Five years.

In internet time, it would mean something like two or three technological revolutions (in fact it did mean several actual revolutions, but I shouldn't bore you with tiny details like technological revolutions on a celebration day)

I found out about evolt through some links here and there in emails posted to the monkeyjunkies mailing-list, way back in 1999 (a service provided by webmonkey). Strangely, its professional appearance gave no hint of its community status. At least, no hint that a silly french newbie like me could see at first glance.

The look and professional tone of its articles put evolt higher than most self-help sites. (OK, I'll confess I did not like the original look so much, but it had a professional sheen nonetheless, didn't it). It took me quite a while to understand the nature of the site. Call me stupid, will you?

And here I am now, part of the content working team and more than happy to contribute back. Why do you invest your time and energy (if not your money) in such an endeavour?

Simple: because you meet people, real people. "Virtual relationships" is a dumb perception popularized by journalists. On evolt I learned the value of gifted advice by gifted people I look up to, and moreover, by people who care about other people they have never even actually seen.

This evolt thing was a real community, not an artificial click here to build your virtual community feature in a cheap make-money-fast business plan in the midst of the internet bubble craze. A community that was about helping each other, and that grew towards chatting like old friends can, and towards running the community at the same time (and losing a few hours of sleep more in the process). A self-managed village, I would say. That's the way I now explain evolt to would-be thelist readers.

In the past five years, and due in no small part to the evolt community, I went from paper work to web development, from clipping papers and organising piles of them to advocating for standards and accessibility.

Every day on thelist I learn new tricks, every day on thechat I have one good laugh at least. Since I met all those people, girls and guys, I've never looked back and never regretted to have jumped aboard.

Five years, and so many fine articles, so many short nights to make the system work no matter what, so many unselfish people. Heartfelt congratulations to the founders. Except maybe to aardvark because he's so cynical. I haven't decided yet. (kidding)

I can't wait to see what the next five years will bring for evolt.

Give me another five, evolt!