1. What is your name?
Dan. Not Andrew. Although some people I met through the site have been known to find this too confusing. After ten years, I answer to Andrew as well. scarf once pointed out that my real name is an anagram of I, Andrew but that's a coincidence.
2. Tell us something about you, your background, and what you've been up to lately?
Well, since I joined E2 I have left school, moved to Wales, been to university, obtained a law degree, written a Masters' thesis on copyright law and the internet, moved to London, graduated Law School, worked for supermarkets, pubs, universities, the government, pawnbrokers, a multinational and currently run the IT for a legal brokerage. The latter is more-or-less accidental as I am a lawyer by qualification. I vaguely suspect that the geekery I have amassed through E2 has something to do with me ending up in IT.
3. How did you discover Everything, and how did you become a noder?
I don't remember clearly, but I think a friend of mine sent me a link to a node via MSN messenger. Even more fuzzily, I think it may have been on Marijuana legalisation, or possibly the Notice of Revocation of Independence of the United States, which seems no longer to exist. Like most who joined the site as teenagers, I spent rather a long time being obnoxious and contributing drivel. I am not, now, entirely sure why I kept coming back in those early days. At the time, I remember being motivated mainly by the prospect of climbing the level system, but given I didn't get to Level 4 until sometime in 2005, I don't think that can have been the whole of it. Certainly there was - and still is - a bit of a buzz from submitting a writeup and seeing people's reaction to it, whether in votes, C!s or messages.
Of course, the fact I started going to nodermeets after a year or so helped. The truth is probably I stuck around because of the community here. The many writeups just about how important E2 and noding was to the userbase intrigued me. I had never encountered an online community before and there was something new and exciting about the idea.
4. What are your favourite writeups -- both your own and from other noders?
Of my own, I am particularly proud of Working in a Supermarket, which I wrote about my first ever job. I think it probably holds true today. I probably got the most enjoyment out of writing Just a Minute and A Rousing Game of Mornington Crescent. Oh and Ashford v Thornton was good fun too – although most of the research was completed for my undergrad dissertation.
Of other people's, I think my all time favourite, just in terms of how many times I've re-read it is sam512's masterpiece: Standing on a mountaintop in northern Siberia under the rapidly descending bulk of asteroid McAlmont, with a calculating expression and a baseball bat. I particularly enjoy the lack of a full stop at the end of the last sentence – letting the reader's eyes skim off the end and tumble into infinity. Otherwise, it's very very hard to choose; noung's political and historical writeups are fantastic (Why is there no socialism in the United States? is a good example), borgo's tales of Americana are excellent, but his factuals like How a Pope Is Chosen illustrate why we are better than Wikipedia. I should also give a plug to gin soaked's recipes which have kept me nourished for many a year, oh, and wntrmute's mathematics nodes are probably how I scraped through that A Level!
5. What are your favorite and least favorite memories from E2's history?
Favourite? Almost certainly nodermeet related. Through E2, I've fought a duel on the battlements of Nottingham Castle, attended a Handfasting on Hampstead Heath, crossed continents and oceans, walked through New York City on July 4th, killed Doctor Lucky – and Hitler - many times, plotted world domination, and in all likelihood done irreparable damage to my liver. Most significantly, my first job after uni came through the help of a noder, and it was another noder who put me up when I had to move to London at a day's notice to take it.
Oh! I just remembered. On the site, my favourite memory is of the britnoders doing the BBC caption competition in the catbox every Thursday and RalphyK becoming apoplectic with rage when we continually failed to win it. This would have been around 2003 I think, since I was still at school. Edit: a day later, I managed to track down the exchange I had in mind. It can be found here. The competition image is here
Least Favourite? I don't have many truly bad memories of E2. The great outage of 2003 wasn't nice. But aside from that? I suppose a few times when noders I liked left or were banned. Meh.
6. What keeps you coming back?
I think it's a sense of home on the internet. I've been coming here so long – it's been my browser's default page since 2003 – that it would be strange not to. Sometimes I stay away for days or weeks at a time, but I always find myself back here when I need the comfort of the familiar.
7. What do you hope for E2's future?
More users and more recognition I suppose. It's a shame that when I mention e2 to people, I get a blank look.
8. What does E2 mean to you?
This is from my homenode, but it sums it up I think:
I think of e2 as being a private gentleman's club. In my mind it is a stately if slightly worn building located just far enough outside the fashionable districts to be slightly disreputable. Its interior is mostly medium-sized or small oak-paneled rooms furnished with comfortable armchairs and sofas, the walls lined with bookshelves, the contents of which is eclectically arranged according to the madness of an ancient librarian. It is a home from home on the internet where I can reliably obtain good conversation from pleasant company or while away a few hours browsing the eccentric collection of books.
The club has a rich history that in internet terms stretches back generations. Stories are still told of the deeds of its founding members and the events themselves have passed into myth and folklore. Some, when hearing these tales conclude that the glory days are behind us and all we have to look forward to is stagnation and decay. Others however take heart from our longevity, finding us to be an obscure but enduring institution of the internet. Fresh material is still added to the archives, new members are still inducted and older members can still be found in their usual chairs.
9. Who are your favourite noders? Which ones do you miss the most?
This could be a really long list. Anyone I've met in real life should be on it and that's more than 100 people. Some of the britnoders are particularly important to me, and I think they know who they are. Of people I haven't met in real life, dannye and Posmella represent opposite ends of the spectrum of personalities here, but they are both high on my list.
I miss RalphyK, the Brummy Lesbian Noders of Doom (although I see some of them in real life quite a lot and must make an effort to see the remainder more), Tiefling, and very sadly, grundoon.
10. Who would play you in the Everything2 movie?
Matt Smith. Not that he's much like me, but I think he could pull it off.
11. Please fill in the blank: "E2 is to the Internet as ___ are to the world."
12. Any questions that I didn't ask that I should've?
Almost certainly, but interviewing is a thankless task.