A Conversation for Talking Point: Happy Birthday to Us!
echomikeromeo Started conversation May 3, 2009
A little late to the party, maybe, but I'll have a go. Beats starting my spring semester final papers, anyway.
What's been your most memorable moment on h2g2?
Oh man, how to choose? My first EG entry on the FP... writing my last editorial... and, though it isn't as fun a memory, getting stalked by a creepy Researcher for a few months. That was an interesting experience, and I certainly wouldn't have dealt as well with it if it weren't for the support of some great folks here.
What's the funniest thing you've read on h2g2?>>
I don't know if I can answer that specifically... something in , most likely.
Who or what have you been most touched by?
I am always touched by the ability of members of this community to have real human ties to each other, something that in my experience exists in very few other online communities. I made some wonderful friends on h2g2, even though some live across the globe, and it's incredible to me that when I pop in every once in a while to say hi, they remember who I am. That sounds silly, but when you consider that I really don't tend to have the same experience IRL, it's a bit mind-blowing that h2g2 has that power.
Has h2g2 affected your life?
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.
If so, in what ways? Have the changes been positive or negative?
Simply put, I grew up on h2g2. I was most active on the site between the ages of 14 and 17, that time when everything is changing, when you stop being a child and aren't quite an adult yet. By virtue of h2g2, I did this in the company of people of all ages from all over the world, and doing so offered me an alternate world from that of my high school, a bigger and sometimes more mature one (though, to be sure, sometimes not). I learned to write and edit on a deadline for and as a Sub-editor; to this day I am more literate in UK English, style, and cultural references than almost any American I know in RL. I was 14, 15, 16, 17 years old and I got to write and edit for publication; I got to have conversations about philosophy, theology, politics, culture with some fantastic adults who were patient enough to put up with me, and even though everyone knew how old I was, hiding behind a username made it possible.
Oh hey, I just remembered: I came out on h2g2. Now one of the primary ways I identify myself is as an LGBT activist. I had forgotten that, in that respect, as in so many others, this was where I started to form my adult identity.
Have you met many friends on h2g2? Do they still use the site?
Some of them do, certainly; others, I think, have gone on to other things. I remember Kat, who I haven't seen here in several years, and R. Daneel Olivaw. They were smart people my age, and I always wanted to get to know them better. az and Matholwch have been mentors and surrogate parents; Gosho and Edward have always had the most entertaining journal entries; Rich, Bel, lil and of course Shazz have been fantastic editors and colleagues at . Then there's TRiG, Galaxy Babe, Pinniped, Jo(r)dan, Leo (Leo, I referred to your New Yorker Uni project that I subbed like three years ago to look up some stuff about William Shawn the other week)... oh my god, I'm sure I'm leaving someone out, but there have been SO MANY wonderful people over the years.
If not, which characters do you remember most vividly and miss most strongly?
Errr... I may have just answered that question.
How long have you been using h2g2?
My PS says I joined 29th September 2004, which is true, since I know I activated my PS the day I joined--and wrote my first entry shortly thereafter, determined to get it through PR and onto the FP (incidentally, throwing around these abbreviations again is so nostalgia-inducing!). I actually used the site actively for about three and a half years, then I stepped away to finish up high school and begin university. When folks on the site would disappear on account of going to university, I didn't quite believe that it would take up *that* much of their time... well, let me tell you, it does.
If you're a long-time user, why do you still visit h2g2?
I pop back in every few months to say hi because this place was so important to me. You can't just say goodbye to a whole part of your life, especially one that formed a central part of your adolescent years.
Did you think you'd be using the site in 2009?
I don't the concept of "2009" really entered my head when I was an active user. It was more about getting through high school, applying to college, just making it to the end of that. Sometime in the back of my head around my last year or two of high school, too, it occurred to me that I was going to have to stop when I went to uni. And that's what happened.
Do you think you'll be using the site in 2019?
In a word, no, though I hope to keep checking on the place if it's still around. I associate this place so strongly with being a teenager, a high-school kid, and the mental place I was in during high school. That's not to say that it isn't a place for adults--of course it is!--but for me, the mental space is just different. I'm really looking forward to keeping an eye on the modernizing improvements the Eds are promising. I really like that there are some RSS feeds now; I've started keeping an eye on the new Edited Entries from my feed reader, and that's fun. Now we need feeds for and the UG and everything as well!
Thanks all. Best of luck to you--I certainly hope the old place is still standing in 2019, whatever form the Internet takes then. Here's to you!--and hey, in h2g2 server-space, I'm old enough to drink that smiley now.
Milla, h2g2 Operations Posted May 4, 2009
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