Since I work alone, I find peers online. IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is my greatest resource. I hang out in a channel on the EFNET servers called #coldfusion. Sometimes I visit the DALNET servers for #coldfusion and FreeNode for corporate support of various software products. I was introduced to IRC in the fall of 1988 shortly after its creation. I thought it wonderful that you could jump into a group of people, ask a question, and quickly have answer or variety of opinions. I still share that thought.
IRC has culture to it. N3wbs (newbies) make the same mistakes and get ridiculed harshly. It is like stepping into a well established ritzy social club and interrupting everyone’s conversations by yelling through the room, "Hey I’m new here! Anyone want to chat?" Good way to be ostracized. Discussion topics are typically organized by channels. #coldfusion is generally used to discussion Adobe’s ColdFusion web application language. A new IRC user typically steps into a channel and immediately says, "Can I ask a question?" which grates on everyone’s nerves because a question is expected. Asking to ask is redundant, unnecessary, and down right annoying. Idling is when a person is in a channel and doing nothing. I idle in #coldfusion almost 24/7. That way I can follow discussions and, like IM, someone can leave me a message and I can get back to them at a later time.
I was invited to join a channel on efnet called #idlerpg. I found this terribly amusing. It is a game! A game you play and win by doing nothing. The goal is to idle in the channel. You are penalized by doing things. If you change your nickname, you lose points (time in this case). It is an RPG so you gain inventory, engage in fights, go on quests, and move up levels. You simply do not do anything to make this happen! A very amusing concept. You can check on my status online. I am currently a level 4 Mad Coder.