(Madman Tonight is filmed in front of a live studio audience)
Madman97: Dave, do you ever look back and wonder...what was it like before us?
Dave: Not really.
Madman97: Neither do I. Never really thought about it. But I find Atvelonis' sandbox history so interesting. Think about it. All this resolution and revolution over a small community ran by a few key players while the other thousands are none the wiser...
Dave: Sounds like pretty much the same thing that went on recently. The wheel turns. Nothing is new under the Sun.
Madman97: It was tumultuous, and many of our old friends have left...Not sure if there are any users who pass us in seniority here besides Tim...
Dave: What about Dovahsebrom? He's been there since the beginning, right?
Madman97: Actually, he joined in July. We joined in June!
Dave: Wow, you've been here since before him? Uh...What about AzuraKnight? I remember him...vaguely.
Madman97: I think he prefers it that way, because I have literally seen nothing of him until I asked him for an interview. He did join before us, true, but only in March of the same year we joined. Just another Gen X user who managed to stick around. CCC, our Admin, joined in 2012, but...I don't know, I never saw him around during the early days. Last November was when I first met him. Must have been a lurker. Actually, most Gen X users today hide. Think Shawn may be an exception. Zippertrain85 likes to take long breaks in between very brief appearances. Who else are we missing?
Dave: You know, Draevan! Think I only had one conversation with the guy, but you've met him a couple times. You literally said in your last interview you should have asked him.
Madman97: Oh yeah...Oh yeah! He was here since the Oblivion Wiki days! Damn, that's like...old as sh*t! The commitment! Is he available for questioning?
Dave (holding earpiece): I have word that he is on his way.
Madman97: Excellent. Well folks, for those who are interested in the history of this website you call home, perhaps this will be a treat for you. Tales will be told, stories shared. Probably misconstrued and embellished. Without further ado, let's bring Draevan13 out here, the most fascinating user since FishySalesman...Oh God, do I wish he was still here. People here could use a laugh.
Dave: That's our job now, I guess.
Madman97: Quite right, Dave. Hopefully the audience will chuckle tonight on...
(A Canadian Roadside Assistance Agent, dressed in full work uniform and a tool belt around his waist walks up on stage and sits down)
Madman97: Well, I suppose I know who to call when my chariot made from the eyelids of my enemies breaks down on the road in Dementia.
Dave (snorting): I wasn't aware Canada was close to the Shivering Isles.
Madman97: Well they changed it to Vancouver Island but regardless of the name, I'm still shivering in that sh*tty cold. But we're not here to argue Semitics.
Dave: I think you mean semanti--
Madman97: We're here to talk about history.
On Wikia History
Madman97: Draevan, you were on this website since before Tim. Tim, of all people. Christ in a biscuit, how did you cope with the horrors of pre-2010s internet, when YouTube was just getting legs and porn wasn't free?!
Dave: Relax. He joined in 2009. Dank memes didn't exist as they do today but it's generally the same. I think that's right about when MySpace died...Heh heh. Good times.
Madman97: In any case, Draevan, we're all curious to know what is was like before Oblivion Wikia and the Elder Scrolls Wikia merged. Though internet page quality probably wasn't as bad as I remember--Hell, I actually remember some decent pages from 2005--I have to ask if the Oblivion Wiki was a strong one? And I mean was the community active, if there was one at all, and if they were, were they nice or something along the lines of what it was like last December during the Admin Crisis?
Draevan13: I wasn't really that involved back when I joined, I just edited articles and read over them when I was stuck or when I was bored at work. I can't even remember if it was Oblivion Wiki or TES Wiki yet, I can see Morrowind articles dating back from 2008.
Dave: Oh. Well. That's seven years ago. We can't fault you here for not remembering much.
Madman97: To be honest, I hardly remember most of the stuff that went down when we first joined. When I talk about specific events, I paint the picture in broad strokes. When I joined, that's when the Golden Age of Blogs was kicking off, though I am not sure how long that lasted before the First User Recession (which probably was not the first, but it was the first since I was there); a while, I think, and then people left and came back, and then came the Silver Age of blogs but they weren't nearly as read or written except by me and mostly Zippertrain85's efforts.
That might have been when Jarjar began his interviews, but I'm not sure. Dave, you came in with your Blog Critics...Heh, you probably discouraged others from blogging and maybe that's why no one blogs anymore. Congratulations Dave, you killed blogging.
Madman97: But you all get the point. It's hard to remember sh*t, especially when the website takes a backseat to much more important real life events. Sometimes, it's hard to look back on previous things I wrote and think, "Wow, I wrote that?" because I barely recognize as something my real life self would do. That brings me to the second question. Draevan, did you recognize a change in your website during the merging with our current one? Was it a gradual process or was it immediate?
Dave: If you could, tell us who initiated it in the first place.
Draevan13 (shrugging): Can't say, either I didn't notice the change or it went down so smoothly I didn't notice.
Madman97 (nodding): Huh, barely noticed, eh? Now that's slick.
Dave: Probably no pages on either site, so there wasn't anything to merge! Since you don't remember much of it, Draevan, you probably weren't involved, which was our next question.
Draevan13 (shaking his head): I wasn't very involved in the wiki when I joined. I was only editing/reading articles.
Madman97: Yeah, that's usually how it starts. I think it's a good indicator for how a person came to be on here, though it's hard to tell when you're a lurker.
Draevan13: I remember joining because I was tired of the [irremovable] quest items in Oblivion (the Mages Guild gives you several of those) and I first came here checking if there was a way around them. When I was on the "Confront the King" page, I noticed a spelling mistake and that was my first edit.
Dave: Don't think...Nope, I've never edited a single page. Wow, I'm useful.
Madman97: Actually, the very first thing I did was edit the lore page. Didn't follow the rules and I got a warning. Lost interest after that. Then I looked in the blog section just because...And I made one. Didn't think it would take off, but here we are.
Dave (making quotation marks with his fingers): "Take off."
Madman97: Ok, so maybe my blogs came near the end of the Golden Age of Blogging--
Dave: Or maybe they weren't as great as you remember.
Madman97: Probably not. I've been thinking of redoing them for the new audience, but there is just SO MANY! But Draevan, when researching you, I found an impressive amount of blogs stashed away in your profile, some dealing with examinations of certain aspects about the games themselves and, more interestingly, what people said about the games. Others included an analysis of differing lore subjects and were presented in a way that adheres to the guideline I wrote for bloggers over two years later.
This is very impressive! Here I am thinking I'm the Daedric Prince of Blogs and you covered all the ground I ended up doing before I even stepped into the ring. And not only that, but almost every blog of yours had comments numbering into the hundreds, which I consider a hallmark of their success.
Dave: My Blog Critic posts never broke the thirty mark and they were not well received after roasting Man of Steak's fourth blog. The only one that broke the hundred from Madman was our discussion on C0DA, which had mostly positive feedback, but there were naysayers.
Madman97: What I want to know is how you got into blogging Draevan and was the community responsive? There was quite a few collaborations with Zippertrain85--who also liked to blog--that I saw. You basically paved the way for me! Did you enjoy making them and will we ever see them from you again?
Draevan13: I still mostly edited articles for about a year or so if I recall correctly, so I didn't join in on the blogs for a bit. I wrote my first blog because of what I viewed as the dumbing down of the TES series as a whole, and how much it was being lauded as a near-perfect game despite notable flaws. The blog was received well enough, though I seemed to have shocked a lot of people by saying in the comments that Oblivion was my favorite TES game. Apart from that the comments are usually positive.
Madman97: Huh, Oblivion is my favorite. Not unusual.
Dave: Tell you what would've shocked them. Telling them Arena was your favorite. Now that would've drawn in some comments.
Draevan13: Some of my blogs only reached the 100+ comments mark because Zipper and I were debating on another blog/thread and the person who made it didn't want us too, so I moved it over to one of my blogs to keep things going there. Madman97: Yep, definitely paved the way for me!
Draevan13: I don't really think I'll be writing any more blogs.
Madman97: Dang, I would've loved to see more.
Draevan13 (shrugging): Threads seem to have become the new staple for this wiki. I think the "Gold and Silver" ages of blogs here are past, at least until TES VI comes out.
Madman97: D'oh, he even uses the same terms as me. That's gratifying.
Draevan13: Even then, I think threads will be where the discussions happen, but you never know. I think it's due to everything that could've been discussed has long been done to death.. It's been a while since Skyrim came out and when it did the blogs exploded here. Now, we've been over everything. Things seem to be going on well in the threads, but those are slowly petering out too for the same reason.
Madman97: I agree. Things lost traction after C0DA. People got tired of the Kirkbride arguments and the Stormcloaks vs Imperials got old, Fast. But while that stuff is cool, I am really curious to know how you adapted to the constant fluctuation of change as the website grew. I know you're a lurker, but did you ever involve yourself in anything?
Draevan13: When it comes to most internet drama like what we've experienced here, I tend nowadays to add my two cents and then butt out unless it's required of me to chime in. Over the years, and especially with last year's GamerGate fiasco I followed (but didn't get involved in), I've learned that Internet drama tends to rarely get resolved, more so that both sides agree to stop bickering. But at least here on the Wiki we do tend to get a decisive resolution.
Madman97: And since we are living in a time when our community is united and very respondent to the issues of our time (read: While mildly divisive, the situation with SuperSajuuk given a year-long ban was handled with relative peace and majority taking one side rather than a community-shattering "revolution" as we have so often experienced), and since you have seen more troubles here than anyone else, do you have any advice to offer, even to our Admins?
Draevan13 (hand under his chin): The all-encompassing "don't be an asshole" comes to mind, but apart from that... as with anywhere on the Internet, just remember: don't take it personally. Most of the time it's not directed at you. Even if it is, don't feed the trolls.
Madman97 (nodding): Yeah. Sound advice if I ever heard it. Well Draevan, here's to a couple more years, eh? Hopefully we'll see you around for the next generation of interviews if you're not too busy fixing an old lady's car on the side of the road.
Dave: Hey, there are worse jobs.
Madman97: No no, I know, I wasn't bashing him. Take it from me, I used to work in a furniture store through College. Had to learn how to fix a whole bunch of stuff. Gave me nimble fingers. But since I am near the border of Canada since I moved to the Northwest from Connecticut, if I ever find myself in need of roadside assistance, I'll give your firm a call.
Dravean13 (smiling): Well, winter's almost here, so it's going to be busy as usual up here.
Madman97 (nodding): You heard it right here, folks. Winter is coming.
(Madman Tonight is sponsored by Canada)