These policies are intended to go hand in hand with the channel rules.

It is important to a help channel to have active members helping at all possible times. Many users ask if they can sit and idle in the channel in order to watch people ask questions and learn from the answers given. I believe this is a great way to learn, so when asked, I tell people they may sit and idle to learn. However there comes a time that the "learner" should have learned enough to be able to help in the channel. The ops will decide when that time comes and discuss with the "learner" his option of helping or going elsewhere. Too often I find that the "learner" is merely connected to a bnc and probably not there learning.

I have problems with people using a bnc for IRC, but I will not discuss that here. I will say that NO bnc may park in the channel. If you are on a bnc and are active in the channel, then you may be there. If not, I expect you to part the channel until you are again active and willing to participate in the channel. This policy will be strictly enforced.

Our ops have been great concerning the rule of not being opped unless they are here and actively watching and helping. However I have noticed many ops no longer help on a regular basis, but remain idling in the channel. (Please set yourself /away if you are going to be away for a bit.) We are a small help channel, and over the past 9½ years have been a strong and respected help channel, where people come back repeatedly for our help, knowing they will get it. Therefore, we need our ops to be willing and able to help on a regular basis. Having access in a help channel should also mean you have assumed the responsibility of participating there regularily. If you not able and/or willing to commit to helping in #mIRCHelp then notify me or speedy so we all can decide what is best for the channel.

An idling user is not an asset to #mIRCHelp. I'd rather be in a help channel with only 2 users as long as they were active than in a channel with 50 idling users. Although we do appreciate all the help users provide, it is increasingly annoying to find the channel full of bouncers or inanimate nicknames that rarely speak. We need dedicated helpers, people who want to make this channel a different one from all the others; to be nice with people, to help and talk, not just park their nickname here and dedicate their time in other channels. We have many well-meant individuals who could help well, but decide to pay attention more in other channels, or to keep their bouncers parked in channel all the time. And that's annoying.

So we see ourselves forced to change the rules a little, to make the channel more active: no more bouncers, no more nicknames parked for days at a time. Join when you pay attention (and can dedicate your time to THIS channel), leave when you know you'll be away for prolongued periods of time. Users shouldn't be in channel if they haven't said anything in 24 hours. If people intend to only lurk in #mIRCHelp while helping only in other channels, well, then they should perhaps acknowledge that they are not going to help in #mIRCHelp at all and therefore not park their nicknames in channel, at least. We'd need to know who we can count on for helping. #mIRCHelp has never competed with any help channel, we rather try to cooperate with other channels. If you prefer to be helping in another channel, that's great! Good help on Undernet is valued! Users need to be honest with themselves and us too.

We help in #mIRCHelp because we want to be part of a unique and different help channel: laid back, friendly, but very professional and thorough. This spirit needs to be embraced by everyone helping here.

We're still friends and all, but we still have a channel to manage and look after.