The command M-x erc will start ERC and prompt for the server to connect to.
If you want to place ERC settings in their own file, you can place them in ~/.emacs.d/.ercrc.el, creating it if necessary.
If you would rather use the Customize interface to change how ERC works, do M-x customize-group RET erc RET. In particular, ERC comes with lots of modules that may be enabled or disabled; to select which ones you want, do M-x customize-variable RET erc-modules RET.
|• Sample Session:||Example of connecting to the #emacs channel|
|• Special Features:||Differences from standalone IRC clients|