I joined in 2004 at exactly 8.30am on a June day.
I was sitting in a cubicle at General Electric, a job where I was paid to do nothing. What I thought would be a dream job in college (getting a paycheck for doing nothing after being lost in the shuffle of a giant unwieldily bureaucracy), was a nightmare. First SE, and then Pofo were my saving graces.
I wanted to spend my days in the cubicle doing something stimulating. Already, my mind was feeling atrophied from being out of academia. Pofo gave me a framework to look through old sources, keep up with news, debate and debate. Theoretical other forums that may exist often were stuck on things happening, but Pofo has always in part been about why things happen (because of the culture, and I'd speculate this results in being grounded in SE at the beginning). In this sense, Pofo also became an extension of getting news for me as, in my opinion, news outlets had already been on a decline that today only continues.
I brought Pofo with me to Ireland after I got fed up with GE and went to graduate school. I briefly saw Soma there, and met a few less prolific people members. Pofo became a haven for me in using sources and keeping things I used to know active while I learned more. It's the same for me today now that I'm on the other side of the classroom.
One last thing, like others have mentioned—I totally thought joining in 2004 made me a total n00b, and I rarely spoke up at first. I think this speaks to the genius of Siberian Fox, actually. That the first generation of pofo seemed sleek, well put together, well regulated, and with a culture unto itself is quite a feat.
Thank you Siberian Fox, and thank you all.
Alis Volat Propriis; Tiocfaidh ár lá; Proletarier Aller Länder, Vereinigt Euch!