A good friend of mine runs the site bug.gd (and it's more professional pseudonym, errorhelp.com). This service provides something that is slightly missing from the typical Google search for an error to find a solution. It allows you to enter the full text of the error message or stack trace instead of just a couple of keywords, and it provides rich community feedback on solutions. You can even tip people for their solutions through tipjoy.com integration.
I recently came across two other nice sites created by a different company that provide a similar and complimentary service:
stackoverflow.com - A site dedicated to crowd-sourcing answers to programming questions
serverfault.com - A site dedicated to crowd-sourcing answers to system administration questions
I think it is very helpful to have a list of these sites that you can go to post a question and hopefully get an answer that will even be moderated by the community to help you determine the value of the answer. This is something that typically takes a lot longer if you search for a forum or mailing list site and post there. While it is less immediate than IRC, the moderation and ability to leave a question and get an answer "soon" are nice features you are less likely to see in IRC (although I've always gotten great results from #java, #sql, #mysql, and #bash).
As you can tell, I'm a big fan of crowd-sourcing. I have run a couple of contests on 99designs.com and have been incredibly pleased with the results that came out of that community of freelance graphic designers.
Check these places out and see if they can help you or if you can help them!