This message was written by Douglas when H2G2 was launched, and it's just as valid now as it was then. As he says at the end, 'help us build it'... it's your guide, after all. - The H2G2 Editors
Thanks to everybody who has joined the H2G2 community and helped us to create the Guide so far, and a warm welcome to anyone visiting us for the first time. We're off to a great start. We have the first snowflake. Now let's build a blizzard.
The idea of the Guide is not so very different from the original idea of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which is odd because there was no sense in which I actually knew what I was talking about at the time.
And here is the idea: to make a Guide which is created and compiled by the people who use it. Real people, in real time.
This has never really been possible before because of the way that books work: an editor, with a limited number of pages, makes his or her own selection from all the available data and then publishes it a year late.
An online guide should be absolutely live, voluminous, self-organising, and individually responsive to each user. Some of that will take a little time, of course, because everybody will be learning as we go: you, the contributors of the information, and we, the architects of the system into which it all fits.
You can create your own Entries containing anything you want, from your opinions of world events to a description of your home town, and it all goes to make up H2G2, the sort of guide which was not possible before we had the means of live, shared information resources.
Help us build it.