I don’t remember exactly how I found MetaFilter. It would have been by way of some early blogroll in the spring or summer of 2000. At first glance I was not much impressed and found the noise and snarkiness of the chatter off-putting when compared with, for example, the calm façade of a site like mempool. I kept finding MetaFilter again and again at decreasing intervals over the next couple of years, until, in the summer of 2002 I began to visit and read the blue regularly (a decisive factor in drawing me in were some particularly fascinating posts by a user called vacapinta). I lurked for a few months before signing up in September that year.
Rather than a single fond memory, I have instead a blur of many pleasant recollections.
It might have been when I first recognised a post as a double; or it might have been when a line of Perl in an AskMe answer saved my bacon in a nightmarish work-project; or it might have been when I recognised a user as a real-life acquaintance from a comment of his about a necktie he once owned; or it might have been when I found I knew the identity of a ‘Ukrainian torch song’ someone had recorded from shortwave radio; but probably it was really when I belatedly realised the conversation, and the sense of fellowship it engendered, really was more important and valuable than the links.