1/16/2015 - From Michael, with love.

Please note: All views expressed are my views alone and are not related to the Network Neighborhood.

I honestly don’t know where to start. There’s so much spinning in my head that one point wouldn’t cover the whole picture. The best place to start is the beginning of it all when I first discovered the CC.

To paint the scene, I was a young, naive 11 year old, albeit smart and mature for my age. I had stumbled upon the CC from their “Windows Crap Edition” series of videos, parodying the Windows operating system. I had learned about Computer Clan Live from their website, which I had visited off of a whim. The first show I watched was April 6th (or somewhere around there) of 2012. I had really enjoyed my time, and it felt like something I clicked with, having a personal interest in technology, and being able to share it. Every subsequent Friday after, I had watched, and quickly became a regular.

It wasn’t until about June of that same year when I started expressing an interest to join. During a regular live stream, I had joined in to be a guest caller on the show. I was young, and my words and tone drove that home, but one person caught interest to it. Swatch, a member at the time added me to his contact list. About a month later, the stream went down, and I had called him to see what had happened. He had added me to a group conversation consisting of Marin, Xomies and him, and I was helping them out with their White Table project. Ken, the president of the CC added me as a contributor to that project, and another one which was in the works at that time. Shortly there after, I was made a member of the CC. Something that would encapsulate over a fifth of my life.

In my time, I saw a lot of members come and leave, and growth of the CC from just a group of (pre)teens to something taken a bit more seriously. The CC hit it’s golden age in about 2014, in my opinion. We had a genuine fanbase who cared about us and our content, and we had content that stayed true to our original goals. However, we all know the saying what goes up must come down.

It wasn’t until about 2015 when things started going downhill. There were things that I kept in the back of my head, but never fully realized until then. To preface this next section, I must say that I, by no means, am trying to make any enemies. I wanted to leave the CC on good terms, as I feel that in a world so corrupt with pain and suffering, that we didn’t need another “Us vs. Them” situation to pile on top. 2015 marked a big year for the CC, as it started moving away from being a technology group. Series and videos like the cosplay and convention videos started taking over the main channel, and videos became much less frequent (considering thats all that was being posted.) That’s fine if he wanted to do that, but do it on a personal channel, away from the main message of the primary channel. Ken never did follow through, and more videos in this style are being posted. 

These next few statements pertain just to Ken, the leader of the CC. Two of the major reasons why I left are transparency and privacy. In the CC, we would not be informed of changes, regardless if they were critical to the organization (like the cancelation of ReVision, a small indie movie Ken was producing) or something small, and inconsequential (like the creation of the cosplay videos, or “Krazy Ken’s Tech Misadventures”) Bottomline, we were not told anything. A more recent issue is with the update video announcing the change of direction of the channel (which I will get to later) being taken down without any notice to us. I would get viewers asking me what had happened to the video, and I would have no way to respond, since I didn’t know myself!

The next major issue is privacy and trust. Now, I can understand why you would try and keep yourself shielded from the unknown that is the internet, but to assume every single person is going to try and defame you to the point that you cannot even trust the people you are working with. That is the issue here. Kendall Motzkus, the leader of the Computer Clan could not even trust his own members. In order to protect himself from the internet, he carefully creates lies about where he lives, or about the ISP that he uses. The name he uses on official documents is even a lie (case in point: the IndieGoGo campaign for ReVision which was canceled, he used the name “Ken Doe”) When I work with someone, I expect the same level of trust I give them, and no less. When you lie directly to my face, I can’t deal with you.

There were minor things that did not affect me as much as other members, but are equally as important. One being the storage system that we use to manage our files. Instead of finding another service to do the job, or a section of our web server, Ken decided to use Dropbox, a popular cloud-based file system. The problem is, for all of the other members with basic accounts, we were limited to 2GBs of storage. Once that filled up, we could not continue working. Ken had a Dropbox Pro account, which gives him 1TB of storage. After continually protesting to switch services, he never agreed to. Brent (Penrose Films) sided with Ken in this, and many other issues. Ken hardly addressed (if at all) any of the problems that I or other members would bring up on how we were working. 

All of which I said above is why I, and four other members left the CC.

For a while, we had been forming the Network Neighborhood (you’re probably reading this on SatellaView right now.) This group, and it’s five founding members, Me (MM00), Marin Exley, Shane (EncartaXP), SC (98plus) and Xomies created this group to get down to the roots of what the CC truly was, a group of people who have an interest in technology and computers, and sharing their passion with the world. On December 22, 2015, we approached Ken with an open letter that will be linked in it’s entirety here. He mentioned that he would like to stop working with online members and keep the CC a local group. We had agreed that it would be best for us to leave, and on December 31, 2015, the five of us left the CC for what would be the last time.

Fast forward to today, 16 days after our departure, and the Network Neighborhood is going as strong as ever. Was leaving bittersweet? Yes. Was it worth it and would I do it again? Yes. The way I see it, it’s better for the both of us. Ken can take the CC in the direction he wants to, and I can go my own way with the Network Neighborhood. Now, do I think the CC will survive? No. With there being too much deviation from what was originally promised to the viewers, I foresee the CC dying out in about a years time. Am I sad about it? No.

So that’s about it. I will link similar letters from other Network Neighborhood members below. Ken, if you’re reading this, no hard feelings?

-From Michael, with love.

Tl;dr: Due to a handful of issues, and a change of direction, five members, including myself, left the CC to form our own group, the Network Neighborhood.

Shane’s Letter: http://encartaxp.neocities.org

Marin’s Letter: http://openbooks.neocities.org/articles/cc.txt

SC’s Letter: http://98plus.neocities.org/cc.html