When Everything, and it's successor, Everything2, started, it was a fresh new way of using the web, a foray into some of the mass-participation online media that would years later be deemed part of "web 2.0". It is, I think, no coincidence that it came out of another such experiment, Slashdot.

Everything2 was in retrospect ahead of it's time. I hadn't heard of Wikipedia or LiveJournal then (My user details were imported into E2 in May 1999, LiveJournal also began some time in 1999, and Wikipedia began on 15 January 2001)

Everything2 has since been squeezed between these two successful models: Wikipedia as the single central repository of facts, innumerable personal blogs for talking about yourself.

Everything2 was exuberant, funny, deep, trivial, parochial, insular and yet somehow at the same time reached out all around the world to people of wildly different world-views. And I owe it a lot. Some of you ask, in confusion, where the magic has gone. I see it everywhere. On LiveJournal. On a multitude of blogs via RSS. On digg, on flickr, on upcoming, on Wikipedia, on my first install of WordPress (I had it up and running in under a minute).

It's all around us now, this web of communication, this multi-modal community-building. Of course since all this is not new now, it doesn't feel the same. Sites where you can write your words, post your art, and view other people's output fairly clamour for attention now. The world is changing, and the rate of change is not slowing down. That moment of time when this one site had such a gravitational pull over a few users is, I think, impossible to replicate again in the same way.