IRC is where hackers go to hang out, when they don't want to be overheard. Imagine two ships on the ocean...

To connect to #go-nuts channel on network using pidgin:
pidgin  -> manage accounts -> add account ->
protocol -> IRC
username -> any arbitrary username you want. something like  tempuser9439
server ->
Password -> leave blank

pidgin -> buddies -> Join a chat ->
Channel -> #go-nuts

you are not supposed to use your real identity on irc
Chats are logged at a place like
nothing on the internet is private.
try the freenode faq (that's the IRC network we're on)
you don't need to register. you just type "/nick whatever"
email address, website, etc isn't associated with you on irc
if you do /whois aphistic you can see some info about me, but that's it. not much actual information. it's more like if someone sees a mailing list post by "Aram" they can think "oh, this might be the Aram from irc". dho: I use my initials and sign emails as 'dho'