One of the main problems I have with introducing IRC in my office is to get everyone involved. A big problem is that one has to install an IRC client to access the network. Therefore I decided to install a WebIRC client at our internal network.
I had some experience with WebIRC clients in the past: often they were complicated to use and difficult to maintain. I was surprised when I stumbled across KiwiIRC. It is based on Node.js and works a lot with HTML5 features, so your users should have access to browsers which can handle that. Did I mention that it’s open source?
It’s quite easy to get it running, I just needed 15 minutes for everything. Install node.js on the system and follow their manual to build Kiwi on top of that. As my server is a Windows 7 machine I wasn’t able to start it via their ./kiwi executable, I had to call ./server/client.js build and ./server/client.js start directly.
You can access Kiwi at http://localhost:7778 at your local server if you haven’t changed anything network-related in your config.js.
Now everyone can join IRC without installing anything on its system. Once a user gets used to it, he could install a native client and access the more advanced features. Another big point is that I’m able to show everyone the advantages of IRC directly on their desktop. A lot of people are currently peeking into IRC who I would say wouldn’t have made the step if they would have to install a client first.