact that it's usually empty, I don't leave it open a lot. But it looks a lot like IRC... Can I get into chat via a regular IRC client? If so, can anyone tell me the server and channel? If I could leave a little window minimized, and it would flash when something is going on, I'd probably stay logged in more.
I have to use IRC/chat at work anyway, and lately I've been opening additional windows for train and space Lego channels. It's easy to leave them in the background if I'm busy, but when I need a break or I'm waiting on a compile, I switch over and catch up on the conversation, maybe talk a little. A lot of other people seem to do the same- leave the chat open in the background at work - so there are always people in there, and at least a low level of activity. Then when additional people pop in, there's something going on, and I think they're more likely to hang out for a little while. I'd encourage anyone who can, to try this (with CC chat). It's like having a few AFOL buddies always hanging out by the water cooler to chat with.