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November 29, 2008

Why I don't waste my time with new IRC networks

Earlier today, I was repeatedly asked why I won't help others start IRC networks, and why I won't even join any other networks. This person made some silly statements, and put me on the defensive about the issue.

I always politely decline these requests and state that I have too many windows open so I cannot connect to anymore networks, which is actually true. I run Parallels just so I can run mIRC, and it can barely handle all the channels I'm in on the three networks I connect to.

It's also a time management issue, especially when it comes to starting a new network. Explaining this is usually good enough and puts the issue to bed. However today, he kept pushing me for a more direct answer and I just didn't know how I could answer this question without offending the person asking.

It's not only about Parallel's problems and my lack of free time. It also comes down to what I've seen happen time and time again.

It usually starts out with a teen that has a moderately popular channel with about a dozen or two users, sometimes more. In some cases they'd want to just have the technical experience of setting up their own network. In most cases, it has a lot to do with the perceived power. The ability to gline users instead of being limited just to channel bans is enchanting to some. Glining looks so cool, they think: "...I'll have so much power, over so many people, no one can argue with me again! HAHAHAAA!"

Nonetheless, they've got the idea of having their own network in their head so they start questioning what we use for software and hardware and how we do everything. It gets to the point of being annoying... answering these questions over and over, especially after seeing the same end result all the time.

But they don't stop. They repeatedly beg and bug us for help installing Unreal... on Windows! Then Anope. Then BOPM. Then stats. Eggdrops? Opps they don't run on Windows do they? Ugh! They never read the docs. They don't try to figure out anything themselves! They want us to tell them step by step... or better yet do it all for them!

By some miracle, they eventually kinda get some of it working, it keeps crashing, but hey it kinda works! Here comes the rub. Hardly anyone joins their new "network."

They thought they would get the users from their channel to switch to their new "network", and that they would move their respective channels but it usually doesn't happen. Many people on WyldRyde are in a lot of other channels, this is where their friends are, plus they're on other networks too. Why have another server window open? Many also tried out other new "networks" and experienced the same end result so they're reluctant to give any new ones a try.

So they start harassing everyone in their channel, and a few other people that they barely know in others. Maybe after lots of begging and harassing a few users will join. However, no one likes an empty net. So those new users might stick around just long enough that they feel like they're not offending the guy, but they typically don't return after a reboot or when that crappy Windows IRCd crashes or even more likely Windows crashes because 4 days went by without a BSOD. ;)

So after a few days and not being able to retain many of their initial users, they start to spam their "network" on WyldRyde and others. They get glined from all of them for spamming and there's no going back. Still no one joins... except the super idiots that use botnets to flood them in retaliation for spamming. Oops, it crashed again.

In a last ditch effort to get some users, they then start offering olines to anyone. I mean anyone. I'm talking about people that shouldn't even be trusted with IP addresses, let alone emails and passwords, which unfortunately most users don't make unique.

Through these abusive idiots and their "friends", they might get another dozen people to join... and that's usually when the fights for power start.

After a few hours (or maybe days) of the dogs fighting for the alpha and beta positions; or them then exceeding their powers by killing or glining users that are friends with the owner; the owner removes these idiots' olines and thats when the real trouble begins. One of them either hacks the server, services, or all of above. Or worse yet... DDoSes them out of an ISP! Yes, I've seen that happen too many times too.

After all that "fun," that's when they finally realize that running their own IRC network wasn't so much fun after all!

Sadly, this is when some give up on IRC altogether or they come running back to us to beg removal of their spam glines.

Sure this isn't what happens all the time. Sometimes it takes half a year for all this to play out. In many cases, it's just months (if not weeks). For the more than ten years that I've been on IRC, it's what I've seen happen over and over again. If I had to put a number to it I'd guess it was 99% of the time!

I can only think of three networks that started out this way and lasted more than a year. Even still, they struggle to find users and one of them just gave up too.

So when I decline to help, it's not because I don't like you, or trust you. It's not because I don't want to help. It's because I'm sick of seeing the same mistakes made over and over again and the same stupid immaturity. Simply put:
Lasting networks are not started overnight and are certainly never started by someone without any experience.

If you're serious about running your own network, you've got to get some experience first. Help out on other networks and work hard to become staff on them. Then work your way up and Admin for a while until you've gained enough practical experience that you can do it on your own without asking others for help. But, if you're volunteering at the right network, after a while you probably won't care about running your own anymore, as you should enjoy doing what you're doing there. In any case, it's the only way to gain the knowledge required to run an IRC network successfully if you should still want to one day.

Posted in IRC & WyldRyde IRC Network by usrbingeek at 2008-11-29 22:35 ET (GMT-5) | 1 Comments | Permalink


So, Can you help me with my own IRCd?

Haha, I know how it feels, I take in staff members at my web host then they want to branch off and start something so they can be just like me, and after so long they come back to me asking for their staff position back after they've lost several hundred dollars in server costs and support, etc.

May 2009 bring you lots of luck and money of course! :)


Posted by: BwaddArr at January 2, 2009 03:14 PM

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