It was five years ago that voices echoed over at that other mailing list, voices wishing for a searchable archive. It took but 10 days from a member offering up his interim archive until the creation of evolt.org. The happenings of those 10 days have been aired enough times and I'm not adding to that noise. Being one of the 30ish people that strolled away and parked over here I'm looking back on our original goals, comparing them to our status today.

Our mission

The main goal of evolt.org has always been to promote free exchange of ideas in a community created by web professionals without commercial distraction - to provide content for the community by the community.

To this mission we've always been true. Evolt.org has for five years provided a neutral space for web developers and designers to come together and share their knowledge and experience. The technology and tactics have changed and probably will keep on changing, but the need for support and assistance in the early hours when your brain has shut down and you're at wit's end trying to meet that deadline will always be there. Thankfully we've grown and evolved with the technology.

Our vision

In the beginning, we had strong opinion of where we wanted to go, we always aimed to be the ultimate place for any web developer at any given time. We spent weeks tossing ideas around, from early suggestions to better formed site mapping structure.

It took a while getting the suggestions flowing and some are even still on the drawing board, but what amazes me is how many of the ideas later published were there already at the beginning of our journey.

We have mailing lists, a web site, an IRC channel and a legendary browser archive. We are working on a showcase corner for our members. We did community news and intend to revive it, we've done beervolts (small but organized face to face gatherings) all over the world and we've met on three different occations for bigger events, so called EvoltCons.

We have a committee/BoD management system, quite similar to what was suggested 5 years ago. We are a strong community with several different mailing lists, the main two being thelist where web-type skills are shared, and thechat, evolt.org's social mailing list, where web-type skills are the only subject banned. Management is done via theforum, a mailing list that defines the goals, and day-to-day aspects are managed via several committee based lists. Finally there's Steering, where representatives from the committees coordinate the execution of theforum's goals.

Our forefathers

I want to end this journey by remembering the names of the forefathers that had the courage and desire to get evolt.org off of its feet. The following is a listing of the people behind the email addresses that were returned by majordomo when the "who guerillas" request was made at Feb 11, 1999 10:25:04 GMT. The order is alphabetical by first name, because that's what we always used.

Adrian Roselli, Alan McCoy, Amanda Erickson, Ben Turner, Daniel Cody, David A. McLean, Dean Mah, Elfur Logadottir, Emily Christensen, George Valenzuela, Isaac Forman, Javier Velasco, Jeff Howden, Jenn Coker, Jonathan Lim, Laura Lynch, Marie Nygren, Marlene Bruce, Matthew Darren Innocent Hoesch, Peto Ug, Rebecca Hanson, Ronald W Dorman, Rudy Limeback, Sheridan Chambers, Solve Horrigmoe, Travis Truman, Vince Heilman, Wolfgang Bromberger.

Soon after, some left and others joined. A few realized this early how much time and effort it would take to get the project going but the rest of us floated around on a pink cloud, believing that creating a community was a piece of cake. Maybe some people knew all along, but whatever the situation we made it. We made it a lot further than any of us could ever envision. I remember discussing the future of evolt.org at one time almost three years ago and one of the people present kept reminding us that evolt.org's structure would need to be strong enough to survive the time down the line when the "originals" were gone and the community had taken over and I thought to myself, "yeah, like that would ever happen". Looking at that list of people I realize that it has a couple of times already.