It must have been almost exactly one year ago. I had received an e-card at one of my in boxes. It was from an outfit called Interbird, and told me that I had a "secret admirer." Well, of course! Dozens, I'm sure! I took a look at the card, and it had a nice picture and a quote from Yeats, and was from someone I had never heard of. Furthermore, though the outside address was mine, the greeting inside was to someone else. Thinking that the sender had made a mistake, I hit the "send a reply" link, and sent a card with the message that I wasn't "whatshisname." (I've forgotten the actual name.)
A couple of weeks later, I tried to check back in at the web site to see if the card had been picked up, and the site was gone. I did a google search on "Interbird," and came up with a bunch of links to a British bird watching organization, which, I'm sure, had nothing to do with the vanished e-card company.
But, among the links that google came up with, there were several from LiveJournal. Several users here had also received cards from "secret admirers," and had posted about them. After I read a couple of these posts, I began exploring the site, and was hooked. I remember the first scent of jasmine drifting in from the warm night as I read posts from everywhere about everything. It was another month before I took the plunge and started this journal, but I lurked a great deal over the intervening weeks. I still find the place as fascinating as I did when I first saw it on that jasmine-scented night last year.
I later found that Interbird was one of those companies that tried to drum up business for itself by spamming people at random from fake addresses at non-existent domains. I have to say that it was the most important piece of spam I ever got. I only wish I had gotten it sooner. If I had, I might be well into my second year here. RIP, Interbird.