An entire decade already? It feels like only yesterday that I was making my first posts outside the member profiles sub-forum as a nervous new 'saal.
While 10 whole years is a very long time and a proud achievement for any establishment, on the other hand 2006 still feels really recent to me. Especially considering that I signed up towards the end of 2009. So considering that I've been a member for the slight majority of that decade, I'm actually pretty seasoned as far as members go - which feels strange to me because even today, some time after having been awarded the coveted 'Ui ranking, I still feel like the fresh faced new guy sometimes.
ATT was the very first forum I ever joined (and indeed was the first social website I ever joined), followed shortly by the late great Port Maw, and to this day it remains my favourite (with Asrai.org being a close second. Port Maw would be too were it not for that site's tragic destruction). As sad and pathetic as it might sound, the people on here are something more than an Internet community - for the duration of my stay on here you guys/girls have been my friends, even when I didn't have many in real life (which happened disturbingly often, I wasn't the most popular person in high school... or university...), and in a way even a kind of family. Knowing that this place is here acting as a hotbed of creativity and friendly discussion about all things Tau, and a few others besides, is nice to know, and knowing that some comment I posted helped someone or that some piece of content I wrote inspired or amazed or even just entertained someone else can be very comforting after a bad day (especially when they make it known that it did by posting a comment in one of those content threads, like my Battlefleet Gothic log or Into Silence: Rosa Vitae, hint hint nudge nudge).
But ATT has also helped me in another way. Being the first experience I had with social activity on the Internet, ATT was a major influence in shaping my etiquette and conduct on the Internet. So whenever I post on other forums, I tend to do so following ATT standards as closely as possible, which means I generally make sure I always write with as much quality and structure as I can on the Internet - even on facebook! I feel like ATT has made me much more civil and polite in my Internet escapades, and for that I'm actually pretty grateful.
A lot of history has taken place on ATT in these 10 years. Much of it, like discussing and planning moves in the Medusa V campaign (including the invention of The Hammer if I'm not mistaken, although that might have come from somewhere else. ATT was definitely the first place I heard about it though), the creation of the first Academy articles, the creation of the ATT unit designations catalogue, the great war against spam and the aforementioned poor poor space molemen (by the Aun, what have we done in mentioning them!? Has everyone else forgotten that once mentioned, they are destined to completely consume the thread and eclipse its original topic?) all took place before I joined, and still leave me very humbled - even now I sometimes wonder if my Battlefleet Gothic background and project thread or the Into Silence project will ever reach the same immortal glory as Cerberus Unbound or Wolf16's ARC background (both of which are major influences on my own background writing). On the other hand there has been a whole slew of big things that I've either witnessed or been an active part of, especially given my experience as a hardened veteran of all 3 April Fool's battles that have happened so far. What's more, there's still almost certainly many more 'ATT classics' still to come in the future - I know I for one have some very big plans afoot....
Happy 10th birthday ATT, from me and all the fine souls aboard Kor'vattra fleet K-42.
(I would speak for the rest of the ATT Battlefleet Gothic underground as well, but I get the feeling they'll probably be making their own statements on here.)