On this day twenty years ago everything.com died and was reborn phoenix like as Everything2. Or so I'm told. I wasn't actually there. I don't think I even had internet access then.

It's a different world now. Like it or not we are living in the cyberpunk future with everyone online all of the time through their smartphones, mega corporations worming through them and our lives like psychic tumors, and a reality TV star sitting in the White House. But we aren't here to consider the present or the future. We're here to celebrate the past two decades and the site that lasted through them as a shining beacon of the Web 1.99/2.0 era that subsumed our collective consciousness in a flood of visually appealing side bars and intuitive interfaces.

Everything2 was at the forefront of that wave and twenty years later it looks like an old, clunky mess of half finished grandiose designs and dreams of an age half remembered. I love it so much. Not the clean, sterile precision of Wikipedia nor the conveyor belt of Reddit's ever flowing stream of threads but an organic mix of ideas and opinions, facts and fictions, events and recipes all meshed together by hard links and soft links in an anachronous weave aimed at permanency yet ever changing. I've heard the claim that Everything2 is people; but that always rang a bit hollow to me. Everything2 is writing by people, each with their own voice and little concern for uniformity of style or purpose. While most noders have fled their words and the personalities that bleed out of those words persist and are the essence of this place. Maybe I just don't get it. I almost hope I don't because that means it's still out there for me to discover.

So, twenty years on, what does E2 mean to you?


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