No more hiding in the server room
As for chat, I've been hanging out at ServerFault's "The Comms Room". If you go to Serverfault.com, at the top is a link that says "Chat". All shold be self evident at that point. You have to have a certain amount of reputation points to chat, but I think it's minimal. Answering a few questions should garner you enough.
Also, if you're going to be getting som epoints on Serverfault, you might as well join my 10K challenge. =)
i haven't hung out on IRC in.. actually, it would be 10+ years now !