The curiously brave people, who, in the face of the dire threat of DisRuption, nonetheless post BrilliantProse (and, sometimes, PatentNonsense) on [[Wikipedia]].
This description of Wikipedians comes from early 2001, when the project was just getting started. It is one of the best descriptions of Wikipedia editors I think I’ve ever read.
This description, and no doubt many more gems to come, are from a treasure trove of early revisions of Wikipedia that was recently discovered by Tim Starling. This includes a lot of history that was previously thought to be lost in past technical upgrades. There’s a certain thrill in discovering one’s own past — even the recent past — that many of us are now experiencing, combing through these diffs.
A lot has changed in the past decade. In January, we’ll celebrate the 10th anniversary of Wikipedia: a project that has truly had a rich life so far — with family dramas, grand dreams, and thousands of small and exultant accomplishments. I know and have worked with some of the people on that list of the earliest contributors, some of whom still edit today. For my own part, I’ve only been a Wikipedian for seven years; but it feels like a lifetime. In truth, though, this first decade is just the beginning.