Here's a human number
It's pretty freaky, but to me it's the people who have been here for a long time and are still here. There are some folks who have been having conversations in this forum since I was born, and realizing that is akin to realizing my parents were alive for so long before I came.Honestly, it's haunting to come across the old posts by people who were last seen here... 09, 10 and so on. I have this feeling while browsing the back pages of every forum. With these fan-made communities, there were conversations, passionate arguments, friendships, shitposting.
I remember some two years ago I found out that the official Nightwish forum was taken down and although I've never been a particularly active member there, I used to come back and browse and enjoy the old threads... it was a place of community, it was a place of old, it had the Faerie smell of the Tarja era, still. And now it's gone and since nobody preserved it, it's probably gone forever.
I look at old fora where you actually find discussions from back in 01-03 as the LOTR movies were coming out. Sometimes, there is a heartwarming rediscovery - for example there used to be a website called Magpie's Nest that was dedicated to commentary and analysis of Shore's score to the LOTR movies. Discussing various leitmotifs, having samples and so on. Not as in-depth as Doug Andams' book on the same topic, but I was still really unpleasantly surprised and almost heartbroken that she decided to take it down.
But she archived it and is willing to share it with anyone who asks, which I did. So that little corner of the internet is preserved.
One of those things where I am "day after the fair" is the Wheel of Time fandom - as the books were coming out in the late 90s and early 00s (primarily), there was an insane amount of fandom commentaries, fora, subpages, I suppose even Geocities ... and the fandom is really good at preserving this. Since this is one of the examples where the author was already living and met in the internet era, yet has already passed on and has this semi-mythical position nowadays, there's also a lot of archives opened, people rummaging through old notes, memories and write-downs of fan meetups and Q&A sessions back in the day...
Question from RawShock: What got you into writing fantasy?
Robert Jordan: Fantasy is an area where it is possible to talk about right and wrong, good and evil, with a straight face. In mainstream fiction and even in a good deal of mystery, these things are presented as simply two sides of the same coin. Never really more than a matter of where you happen to be standing. I think quite often it's hard to tell the difference. I think that quite often you can only find a choice between bad and worse. But I think it's worth making the effort and I like to expose my characters to that sort of situation.
Chat moderator: Why do stories of the titanic battles between good and evil seem to attract such a large and loyal audience?
Robert Jordan: Because most people believe in good and evil, in right and wrong. And I think most people would like to believe that they would stand on the side of good -- of right -- however they happen to define those things.
or here is a report from the year 1998, the Path of Daggers tour...
or here from the Crown of Swords tour, 1996.
And what were you doing in 2000? 1998? 1996?
I was rummaging through old books, trying to find my old childhood diaries, yet unsuccessfully, so far. But the "old internet" is fascinating. I hope this forum will stay up or at least stay archived somewhere if it ever were to be taken down.
It's pretty freaky, but to me it's the people who have been here for a long time and are still here. There are some folks who have been having conversations in this forum since I was born, and realizing that is akin to realizing my parents were alive for so long before I came.