It is extremely bizarre - but slightly incredible - to think that I've now been posting on this forum for half of my entire life. In the spring of 2001 I was twelve and a half years old and struggling with the terrifying new world of Year 7 and secondary school. The internet was a wonderful place to explore at the end of every school day, immersing myself in a world where - for the most part - people thought and communicated far more intelligently than the thuggish bullies I mostly seemed to encounter in reality.
Presentation and television in general has changed a huge amount since - the BBC had idents almost unchanged from the early 1990s, ITV was made up of several seperate regions and the majority of the country still only recieved five television channels via an analogue television aerial. While it's a shame that many threads from the very early days no longer exist, on one hand I'm somewhat relieved as while I thought myself to be somewhat of a genius at the time, my childhood posting days were very much quantity over quality and I'd perhaps be extremely embarrassed to re-look at my old posts now. Saying that, despite the circumstances I'm greatful that the 9/11 thread was archived - that was the first major news story I followed and commented on through the internet, posting on both the forum and in the chatroom despite the extremely high dial-up fees it entailed.
For a website to survive thirteen years, particularly with the same original owner, is somewhat astonishing and a huge achievement. I wish it a very happy 13th and all the best for its forthcoming teenage years.
-Billy "still not related to Asa" Hicks
Member since 26 May 2001