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A Letter from Noha - 2013

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:48 pm
by Noah
Hey Guys!

So it's 2013. Holy shit. TinyCrab (ZTecNet) has been around for so long I'm starting to lose track of where we even started. Oh, I remember... Back when we were running UnrealIRCd and received almost daily ClonesX attacks<3 Ah... the good ole' days.

I started the ZTecNet project over 6 years ago and never planned on it turning into the full blown community it is today. It all started with the idea of running a virtually rule-free chat network to compete with the rule-strict networks that were around. I was really sick of getting banned from everywhere because I was, like most teenagers, a bit immature. I wasn't alone with this problem. Networks like WyldRyde made it really hard for teenagers to hang out the way they like to hang out. All teenagers including myself had tendencies to be a bit immature and do "adventurous" things like flooding and using caps. WyldRyde didn't take kindly to that and we typically found ourselves banned from the network - even more than once. So the idea came along to create a place for people that wanted a bit more relaxed of an environment and to be a bit immature.

So ZTecNet was born! It was named after my nickname at the time, ZTecWiz. Makes sense, right? I thought so anyways. It didn't take long before the network was labeled as a "skiddie-net" because of the age and maturity of us at the time. At that point it frequently got attacked by people that didn't really like it. They just didn't know what it was like to have fun on IRC. Heh.

Well we're all grown up now. Most of us not even teenagers anymore.. and it's evolved into the great community it is now.

It's pretty much exclusive these days. If the community doesn't recognize someone that enters, everyone will ask who they are ("and you are?") and who invited them before even greeting them. 99% of the time if they weren't able to prove who invited them, they're a troll or some idiot evading and are banned pretty quickly. This goes to show how exclusive your access to TinyCrab is. It's almost like invite-only. We might as well password-protect our IRCd's.

We've even got a meme database full of memes that were started by the community. This just shows how relaxed we are. The 'anything goes, we don't give a fuck' environment makes a really good home base for people to meet other people with similar interests and build friendships. Have you seen our rules page? It seriously tells you how much we give a fuck about people flooding or using caps and stupid shit like that. As long as you're not being an asshole or interrupting others conversations, we don't give a fuck what you do. That's the kind of philosophy I wanted to have when building this network. Staff members were picked that weren't power hungry, but rather eager to help out, support us, and make the community a better place for everyone. The outcome has been awesome.

The truth is, we've all worked together. The staff and community members all work together to create this corner of the internet we call 'our home on the internet.' We've created and continued to run this awesome place that's built amazing friendships and relationships not just with the community itself but on a personal level as well. Community members that have never met or spoke before are Skyping each other, texting, and some are even meeting up in person. It just amazes me what's all come out of this. Just think - if I never created ZTecNet, would you even know half the people you hang out with every single day online?

As I'm writing this, we're running the latest version of Charybdis and Atheme services and have 8 amazingly stable IRC servers all over the world that run this network and keep it accessible. We've got 6 servers in the US, 1 in Canada, and 1 in Europe. We have 7 staff members, an average of about 80 people in #TinyCrab on a daily basis with an average of about 5,000 lines per day, a total of 153 registered active nicknames, and 40 registered channels. Some of these statistics may look diminutive to some of the larger networks out there, but in all reality we're so far ahead because of the quality of friendships and the community that we have. People on TinyCrab are there for each other, not the network. The people that are true to the community won't leave or go anywhere else. There is nowhere else. TinyCrab is home base for most people that are here. They're devoted and will protect the community at all costs. It's like a fucking beehive.

It's so motivating for me to pay for the servers month after month and all the other cool stuff (like that awesome sounding radio station) when I see people building these strong friendships with other people and to hear people say things like "There isn't any other place I'd rather chat and hang out online" and "It's like my home on the internet." It makes me think to myself "wow.. I really built that?" Some of the things that people come up to me and say just makes it all worth it. I've met such cool people online.. people that would bend over backwards to help me out, even though I've never had the pleasure of meeting them in person (yet). Some people love the community so much that they donate hard earned money and bring their friends in, who do the same at some point and make the community what it is at present.

And, let's not forget about all the people that are actively donating through ZTN Hosting. Yep, that's what that was all about - a way for the community to give back and help pay for the servers, all while getting something of their own out of it. It's my pleasure to tell you that it's most certainly helping us out. The servers that power ZTN Hosting are paid for an then some. That's right - no overhead for ZTN Hosting. So, when you buy that VPS that costs $4 per month, you're helping us out greatly. Every little bit counts and I really want to say thank you for that.

I just wanted to say thanks for everything that everyone's done over the years. You guys make it what it is. Without you, we wouldn't be where we are now. You guys are literally like family to me. We've become a great enough community that even if the entire IRC network went down forever, the community would still be alive one way or another. It's truly been a really great experience and I've learned so much just by being here. If you think about it, we're all learning from each other day after day.. staying in touch with the world of technology, and best of all: each other. You guys are fucking awesome.

Noah