1. What is your name?
Shannon. My user name "kalen" came from a character I played in a roleplaying game. Yes, I am that kind of geek!
2. Tell us something about you, your background, and what you've been up to lately?
Born in Australia, inveterate wanderer, spent the 2002 - 2012
decade in Beijing, have functioned in my life as: a bartender, a
taxi-driver, an Army reservist, a university student, a programmer, a
manager, an investor, an editor, an actor, among other things. Recently
(as of this writing) relocated to Chicago and refocused on the
software industry, which was my first love.
3. How did you discover Everything, and how did you become a noder?
Was horribly addicted to Slashdot, trying to break the cycle, found a link, got horribly addicted to e2 for a while!
4. What are your favorite writeups -- both your own and from other noders?
Vexed question. In my humble opinion, when the web was fragmenting
into blogs (both personal and political), info sites, "social" sites,
and gigantic media-based time sucks (e.g. YouTube) -- all alongside the
advent of search engines that actually worked -- e2 had a series of hard
choices to make about what it wanted to "be", and it pretty much
flubbed them all.
So I've got writeups (both my own and those written by others) I like
that should be blog posts, others I love that belong on Wikipedia,
still others that belong somewhere like Allrecipes, a goodly selection
that deserve to be narrated over a snappy tune with neat graphics on the
video site of your choice ----- not to mention the vast panoply of
great "social" type interactions that e2 first loudly encouraged, then
disowned, then tried to stigmatise, then finally accepted grudgingly.
To choose even a broad selection as "favorites" would be to make a series of category errors (again, in my opinion).
5. What are your favorite and least favorite memories from E2's history?
My first "popular" node Fair Dinkum Australian Nicknames was
written, fortuitously, just days before I attended my first nodermeet
with simonc and Kallon and BlackJack and sneff -- among others
and I deeply apologise for not listing you if you were there! -- and it
was really a lot of fun to be "that noder" for a fleeting moment. Other
nodermeets, two in Beijing especially, stand out as absolutely wonderful
My least favorite memories involve taking it all way too seriously
and allowing some of the expert trolls who lurked under e2's many
bridges "back in the day" to get under my skin. Oh, and finding a large
section of my writeup Hu Jintao had been plagiarized into one of those
"if you buy it we write it from web searches and send it to you" Amazon
scams. Do they have those anymore?
6. What keeps you coming back (or not coming back, as the case may be)?
A lot of fond memories. Some terrific writing (that I want to check
again and quote in conversation -- attributed, of course!) And the
ever-present hope that some sort of savior will come along and figure
out what to do with this place.
7. What do you hope for E2's future?
That it evolves from being a throwback to the "lump everything
together!" days of the Internet's deep dark past, into something that
somehow melds all the things it (halfheartedly) tried to be into
something that's greater than the sum of the parts. And no, sadly, I
don't have any idea what that might be, even after giving it quite a lot
8. What does E2 mean to you?
A cautionary tale. A social experiment. A living example of black
uniform syndrome. A heartbreaking cry against entropy. The embodiment
of "jack of all trades, master of none". Oh, and scattered around,
some pretty decent signal to go with all the noise.
9. Who are your favorite noders? Which ones do you miss the most?
Everyone who ever took the time to say anything at all about
something I'd written is my favorite. Considering the volume of messages
I sent the other way (from "This is great!" to paragraphs of
suggestions) it's those people who took the time to comment, or curse,
or criticize, that I miss the most.
10. Who would play you in the Everything2 movie?
Hugh Laurie. Only kidding -- I'd play myself!
11. Please fill in the blank: "E2 is to the Internet as ___ is to the world."
Frontier General Stores.
12. Any questions that I didn't ask that I should've?
Has anything "taken the place" of e2 in your on-line life? Actually,
and somewhat surprisingly, no. I certainly had the form for getting
addicted to "the next thing", but no. And perhaps that's actually my
favourite "take away" from e2. I know now the warning signs of spending
way too much time on a hobby -- largely because of the negative experiences here, ironically -- and that's made my overall online existence a far better balanced proportion of my life.
Everything2 Decaversary Interviews
If you have questions or comments, please contact kalen or Jet-Poop.