"The (evil?) IRC overlord and crew are wondering what you think about our new IRC network. What can we do better? What do you want to see happen with our new network? Heck, should we even have a new network?
See more in Landon's journal"
How about SN borrow a page from the Unix book? Do one thing, and do it well.
Just running and maintaining the website is going to be hard enough. Does running your own IRC network substantially help you achieve your goals? If not, don't do it. Concentrate on that one thing.