This is the story of an accidental network of hundreds of people all (sort of) working toward a vague common goal on a ridiculous project that did not exist two weeks ago.
So! Back in ye olden Inter-Net tymes of the 1990s, if you were a (then youngish) nerd like me, you’d get an account on some server called CyberFox.net and your web address would be http://CyberFox.net/~vixen. (You were “vixen.”) And you could put some web pages at that address.
The early personal web grew up around these little “tilde sites”; that’s what preceded blogging. The “~” is a little like the “@” on Twitter—a shortcut that says: “Here is a person.”