Someone joined our spanking new IRC channel last night (#ohloh on irc.freenode.net) and alerted me to jabber chat groups. They offer similar functionality to IRC: you can reserve a ‘well-known group name’ (for example: email@example.com) and offers basic moderator controls.
The benefit, to me at least, is that this integrates much better with IM clients. Not that I mind IRC that much, but I’ve got to admit that I don’t enjoy the esoteric commands and bots very much.
In any case, we’ll officially stick with IRC for now – it’s way more popular. Secretly, I’ll keep rooting for jabber chat groups to take off.