I will look into the listen issue, it may be that the bots will still respond to a question directed at them when in listening mode.
Connecting a bot to IRC is not permanent like our Twitter or email support, the bot will not listen to the channel indefinitely. It will only listen until it is timed out, or reclaimed by our server. Most IRC servers also timeout clients. We are looking at improving our IRC support, to be able to link a bot permanently to a IRC channel, but there are issues to overcomes, as every bot listening to a IRC channel would require a lot of server processing and memory. There are also issues of people using bots for spam.
You can create one of our own live chat rooms to have the bot always monitoring a chat room.