See http://irchelp.org/ or https://wiki.mozilla.org/Education/Collaboration/IRC .
Freenode Channel Guidelines can be read on http://freenode.net/channel_guidelines.shtml
Check http://www.scribd.com/doc/2892558/freenode-irc-chanserv-help for ChanServ usage (would need a digest and recommendations for setting-up a chan).
And look at the List of commonly used abbreviations
[TODO: insert IRC netiquette rules]
See Mageia IRC Channels for a list of our active places of discussion.
Very few, if any, of the people present in a channel will constantly watch it.
Many are "present" 24/7 (day and night, all days of the week) and might be far away from any keyboard. Others auto-join the channel when they start their computer and might be busy working.
If no one responds to your question, then ask it again after some time and put
/me before it. That will cause some of the others (if near their system) to hear a bell, so they are more likely to see your message.