1. What is your name?
I'm the Custodian.
2. Tell us something about you, your background, and what you've been up to lately?
There's not much to tell. I found E2 when I was at a pretty good place in my life - I had an idea what I wanted to do with my life, I was pretty sure about what I was doing, and I was looking for an outlet for the masses of information stuffed into my brain by grad school and an inquisitive nature. Match made in heaven. Recently? Not so much. Been on a long slow decline, some parts spikier than others, and now I'm probably mostly useful as a cautionary tale - but not without more information about my life than I'm gonna give you here.
At present, I'm living in my home (birth) city, workin' a job, trying to survive and more important looking for a reason to do so.
3. How did you discover Everything, and how did you become a noder?
I found Everything2...jeez, I'm pretty sure it was via the infamous Slashdot link. I poked around, and thought "Wait! You mean they *want* me to be a pedantic know-it-all? I'm HOME!!!!!" and started writing.
4. What are your favorite writeups -- both your own and from other noders?
Oooh, that's a totally unfair question. Other noders - there are so many. You do realize that by asking this question only of ten-year vets you're guaranteeing a bunch of squint-eyed attempts at memory and recollection, right? Vague answers? Long lists? Okay.
Actually, it's not that hard. I have a list of some of my favorites on my homenode. Favorite single nodes? why there is no moloch13 is way, way up there. i am a robot. Happy Birthday from Planet Motherfucker. The Astronaut Gets Lucky. A Polymer Wang: My police record and me. Villages in Germany are three kilotons apart. Jeez, there's too many. The Ed stories and Fine Structure. Two Stories of the Pistol. We Can Meet Her For You Wholesale: A Dreaming Girl's Singularity. All the gold you can eat. This is Jimmy, full of blood. The Metro City Chronicles, which start with Atlas and the World. Many, many more.
My nodes? Gah, I don't know. I feel uncomfortable pushing 'em on you. They're easily found. I do have a lot of them, I guess. I like Desiderata of Time and Elevation quite a bit. Tinker's Damn. My Doctor Who writeup. I'm proud of the pedantry of Global Positioning System. My somewhat desperate screed at Tanks: A Brief History and Hunting Guide which is definitely From My Former Life. I like State Override and its brethren story nodes. Frigging in the Rigging. 9/11, Liberty and the American Way is something I feel strongly about.
5. What are your favorite and least favorite memories from E2's history?
Favorite - the nodermeets I've been to (way too few). Cliched, I know.
Least favorite - the whole ush debacle. Not because of ush, who was just being himself, but because it made clear how fragile E2 was/is as an entity and community - it took an awful lot of people an awful lot of time and effort, as well as restraint, to get E2 'past' it. We lost some other noders who just couldn't handle the strain the situation put on their existing here. There will always be trolls, but E2 frankly just isn't that resilient and required a bunch of intervention to deal with a single hostile user. Perhaps it's a good thing the site isn't more popular.
6. What keeps you coming back?
I used to say 'the people and the catbox' but I don't spend nearly as much time chatting and back-and-forthing as I used to. Part of it is ego - I have over a million words here, so I come back to read 'em at times. (Yes, I have a backup, and i suggest you make one too!) Part of it is the people - I still do talk to folks, and when I'm bored or lonely I tend to find myself back here looking to see if there are people chatting.
I also use E2 as a personal online writing archive. Very little of what I write needs to be kept private - so I figure that if I'm going to write it, it should probably be where people can read it (even if few will ever know it's there). Very, very infrequently, I get feedback on my stuff, and I'm enough of a narcissist that that is a draw.
7. What do you hope for E2's future?
Simple survival. I'd love to see it blossom and become more mainstream, or at least increase its userbase, but let's be realistic. I think that for that to happen a new platform would need to arise which could handle the sudden dump of a huge bolus of hyperlinked content, and E2-the-content would have to be transplanted onto this new/hot/cool/popular/robust thing. That's not totally impossible, technically - but it's almost impossible legally, since E2 allowed its users to retain copyright. We'd never get permissions to migrate more than a tiny fraction of the content here - and if the destination had any form of oddity in its ToS or rights, then people would freak out. I guess the best to hope for is that E2 slowly comes to a standstill, and eventually ends up enshrined in read-only form as some sort of archive or exhibit of a wonderful and chaotic time on the World Wide Web. This isn't necessarily a 'bad thing' - there have been many many periodicals which have gone under, but whose print runs remain in the world as a fixed set of writings and available to this day.
8. What does E2 mean to you?
It's a place to keep my writing. It's a place to offer that writing for others to read - albeit much more in theory than in reality. It's a small but friendly (to me) internet community - the only 'social' thing I use on the Internet, really.
9. Who are your favorite noders? Which ones do you miss the most?
Sorry, I'm not gonna play that game. I'm an Editor. Wouldn't be cool.
10. Who would play you in the Everything2 movie?
Who do I want to play me? Chiwetel Ejiofor. Who will probably end up playing me? Adam Carolla in blackface. Or Woody Allen, pissed incoherent drunk with an underage Asian hooker on his arm.
11. Please fill in the blank: "E2 is to the Internet as ___ is to the world."
A diorama in the Museum of Natural History. You know the type, "Hunters on the Veldt in the time of Prehistory." A single snapshot of an era, one without which you wouldn't be here, but which unless you've been to Africa or wherever and stood in the wild you can't emotionally relate to. If you're interested in that particular time or era or in the methods/anthropology of that time, then there is a wealth of information there, but you wouldn't want to rely on it to survive in the modern world.
12. Any questions that I didn't ask that I should've?
Can't think of any.
Everything2 Decaversary Interviews
If you have questions or comments, please contact The Custodian or Jet-Poop.