I was a member of the Brin-L (author David Brin) and Culture (author Iain M. Banks) listservs in the 90's and into the 2000's. Starting in 2000 or so, members of both would infrequently post links to interesting posts on MeFi. I bookmarked the site and came back here every once in a while. But at the time it never occurred to me to become a member. I was working long hours, had just met my future wife and was spending all my free time commuting between Boston and New York, trying to maintain a long-distance relationship. I didn't have time to involve myself in another community.
I missed the epic 9/11 thread, because on the day of and for several days following the attack neither my home in Queens or office in Manhattan had internet service. But I do remember the post being linked on Brin-L.m I remember being comforted by it.
In May 2003, I began blogging at Livejournal. Shamelessly stole a buncha links from MeFi for more than a year and vowed to become a member and give something back when the membership rolls re-opened. I'm a member of the infamous class of November 18, 2004 -- better known as the day MeFi went to hell. :)
It's hard to narrow down one memory.
Finding out about AskMe is very high on my list. I can't remember the exact moment I first read a question on the Green, but I do know that it has been a comfort and a help many, many times. Well worth the price of membership -- a true jewel of the Web. Even though I don't answer many questions there, I use our hive mind resource very frequently, and marvel over the quality of its answers. AskMe and to a lesser extent Mefi, have helped me discover my own identity. To understand the value of questioning everything I see and keeping an open mind, realizing that life is nuanced, and recognizing the value of asking for help and not being afraid to sound like an idiot -- which I do frequently anyway. ;)
As for the Blue... I love posting things I find interesting to such a diverse audience. Seeing people pick them apart to unearth new perspectives and details that I'd hadn't seen previously. And I especially love reading posts that highlight positive, uplifting stories, or music I hadn't previously heard. But mostly finding things -- posts, comments etc., -- here that make me laugh.
Laughter makes life worth living.
The people, posts and comments here regularly make me smile, chuckle, guffaw and sometimes even all out belly-laugh. I'm truly grateful for all of you who have shown your wit, charm and who know just the right thing to say at a moment's notice. For cortex' wonderful deletion reasons. And Jessamyn's talent to calmly and gently steer a conversation without interfering with its flow. And for mathowie for giving us this marvelous haven from the worst of the 'net and saying, 'it's freeform, go nuts.'
It's been wonderful to laugh and cry and learn and be awed with all of you. I'm deeply thankful to be here. Thank you. :)