By edwingo on Nov 14, 2007
I use IRC (Internet Relay Chat) to work with other people on various projects. I also use IM (Instant Messaging) but unlike the common IM systems, IRC provides channels that users can join. So for example, there is a "#jmaki" channel on Freenode for people who are interested in the Jmaki Project. See a previous entry for more information about using Freenode.
I like using Chatzilla because it is cross platform and has features like "/stalk" that I use. However, it was originally a browser add-on. Well now there is a standalone version which I just installed. It's not the easiest install procedure and I also had to copy over my old preferences manually using a text editor. Look for the "prefs.js" file in your browser's profile directory and copy properties that start with "extensions.irc.". Then merge them into the new chatzilla "prefs.js" in its profile directory.
I serendipitously found a page that shows how to do the equivalent of Chatzilla's "/stalk" in various irc clients. I know other people who use X-Chat Aqua which like Chatzilla is cross platform. It might meet your needs, but I was already used to Chatzilla and didn't want to learn how to configuring it. I was also unsure if it was being maintained.