I've been hanging out on Convore for a few weeks and they're definitely on to something - it's entirely replaced Twitter as my online water cooler.
In a way it's similar to IRC, but the ability to create new topics which have their own chatroom-style thread (while still being alerted to conversations elsewhere) means you can duck out and come back again a few days later and pick up the same conversation.
I agree the new features are really useful but would also argue that there is an Evaporative Cooling Effect (http://blog.bumblebeelabs.com/social-software-sundays-2-the-...) taking place - there is hardly any noise on Convore at present. Even with a carefully maintained follow list on twitter I still get so much noise in my stream that I no longer check it regularly.
We've been on convore for a few weeks and for certain things it is starting to replace HN for me. There's generally enough high-quality HN-caliber folks to have a quick and intelligent discussion about MongoDB on AWS or whatever, something I always wanted #startups on IRC to be.
Is this just because it was announced here, and is that likely to continue? One of the key problems with IRC is that in a world where anyone can participate, the cool places to go are the places everyone wants to be, which means that you need advanced moderation mechanisms, which in the IRC ecosystem translates to numerous channel and user modes, bots for automated moderation, and network-wide services for overall control. I don't see Convore being well positioned on any of these fronts.