Welcome to The IRC Wiki, a collection of Tutorials and Links all related to the IRC technology.
We have just started out with this Wiki. Make sure you check back, we will have a ton of articles here.
The best way to describe IRC is that it's a big pub. The IRC itself would be the pub. On IRC there are different networks (IRCnet, Efnet, Undernet, Dalnet, etc.), which are then the individual rooms in this pub. In these rooms, there are a lot of tables, which are similar to the IRC channels, in which the individual users are now sitting.
Apart from the virtuality of the IRC, the difference between the pub and IRC is the fact that the first one has to build a table, and the last one who leaves must take the table with him. Channels are therefore dynamic and everyone can open one. Also, the behavior in a channel is to compare with that in a pub. When you sit down at a table (/ join #channel), you greet the people present briefly and follow the conversation. If you have a question, you just ask everyone at the table.
By the way, it is possible to talk to someone at the table personally (/msg).