Oh my goodness, looking through this topic brings back memories of my own! Seeing things mentioned that I'd long since forgotten about... The Matoran at Home, I remember that one! VahkiPower... GaliGee's epics...
Actually, if I recall, it was GaliGee's work that first drew me into BZPower. I know I discovered the BZP link on the official Bionicle website back in '04 - anyone else remember when the official site had a few big fansite links down the side of a couple of pages? - and I think I looked around a bit without actually committing? But then I stumbled upon GaliGee's Makuta Island - I believe the review topic was on the hot topics list for a while back then - and oh man, I was hooked. I'd always strictly imagined Bionicle characters within the context of their universe (or my confused childhood take on it) and reading a story where Makuta showed up in the real world and took this girl back to Mata Nui to be a mom to all his Rahkshi? That was eye-opening to me.
I'm pretty sure it was only a matter of days before I'd joined up too. For some reason, I never actually commented in the review topic for that story, but I followed it - and its sequels - closely whenever I was online.
I... have plenty of memories from back then that I'd rather forget, too. I was twelve years old, and a total newbie to online communities of any kind, and I know I made a lot of the typical newb mistakes too. And, ahem, let's just all agree to forget my pathetic first forays into the comedy forum that amounted to, ah-heh, "borrowing" ideas from someone else's work. I'm not proud of it, and am glad it's since been lost forever.
But ah, the comedy forum; now THAT's a place of many memories for me. For the longest time, I'd just been hanging around BZP, sticking my nose into random threads to add my two cents but never really stopping to have conversations or get to know anyone. I wasted many happy hours in the comedy forum, though; I'm not sure whether I was just looking for laughs, or hoping to find that one comedy to invest in. In either case, the latter happened - not that I'd ever have anticipated it when I first checked out Alpha Prime02 (now Primis)'s The Rock Raiders Meets Bionicle. I just idly checked it out because it included one of my other top favourite Lego themes, and it really drew me in. The story was fun, the author was cool, the other fans of the story were cool... I invested myself in following it, and it became the first comedy I got to guest-star in; in fact, my Matoran character scored position as a permanent guest star, even.
I fell away from the comedy at the start of the second season, both because a lot of the jokes in it at that point were references to something I was unfamiliar with, and because I went through a lack of interest in Bionicle as a whole around mid-05, when the upcoming Revenge of the Sith stole my attention completely. I eventually returned to BZP in time for the release of Web of Shadows; and some time on from that, I was amazed to find out that not only was TRRMB still going, it was on its third season, and my matoran was still a recurring character. It was a real treat for me to jump back into it, talk again with the others who had been involved in it from the beginning, and be able to join in the conversations about obscure bits of Rock Raiders lore and how they applied to the comic. I honestly felt like Primis and co-author PeabodySam became the first actual friends I'd made on BZPower, and I count the memories from that thread as some of my most treasured here on BZP. Not only that, but when I attempted to make comedies of my own (AHAHAHAHA... yeeeeah those were awful) they were kind enough to follow them and give me feedback for a while afterwards.
Of course, in time we went our separate ways, on BZ and in general. I know I made a few other friendly contacts through the comedy forum (Lewa0111 of The Nuva Inn fame, and Dominus Temporis of My Life with the Bionicles, both stand out in particular), but nothing that quite matched that first experience. Come 2008 my interests were turning elsewhere and I wasn't investing in Bionicle writing, though I still hung around the discussion forums, and around the time the servers went down in... 2010, I believe? I drifted away completely.
I, heh, never expected to find it still going three or four years later. Nowadays I don't really participate much, I just lurk and occasionally add comments, but this place is loaded with so much nostalgia; it's always fun to come back and see what's still going on over here ^^
(Just an aside, if someone does win the random draw, do they get a say in which set they'd prefer? Or are they just gonna be distributed at random?)