In around 3 years ago we started MadIRC as a little test server for bot development. For a private channel on another IRC network. Since it was built for testing only, we started on a Raspberry Pi and with the little idea in mind that people have to pass different stages of Channel where different kinds of people are to get into the “core” channels, which are filled with regulars.
At this point of the story the server didn’t have one non-admin user. The first stage of this process should be #Randland which translates to “The Fringe”. At this time the network was named Shivering-Isles and you maybe understand why everything was named like that. All in all we started to migrate a few users to the new network, still running on a Raspberry Pi, because we got more and more often attacked by an annoying spammer and we felt not perfectly protected at the other network.
So MadIRC started as a very closed down network. Only accepting connections from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Since that were the regions where our users came from. This worked well for around 6 months and the network grew user by user. A basic community feeling has been established since all new users visited #Randland everyone stayed there. The connection between the community member were close and every new person had to introduce herself or himself in detail. More and more services and games appeared around the community on the network and it became more advanced. At the same time we decided to make it easier for people to access. We lower the security restrictions, allowed people from more countries and opened up step by step. It still took almost a year before we decided to stop geoblocking and open up for everyone. It didn’t really help the network to grow a lot. We met a stable community size of around 20-30 people and stayed there for a while. Some people came other gone so we keep our size for a long time now.
A lot happened all this time in our network, we met a lot new people and list a few friends to their real life, but that’s fine. 2 years ago we started another project inside the community. We started to train a bot with our saying and conversations. Since then Franky learnd more and more and is today a self-learning, anti-human meme-consultant by his own words. He speaks German and English as our channels became more international since we lowered the barrier for non-german-speaking people.
Today mainly the regulars hang around in the channel and have conversations about all kind of topics. Writing about their life or having talks on our mumble instance to have a nice time together. All in all #Randland is not as active as it was once, but still alive and open for new people. So if you are interested in meeting us, feel free to join!
See you on IRC!