Q: What is your name?
A: Let's just leave it at hesby.
Q: Tell us something about you, your background, and what you've been up to lately?
A: I don't write for a living, but it's always been a part of my job. I work for myself now and travel a lot more than I did when I started writing here, but neither of those changes bear as much responsibility as the enormous pull of various websites for stealing all of the free time I used to spend composing E2 writeups.
Q: How did you discover Everything, and how did you become a noder?
A: In 1999-2000, there weren't many compelling alternatives to Slashdot for tech news, and for at least a couple years, the site ran a front-page link to E2 with a description of "Blow your mind". How could you not click on that?
Q: What are your favorite writeups -- both your own and from other noders?
A: I tend to favor factual writeups, particularly on subjects I didn't learn a lot about in school. The writeups that haze did on basic law concepts were an inspiration to me. I also bookmarked the node for MOSFET because it contained a useful, approachable, and (hopefully) accurate explanation of something I didn't already know. Of my writeups, it looks like people still like what I wrote about the Sybian (vibrating saddle), so I guess that one's my favorite for now.
Q: What are your favorite and least favorite memories from E2's history?
A: In 2002, I attended my first and only E2 event, which was held not far from my house in Portland. It was a nodeslam format, crammed into a sparsely furnished cafe that may not have had enough chairs for all of us. I stayed and listened for a couple hours and then raced home to catch the rest of the reading over a streaming audio feed that someone (possibly Unless) had set up for the event. Early the next morning, I headed over to ideath's place, where a bunch of out-of-town noders were sleeping, and started cooking pumpkin pancakes for anyone hungry enough to wake themselves up.
I didn't follow E2's internal politics or social groups, so I don't have any notably bad memories from the overall site or its user community. Most of my bad E2 memories involve regretting my own decision to post writeups about people who were still alive, because I'd revisit the writeup years later and see how out of date it had become. I ended up sending most, but not all, of those writeups to Node Heaven when I admitted I wasn't up for the task of keeping those writeups current.
Q: What keeps you coming back?
A: I like to check for messages or corrections concerning my writeups. Even if a writeup is still accurate, I'm rarely able to resist the urge to at least tweak the wording a bit. I rarely post any new writeups, but I think that may change one day.
Q: What do you hope for E2's future?
A: I hope it gets whatever it needs to keep on going, whether that involves equipment, programming, volunteers, mentors, or anything else.
Q: What does E2 mean to you?
A: It started as an ambitious community project to document the world, but it settled into an enjoyable way to improve my writing.
Q: Who are your favorite noders? Which ones do you miss the most?
A: I didn't follow many specific noders, but I'm always impressed by the folks who clearly pour a lot of time and effort into maintaining a friendly atmosphere and offering feedback that drives up the content quality. I've been away for so long that I miss the whole site more than any individual noders. I miss writing here, so maybe the noder I miss the most is me.
Q: Who would play you in the Everything2 movie?
A: I could play myself, since it would only be a bit part. I still have the electric skillet I used to make the pancakes.
Q: Please fill in the blank: "E2 is to the Internet as ___ is to the world."
A: The Agora.
Q: Any questions that I didn't ask that I should've?
A: I thought there might be a question about the impact of Wikipedia on different aspects of E2, since I can see a lot of overlap between the two, but I understand if you'd rather not go there.
Everything2 Decaversary Interviews
If you have questions or comments, please contact hesby or Jet-Poop.