There are three main IRC networks: Efnet, Dalnet, and Undernet. Each IRC server will access one of these three networks. Each network can have completely separate channels (#duesouth meets on Efnet and Dalnet, though many more people seem to frequent the Efnet channel than the Dalnet channel), though similar channels may exist from one network to the next (there is a #genealogy channel on Efnet as well as one on Dalnet, but different people use the two channels). In order to get into a channel, you need to connect to a server.
Efnet is the oldest and largest of the IRC networks. This is where one #duesouth meets. You can find a good list of Efnet servers at:
You can find a good list of Undernet servers at:
You can find a good list of Dalnet servers at:
The Dalnet #duesouth channel is maintained by a bot, so if you find yourself in the channel with only one other "person" who doesn't seem very talkative, it may be the bot.