I'm sure that a lot of you are familiar with me already but I've been on this network for a very long time. I didn't always use this username and Renegades isn't my first room on it.
It started a decade ago, I formed a movie room with a friend on the network and it wasn't very popular, 30 users average not much chat. As time went on we both decided to close it and I left in 2005 just before frontcode turned their servers off. I knew about what had happened but it wasn't until about November or December 2006 that I returned. At that time I was more into TV Shows than Movies so I joined a TV Room.
That room was Renegades. This was about January 2007 that I became a member there. At the time the room was struggling with a variety of issues, constant crashing due to the owners internet access (Hosting from an Australian home line) and he had a Dynamic IP Address so it became difficult for people to find the room. The owner eventually lost interest in the room and left but I stayed on and began to host it myself. Under my leadership we went from a tiny TV Room, 15-25 users on any good day to the largest room on the network. We now average over 130 users per day with no bots, fake users or silent chat-client auto-parkers included in that number.
As of this post there are 154 real users
in the channel so I thought I'd make a post about it to show that even in these hard times with these attacks going on it is still possible to keep a room open and successful.
Before these attacks started two years ago our room was still quite popular. We would average between 90 and 100 users. Since then it has gone up slightly to an average of about 130 with weekends reaching highs of 150 like today.
This isn't down to luck, it is due to hard work. Making sure the right people get Admin, making the rules simple and easy to follow, being inviting to new people, having a static IP Address so peoples favorites always work, having a good web presence with a well made website and forum. And one of the biggest things we did was create intuitive software that actually helps people do what they want to do; Personalised TV Guides, Movie listings, IMDB Lookups and a Search bot that actually works with meaningful results whether the person who has the file is in the room at that moment or not.
Over the years many of the innovations I have created for Renegades have been released for other rooms to use and I'm really proud when I look at the download numbers of some of my stuff and see them reaching 150+ downloads per release. It's nice to give back and to teach others. I cannot count the amount of times I have reached out to people who have asked either on here in a topic, in a private message or in my own room for help. I have written entire pieces of software for people where I know it is an incredible niche just because they wanted it and I wanted to help them.
I've also taught a lot of people how to use Metis and write software for the betterment of their own communities and of course everything I release is documented in a way I've not seen before so people can actually learn by reading the code. I really do love the WinMX community and I've tried to help it whenever I've been able.
A few years ago a few friends of mine called Niko and Chunk decided they wanted to open a WinMX Help room. They were both members of many other rooms and most of the time they were helping others forward their ports to get them downloading & uploading. So I helped them to develop their room. I've been hosting it for them on my dedicated server for a long time now and I provide them with all kinds of things. in-room port checkers for both TCP & UDP WinMX Ports and an online support ticketing system so they can easily manage who needs ongoing help over multiple days. They handle everything you can imagine to do with computers.
I'm very proud of what they have done with their Help Room, They must have assisted more than 500 users since it opened with all manner of computer problems. The help staff there has expanded since it opened to include BIG_AL, Eagle (Who sadly passed away recently), Tech, Rty, Hollow and Nightrainer.
This room too is a very big success, as I write this it has 52 users and there is never any arguments in the channel. People come, they ask a question they get very fast support including Teamviewer one-on-one sessions if they need it then they either stay to learn/help others or they go. No debates, no hurt feelings just well founded assistance. I had a lot less involvement in this than I did Renegades, Niko and her team are what made it a success through word of mouth and great support.
So those are my stories. There both positive and they show that you can continue your rooms through all that which is currently happening. It takes more determination than it did previously but it's not impossible. Keep your friends in the loop and let them carry your burden. Trust people to do what they think is right in your absence and you'll see channel growth. Thanks for reading my story.