Why you should be using Gitter
Over the last year and half, I have been increasing my involvement in open source. As part of that involvement, you really need to get plugged in to the community to effectively contribute. It helps you learn the ethos of the project or projects and you start forming relationships that may turn into great, global, friendships. A fine example of that is the awesome baby gift sent by the Cake team to Gary Park. These are the kinds of connections that can really help you grow and boost your career.
The best way that I have found to do this is Gitter. Gitter allows you to connect to the core team and community for many open source projects. As part of the connection you start learning personalities and founding principles of the maintainers and contributors. You get insight in how to use the library and the best possible customer service when it comes to solving any issues. A fine example of awesome customer service would be the Wyam project, Dave Glick constantly works his tail off supporting users and he leaves no inquiry unanswered.
Originally, this post was going to be about how I use Stack Overflow less now that Gitter exists, but in reality, Gitter just turns that connection between some code library that you use and the community way up. It has become the go to place to find answers about any open source library. I always look for the Gitter channel and activity there first, before turning to StackOverflow. More than that, it has become a place a hang and geek out with like minded individuals. A place to achieve that community connection that brings most people to open source.
Thank you Gitter for empowering and strengthening the open source community and Thank You to all the community members that work hard to make it a great place.