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Some IRC networks, like Freenode for example, allow registered users to cloak their IP address with an ID that represents a project they contribute to.

Would any of you find it useful for users with some amount of reputation could apply for stackexchange-affiliated hostmask? Something like: stackexchange/<site's bottom level domain>/<site-username>

A /whois on a cloaked user affiliated with 'Musical Practice & Performance' would then return stackexchange/music in place of their IP address.

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What benefit would this serve to the network and why does it need to be someone with greater reputation? – M.Babcock Mar 14 '12 at 2:22
@M.Babcock To the first, It lets other network users easily identify each other and share opinions. (This would be of great convenience to channels like ##math where a number of the users are active on and have answered each others questions on math-oriented stackexchanges). To the second, it is safer to only allow those of high reputation to apply for a cloak since then people could abuse the functionality for things like ban evasion or, more likely, posing as an authority (Cloaks are generally only administered if you are heavily affiliated with the respective project) – enthdegree Mar 14 '12 at 2:32
Stackexchange has chat already. I agree the audience is larger but I still question the benefit over just using the built-in chat (basically let them come to us if they want to). – M.Babcock Mar 14 '12 at 2:37
To be honest, I do not see very many people leaving one of Freenode Stackexchange's webchat. The chatrooms serve different purposes. – enthdegree Mar 14 '12 at 2:44
Then why mix them? Why should someone's SE rep matter to the people on Freenode? If the users aren't already members of SE then they won't respect it anyway... – M.Babcock Mar 14 '12 at 2:46
You wouldn't have the number of reputation points you have emblazoned anywhere your account information, it would only show that you contribute to StackExchange site. As another example, when people see you have a hostmask 'rockbox/developer' they can assume that the person has considerable experience in developing for Rockbox. A lot of StackExchange rep can show that you are capable of answering questions on a particular topic. – enthdegree Mar 14 '12 at 2:51
Random note: cloaks need to be unique, so it'd have to be e.g. stackexchange/music/enthdegree, not just stackexchange/music – Michael Mrozek Mar 14 '12 at 5:27
.. and a slightly further random note -- usernames on SE sites are far from unique. Head to the users page and search for e.g. "Jeff". There's 47 pages of them. There's even 10 pages of "Seth". Really. So the cloaks would need to include the usernumber or some hashed version of the user number, and that's not very pretty. – sarnold Mar 14 '12 at 8:55
up vote 14 down vote accepted

Stack Exchange doesn't use IRC in any official capacity. Indeed, we have our own chat system specifically for this purpose.

Therefore, this would be sort of hypocritical.

And even if we could pull it off, we still wouldn't be using IRC in any official capacity - so giving folks the idea that their SE identity has some sort of standing on IRC would be a bad idea.

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so giving folks the idea that their SE identity has some sort of standing on IRC would be a bad idea ... especially if your name is Jeff Atwood. That 'thar name has been drug through the IRC mud more than a prize pig with no legs. – Tim Post Mar 14 '12 at 11:04

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