1. What is your name?
Stephen. Or wordnerd. Whichever you prefer, omnipresent, ghostly interviewer.
2. Tell us something about you, your background, and what you've been up to lately?
It's a very American thing to do, but when approached by questions like this, my impulse is to respond with my vocation (software engineer) rather than with an avocation (writer, creative mind, politics junkie, artiste). I've written a few books, all unpublished, all like children to me that I very rarely let others see. I'd like to say that the wordnerd I see in the mirror today is much different from the one I saw a decade ago, but he's mostly just older. You can see it in the eyes.
I've spent my entire life in Denver, Colorado. I have a wonderful partner, who shall be my husband once the Colorado voters deem my relationship with him to be something other than a source of disgust. I'm working a novel. I'm still a commuter bicyclist. I eat well.
3. How did you discover Everything, and how did you become a noder?
One of my oldest friends, gitm, pointed me here. I think I've idled anonymously here fully half as long as I've idled with a username.
I'm not at all certain about it, but I believe I made my account because I wanted to comment on a daylog I had read. Couldn't tell you which one, in what year it was written, or who penned it--but I recall vividly thinking, "Okay, I need to message this person and let him know that he connected with me, inconceivably, amazingly, through text on a screen."
4. What are your favorite writeups -- both your own and from other noders?
So this one-legged man walks into a bar is a writeup I return to frequently to remind myself of what amazing talent we have here. Halspal's entire body of work (including his wonderful book, a dogeared, weathered copy I have in my library) inspires--none, for me, more than Why the willow weeps. As for me, in 2014, there isn't much I really love about my work here, though I wish Ogre Battle Saga got more love from the absurdists out there (c'est la vie).
Igloowhite has some of the most amazing, humorous writings ever--I refer to Welcome to role playing game and Fifteen Elvish Ways to die in my day-to-day life, and receive nothing but blank stares as payment for my peals of laughter.
5. What are your favorite and least favorite memories from E2's history?
There was a time when the trend on E2 was for factual work, well-written essays on this-that-and-the-other-thing, recitations of ancient battles--a sort of three-dimensional Wikipedia where the style in which you write is just as important as the accuracy of your content. Contrary to what my nickname and writeup list would attest, it was that trend that, more than anything else, began pushing me away from here. Gone, it seems, are the days when Butterfinger McFlurry could exist.
I was an editor here for a while. My buddy called me E2's littlest editor, as I was tapped for it at (I believe) level two. I was thoroughly astonished by the chance to give back to the system I had taken so much from. It was exciting, for sure, but I'm fairly certain I completely mucked it up. I think back to that time and wonder if I would have been a more active user these past years if I hadn't saddled myself with the guilt of that power trip. That time was definitely my Renaissance here, and it is colored (like all meaningful periods in a man's life) with both positive and negative hues.
6. What keeps you coming back (or not coming back, as the case may be)?
The URL is very easy to remember.
7. What do you hope for E2's future?
Oh, jeeze, E2 has been schizophrenic for so long, I just hope we figure out what we want it to be before it succumbs to the forces of entropy and becomes the fossilized rib-cage we've always feared it would turn into. I'd really love to see the system integrated into the current-day expectations of what an online application does: Tie user accounts to Facebook & Google Plus; Update the interface & typography so it doesn't resemble a wall of intimidating text (even when it really is); Perhaps include a third(!) image in the page-load.
More than anything else, I hope that what we're seeing is a mid-life crisis, and not the beginnings of the long goodbye.
8. What does E2 mean to you?
It's common, these days, to hear the story of someone who sits down at his computer to look up something quickly on Wikipedia, only to wake up six hours later emerging from what is often called a Wikipedia Hole. E2 does the same thing for me, except I don't wake up with sweaty palms, because I haven't forced myself to read sentence after cold, emotionless sentence--instead, I've been feasting on prose, some of it criminally under-appreciated.
9. Who are your favorite noders? Which ones do you miss the most?
It's telling that this question is phrased the way it is; Who do you love, and why do you miss him/her so much? This is precisely where E2 runs laps around the other similar sites out there. I'd do anything to hear from Christine again. I'd jump for joy to read new piss-and-vinegar filled writeup from dannye. Wouldn't mind seeing some JohnnyGoodyear again, too.
The people who write here, who share their talents with thousands of strangers, are a special type--when their voices go silent (from death; from exhaustion; from the passage of time), we feel it.
10. Who would play you in the Everything2 movie?
I'm sure there are better answers to this question than this, but throughout my adult life I've been told Matthew Lillard is a spitting image of me. So let's go with that.
11. Please fill in the blank: "E2 is to the Internet as ___ is to the world."
An ice core. The atmosphere of the day, enshrined forever in the nodegel.
12. Any questions that I didn't ask that I should've?
I think these veteran interviews can provide a unique perspective to how E2 has grown (or not) over comparitively large periods of Internet time. So, the ones I'd ask:
- What is one thing you would change about the Everything2 experience?
- What surprises you the most about Everything2 ten years later?
- What does Everthing2 do better than any other system out there?
Everything2 Decaversary Interviews
If you have questions or comments, please contact wordnerd or Jet-Poop.