What Really Was the Network Neighborhood, and What is Network2?

Part One – The Network Neighborhood

 With n2’s launch imminent, I thought it was finally time to address a lot of the articles of pure conjecture and misinformation that have propagated across Neocities since the Network Neighborhood’s inception. This is the complete, true history of the Network Neighborhood, as it happened, as it was, and as it is today, with all of the relevant details. Let’s begin.

 In September 2014, after hearing about Neocities from Spriteclad (fka 98plus), I joined Neocities and created my first website, Chromebooks. I worked on my site as a side project from time to time over the next few months, but no one had any idea of the storm that was to come. At the time, most of my online work was for a somewhat small but growing YouTube channel called the Computer Clan, which was founded by someone I still consider myself to be good friends with, though, like any personal relationship, things weren’t always stable 100% of the time. That came into play in late 2015, almost a year after creating my website on Neocities. (Side note to address: OwlMan’s article incorrectly states the CC was founded by Ken Doe and Brent Penrose. Brent didn’t come into the picture into about 2011/2012. I was there since 2010.)

 Myself, Spriteclad, Skyber21 (fka encarta on Neocities), Candyshark, and Michael (Satellaview on Neocities) were all part of the CC and its YouTube operations. For rather petty reasons I won’t get into now and it isn’t relevant to this particular story, we weren’t happy with the direction the Computer Clan was going. Thus, it was decided that we would break off from the CC and form our own group. This project came to be known as the Network Neighborhood. On January 1st, 2016, the Network Neighborhood officially launched, and some rather dramatic articles about our reasons for leaving the CC were posted, none of which hold true now and none of which are relevant in any way. Things were, for the next few months, predictable and stable. Until they weren’t.

 A lot of the problems we had in the CC carried along with us. Without a solid hierarchy, it was difficult to get things done – and we had big plans at the time. But, without a way to achieve them, we stagnated. Regretfully, I left the Network Neighborhood in April, only to return in May having convinced Spriteclad to give me an official title as “president”. This, to me, marked the beginning of the end for the Network Neighborhood. From this point on, no further progress was made. Before long, as a whole, the Network Neighborhood had decided to disband in July.


Part Two – A first attempt at Network Neighborhood 2

        After this time, I remained in contact heavily with Spriteclad, along with another Network Neighborhood Member, the BrokenSetOnline. Spriteclad didn’t want to have a part in it, but along with BrokenSetOnline, I started to have plans to revive the Network Neighborhood. Begrudgingly, Spriteclad joined in as well and we started working on concepts and ideas within our now very small group. Spriteclad designed a logo, which we still use a variation of to this day. Throughout 2017, we had teased what we were working on with fun catchphrases like “soon.” But nothing ever came. Even those of us who were taking part started to doubt it, as you can see from OwlMan’s stored chatlogs of me. My friendship with Spriteclad grew further tumultuous as time went on as well. This was… understandably frustrating for the Neocities community, as we continued to lead them on but never deliver. So understandably, we were parodied. Badly. Sites like “networkneighborhood2” and “n2hub” were created to deliberately ridicule our antics – and it wasn’t entirely undeserved. As the Network Neighborhood, the minuscule popularity in the community had, at times, gone to our heads. We seemed like even more of an asshole when we stopped responding to applications, making them seem deliberately ignored. Throughout most of this though, we remained publicly silent. For all intents and purposes, the Network Neighborhood was dead, and reviving it was like reanimating the dead. It just wasn’t going to happen. The expectations were too high, and we knew they wouldn’t be met. Spriteclad and I moved on to other projects, and our focus shifted. Until…


Part Three: A new era

 That brings us to where we are now. A sudden surprise announcement for n2, long after the project was dead. Let me tell you how we got here.

 After Network Neighborhood 2’s public demise, myself and BrokenSetOnline weren’t content. Throughout 2018, and entirely amongst ourselves, we still talked about bringing the Network Neighborhood back. I guess it just gave us something to look forward to. We didn’t have to take it too seriously, because we didn’t promise anyone anything. Finally though, in May 2019, I got tired of just talking and decided it was time for some doing. The Neocities’ landscape had changed, and I wanted to be a part of it again. It’s funny that nostalgia for the 90s is what helped fuel us in the beginning, and then my recently nostalgia for 2015-2017 made me want to jump back into Neocities and static HTML sites. In less than a week, OpenBooks had been relaunched and I found myself, surprisingly, welcomed back into Neocities’ community on Discord. It was at this point I decided it was time for another active role in the community, and Network2 was finally ready for it.

 Very suddenly, I started talking to BrokenSetOnline about very seriously launching n2. I honestly don’t know if he thought I was serious at all, but before long, I had a basic landing site ready, and in May 2019, it went up. This was it. It wasn’t a secret anymore. So that’s Network2 for now, just me and BrokenSetOnline. This time, we intend to be more public. More open. And most of all, I’ve gotten the f*ck down off my high horse. We intend to operate as a webring first and foremost. Our goal is to keep the art of the static web alive and kicking.

 And then, after coming back, I started to look around at Neocities. Still being a bit self-centered, I searched around to see what people had written about me and the former Network Neighborhood. And I had to laugh. So here it is, the true history of the Network Neighborhood, its roots to the Computer Clan, and why Network2 never delivered. Until now.


June 16, 2019

Delta Hart, fka Marin Exley

OpenBooks Creator

Half-founder of Network2.