GeekShed is now near enough 8 months old. Those of you who have been with us from the start may remember the document outlining why the majority of the staff and servers were splitting away from WyldRyde and starting a-fresh on GeekShed. Those of you who don’t remember can find the document in PDF format. Since that happened, an awful lot has gone on. GeekShed has grown by nearly 50% and is still growing. We have recently surpassed the peak user count that we saw when we were part of WyldRyde. The SearchIRC graphs below show this:

WyldRyde Last Year WyldRyde Last Year

The above user counts include network bots – WyldRyde has approx 125 and GeekShed 110. GeekShed is currently (at time of writing) ranked the 60th biggest IRC network of 1,012 listed on SearchIRC. This is great!

Our Twitter channel has also been a great success. We have tweeted as regularly as we can – updating you on what’s new with GeekShed and how we’re getting along. We have recently passed the WyldRyde twitter channel in number of followers and we get approximately 70 mentions in an average week. The majority of these are positive, and we have tried to help, the best we can, those people who are posting negative messages due to encountering problems.

Our new YouTube channel is also doing great. We have a decent number of subscribers and are always gaining more. What we really need is for users to make videos that they think might help other users such that we can add more useful information to the channel. Most of the GeekShed staff use mIRC, and any client tutorials that can be made by users of other clients would be most appreciated. Come see us in #help if you have an idea.

We have also recently become directly involved in the development of our services package, Anope. We have worked with the Anope development team and committed bug fixes and new features to the 1.8 (stable) branch to help improve our services and help the wider Anope community. A number of new services modules have also been developed to make your experience better. These include the channel ban appeal module and associated web page, a module to automatically identify you if you ghost or recover a nickname, and a few other modules to increase the security and reliability of services.

We have implemented a BNC service and associated web management panel to provide bouncers designed for users who cannot always stay connected to GeekShed but would like to keep track of channel and private messages whilst they’re disconnected. This service also helps those users who have multiple computers, for example home and work computers as well as a laptop, and would like to connect to their IRC session from any location.

Updates and improvements have been made to the inherently badly written code of UnrealIRCD to make GeekShed’s IRCD more reliable and less resource intensive. Although unavoidable netsplits still occur, we have seen a decrease in buggy and crashy IRCD processes.

We have, by creating an Anope->XML database converter, allowed the site to interact with services. This has allowed us to provide private access areas of the site, such as QDB submissions, accessed using your services login. Integration with our services servers has also allowed us to provide things such as channel and user lists, user statistics and an automatically updating list of bots.

Your generosity has been astounding and we have received an amazing sum of money in donations over the past 8 months. This has enabled us to register as a company, renew the domains and privacy protection for the next 4 years, secure our services login with SSL, obtain attack resistent servers to help rid us of proxies and bots and, most importantly, redesign TFlash. TFlash’s redesign has allowed us to add a load of new features and make it generally easier for you to use and embed into your own site. We know adverts were a major point of dislike for our users when we were part of WyldRyde and your generosity has allowed us to make all of our services totally advert free. All of the staff are volunteers dedicated to making GeekShed a better place for users. Its intent has never been to make money and each and we are extremely grateful for every donation made.

The staff team has been refreshed. Those staff who are no longer active or have expressed that they do not have time for GeekShed have been removed and replaced with new staff members who have more time to spare. We feel that constantly injecting fresh blood into the staff team will help the network develop as new ideas are brought in. Every staff member has worked extremely hard and we are very thankful for all of their efforts.

Our server turnover has been remarkably high. Although we would like a low server turnover, this hasn’t necessarily been a bad thing. We have constantly been adding new servers and removing those which have not performed as expected. We are currently in a state where every server we have has proved to be reliable.

The GeekShed forums are doing well and it has been proved that free software works better than the paid software that was used on WyldRyde at the time of the split. We do not feel that it is necessary to waste donor’s money on unnecessary things.

Our terms of service have been developed over time to strike the best balance we can between network security, user safety, and freedom of action. We feel that they are currently in a state which balances these aspects effectively.

A lot has happened over the past 8 months. None of it could have been possible without the continued support of our users and staff – we are truly thankful to each one of you for sticking by us. Much is planned for the future and we urge you to continue to use our services and encourage your friends to do so also.

Many thanks

The GeekShed Staff