The official IRC channel for the welcome wagon is now live on freenode. Per @andrea_r‘s earlier post, this channel should be staffed 24/7 with at least one person able to point potential/new contributors in the right direction. My guess is that it won’t be very busy (at least at first), so it’ll be mostly a matter of idling and just responding when someone comes in. With contributors all over the world (making it nearly impossible to schedule real-time chats) I’m thinking that it shouldn’t be too hard to get volunteers. It’ll be Andrea’s job to decide on the volunteer schedule, but I’d recommend making it a weekly one that repeats for the sake of ease, and letting people swap shifts as needed.
Anyway, the channel is live at irc.freenode.net #wordpress-contribute. Once we get the coverage squared away we can start publicizing it and work it into documentation, make sites, etc.