“From deep within the gurgling maw of emacs, comes … an embedded IRC client!” Nifty.
I can’t say I’m going to rush out and convert to the Evangelical Church of Emacs as a result, but it’s clever to think you can watch an IRC channel from within a text editor.
And I suppose I should expect that. Client aside, the underlying arrangements for relay chat services are mostly the same, for what I’ve seen.
So the real benefit in using erc over any of the others, is probably that it’s meshed with emacs. Which will save you a terminal window or an extra shell process, if you’re already running it.
Of course, if you’re not a regular emacs user, erc is probably the least appealing of IRC clients, for a similar reason: It will require running an extra application in the background, just to get to erc.
So really, it depends on what you’re already using, doesn’t it? 😉