I'm pretty sure it was Jason Kottke's fault.
Remember Ally Macbeal?
There was an early meta moment perhaps when Jason Kottke posted the Dancing Baby when I had an inkling of how this site was much more about community-building reactions (it's the people stupid) than about just finding the best links on the web. That community aspect grew a in huge ways as I soon got to know people who knew me from my weblog and wanted to get to know me better and, oh my gosh, we actually liked each other and wanted to keep talking to each other online and sometimes even in person. When I still run across the opinion that the Internet is isolating and keeping people from really bonding, I want to bundle this feeling all up and make that person understand how wrong they are. Happy Anniversary MetaFilter!