Feeling nostalgic about ... everything2 – early web collaboration


I was thinking about early collaborative knowledge sites, especially those that Wikipedia eventually eclipsed, and remembered with nostalgia the joy that was everything2. For a year I was obsessed with this site, and my profile still exists – frozen in time.

To remind/introduce you I thought it apt to pull up the Wikipedia definition:

“Everything2, or E2 for short is a collaborative Web-based community consisting of a database of interlinked user-submitted written material. E2 is moderated for quality, but has no formal policy on subject matter. Writing on E2 covers a wide range of topics and genres, including encyclopaedic articles, diary entries (known as "daylogs"), humor, and fiction.”  

Once described as "awe-inspiring in its expansiveness and depth" and "a Sim City of knowledge management", with Guardian Unlimited listing E2 as one of the best collaborative encyclopaedias on the web its audience waned as the later-starting Wikipedia grew.

Loading it up again I see that it is “7.7” years since I logged in, and I was delighted, in a geeky nostalgic way that the site has not changed one bit (apart from resetting my hard won ranking!).

Despite failing to maintain momentum, Everything2 I salute you for showing us what was possible.