I have to admit, I've been a little unfaithful this week. I caved in to peer pressure and signed up for a Facebook account. My friends and family have spread so far and wide that it's difficult to keep touch with everyone by conventional means. There are so many blogging sites and photo collections that it's easy to lose track of who leaves their details where and, just like I don't check their LiveJournals or Flickr accounts, I'm pretty sure only one or two have ever popped into h2g2 to see how I'm doing.
I seem to be getting on with it ok. I find it hard to get excited by it; it's nice to see how people are doing and it's quick and easy to use, but playing at being pirates loses its appeal after a while. I'll use it for keeping in touch with my close friends and family and for the odd game of Scrabble, but once the appeal of finding a profile of Bob who I haven't seen for x years wears off, I think it will lose its brief appeal.
I've never felt that way about h2g2; it's more of a life partner than someone I'd buy a drink for on a whim. It does astound me, when I think about it, how much time people have for this site, not just on a daily basis but for years on end. I think it's worth remembering that when we have our niggles with the site and when we see the odd falling-out here - we only argue when there's something worth disagreeing about. The very reason for our commitment is because there are so many intelligent and passionate people here, people whose interests we share and whose company we cherish. When was the last time a 'real life' friend sent you a personal piece of writing, poetry or a guide to your next holiday destination? There is more to h2g2 than we sometimes think. Perhaps I share more with many members of the community that I do with Bob from school. I think most of us arrived here with the express purpose of helping to build the Guide; there is little personal gain in spending hours sub-editing an Entry, working on an AViators clip or shepherding an Entry through PR, but in the context of building a greater Guide it's all worthwhile. The sense of community here is incredibly strong; we even have Meets all over the world where online friendships become real life ones. It's odd to think the relationships we have here can be even stronger than those we have with old friends. Even so, it takes a visit to some of the colder corners of the Internet to appreciate what we have here.
So I'm really sorry, h2g2. I may have the odd fling elsewhere, but I've really only got eyes for you. We might fall out once in a while, especially after I've had a few beers, but I'll always bring you a brew and a new set of apologies in the morning.
Oh, and by the way...
This is, of course, the Halloween issue, and, by the time you read this, the clever anagrams and haikus will be disappearing for another year. The fun isn't over yet, though; we've got a great issue filled with some tremendous poems and new fiction. I've also taken the liberty of re-running some cartoons from previous Halloween issues – they're easy to spot as each has a ripe beside it! I'd also like to pass on our congratulations to Prof Animal Chaos, Alex 'Tufty' Ashman and Paff, all of whom have now received their Post Reporter badges since the last issue. Finally, I have to say a massive 'thank you' to B'Elana and lil for the huge amount of work they've both put in while EMR is away. Both have worked incredibly hard on this issue and I'm pleased to report that they are settling in perfectly - so well, in fact, that we're considering opening up their cages and simply leashing them close to the Post grindstone instead.
This is a tremendously good issue, and I'm delighted to be guest-editing once again. Copy for the 15 November issue will be due in The Post's mailbox on Sunday, 11 November. Thanks very much to all our contributors and readers, and I hope you enjoy this edition of The Post!