SileNTReApR September 2009

SileNTReApR was an administrator at CKMoney, a popular IRC manga archive before Lurk's time. The service was originally started by CK as an HTTP download site, but in 2004 became an IRC channel. Like Lurk, CKMoney was one of the most popular IRC channels to go to for manga downloads. Unfortunately, CKMoney was for all intents and purposes defunct by the end of 2005 due to various financial and management issues. During the decline of CKMoney, Lurk was created and soon became popular, and has since become one of the most popular ways for users to download manga.

Please introduce yourself!

SileNTReApR: Hi, I'm silentreapr. I used to be one of the admins of #ckmoney.

Tell us a bit about CKMoney, how and when did it start, what is it? And what was the reason behind its creation?

SileNTReApR: I actually have no idea when it first started—but it was originally an HTTP manga distributor, with a little chatbox on the site if I recall. However, around the start of '04 it migrated to IRC and became an IRC manga archive/distribution channel.

CKMoney was started as a hobby for CK, though once it changed to IRC he was rarely seen. I guess real life was pretty busy for him.

Why the name CKMoney? Also, can you tell us a bit about the technical side of the service, like how was it created and managed?

SileNTReApR: Actually, I have no idea how the name originated, although the letters 'CK' does happen to be the initials of the original owner (ckmoney himself). At its peak, it consisted of 2 parts: the IRC channel and the website. The IRC channel had at least 2 bots that were hosted on a single server, and the website was hosted on a different box.

How did the community react to CKMoney?

SileNTReApR: I could be wrong in this, but I'd say we were pretty well known.

How big did CKMoney get? How was it maintained? Were there any troubles with hosting?

SileNTReApR: In terms of how big our channel was, and how many bots we had, and the funding that was available to us, we actually got pretty big. Our forums community was extremely active and the ~200 people in our channel were all regulars.

The bots were funded by CK himself, which he paid out of his own pocket. The website was started by me and hor|zon, funded by ads and donations. We originally planned to reintroduce HTTP distribution for CKMoney along with a lot of other ambitious projects.

Hosting/paying for the bots were always going to be an issue, and pretty much this was the reason CKMoney died eventually.

What do you think of IRC as a distribution method? IRC has always been hard to learn for beginners, and nowadays with other distribution methods like BitTorrent and direct downloads, so do you feel IRC is still a viable platform for distribution?

SileNTReApR: IRC distribution is a lot easier for the owners to manage and regulate than hosting their own HTTP. So it adds a bit more stability I guess. When you're only allowed 1TB of data per month, it's extremely easy to go over that limit within a few days on HTTP, and IRC solves this problem.

So yes, I'd say it's still a viable platform, I mean, just look at #lurk, they're still going good. Sure it takes more effort to leech off IRC than HTTP, but in the end it's a free service, so people shouldn't be complaining :).

What were some of the biggest roadblocks CKMoney encountered throughout its life?

SileNTReApR: Funding, pretty much it.

So what was it like running CKMoney? Tell us about your day-to-day operation! Also, how many users were usually in the #ckmoney channel?

SileNTReApR: We usually had around 200 people I think? Max was probably approaching the 300 stage. The day-to-day for me was pretty much working on the website—adding in new features and such, and also fun scripts for the IRC channel. We had quite a few Ops who helped moderate the channel, so I don't think I had to do much moderating. Plus, a lot of our war scripts did our banning for us.

So why and how did CKMoney shut down? Why?

SileNTReApR: I think this was around July '05. CK stopped paying for the bots—I think he had some personal issues, and so without the bots the channel slowly died. Of course, it didn't help that there was an internal power struggle involving a very, very immature Op at the time, and I was ousted taking my site with me, leaving just an IRC channel without bots or a website. This was pretty stupid if you ask me, as at the time I was working to secure some more bots for the channel.

Nowdays #lurk is the biggest IRC distributor, what do you think of Lurk? How does it compare to CKMoney?

SileNTReApR: Lurk started around when #ckmoney was closing. VicariousLurker was a regular/friend and I think at one point even had one of his bots in #ckmoney. Lurk filled the void nicely when CKMoney died, but I don't think I can compare the 2. They're just too different.