Anyway, like I say I'd arrived. And message conversations were overflowing all over the place. I could barely keep up... but some how I did! I spent ages replying to people, and anxiously awaiting their reply. Refreshing that screen in work (when of course I wasn't working <winkeye>) probably far too often. At this time it felt like I could post something and I would get a reply instantaneously. I was being invited to join a plethora of different groups to meet new people. There was a group on Red Dwarf, a group on Doctor Who, a group on loads of things (I'm surprised no one ever made a group on groups <winkeye>) - and a particularly in-vogue group called the Thingites, but more (or well a little more at least) on them and their leader later.
The more I got involved in conversations and groups the more I realised the potential of the site far beyond the scope of just writing Guide entries. People had come up with elaborate games. There was a researcher called Greebo, who had set up races you could bet on. She had developed her own currency you could use if you said you wanted to join her group. The effort she put in was staggering. And she wasn't alone. So many people were working hard at trying to have fun! It seemed incredible. Too good to be true infact!
I think its probably useful to state at this point, that while I have always been very technically minded, I was still very new to the concept of the Internet. This was for all intents and purposes my first exposure to people on a global community, where they were capable of sending and replying to messages. I would later become very familiar with the concept of the message forum, but this was and still is very different to that. Before I came across virtual worlds, for example Second Life, this was the most interactive experience I could find. And in many ways I still don't think anything has matched my initial experience on this site.
I was in my second year at University when I came across this site, and so to come across such a wide array of intelligent and knowledgeable people was very stimulating, and challenged my beliefs and thoughts in a way I had not considered possible.
So after my first week, I felt like I'd been on the site much much longer. I knew people on the web, I'd had some fascinating transatlantic conversations that went well in to the dead of night. It really was astonishing. I remember remarking to friends and relatives alike how great this site was, and they constantly asked me what this site was that I was going on to.
I now felt confident enough to start to make my presence known on the Internet, so after having initially played around with my personal space, and put some pictures and links and text about me on the site, and after having created some minor guide entries (and one I submitted to the Flea Market, because I didn't really understand what it was for! <biggrin>) - I decided to start a group of my own. And I called it The Terranic Army...