RexRacer: What brought you to Bulbapedia initially?
TTEchidna: The site itself? I just randomly found it, actually. I forget how. It was in the summer of 2006, though. As for why I joined and started editing? Really what I wanted to do was add stuff I knew so I could come back later and look it up. Has a side effect of helping others, but that's just a bonus. I suppose that's how any wiki works. You add what you know so you can come back and see it. And if everyone does that, you end up finding out stuff you don't know.
RexRacer: Did you ever think that you would become the leader of the place?
TTEchidna: Ever thought I'd become the guy in charge? Actually, from when I first became a Pokémon fan, I wondered if I'd ever end up knowing the bigger players in the fandom. I started out as a Zeo user... always went on there, never posted. I was scared to, because I didn't wanna look dumb. But back when I joined BP, that was just before Gen IV began, when we were on the last legs of Gen III. And I couldn't foresee at all becoming the guy in charge of it.
RexRacer: You were the first leader of something big like this on Bulbagarden, if I remember correctly, to not have been there since the relaunch in 2002. How do you think that affected you in relation to the other staff members, and how do you think it has affected the dynamic up to present day?
TTEchidna: Yeah, I think I was too. Anyway, it was certainly weird. I mean, it's not like I didn't know the people I was dealing with. But here I was, someone who had been in the fandom since getting Yellow in 1999, and I was suddenly on-level with the big names in the fandom. I mean, when I first came upon the fandom, I did wonder if I would one day talk to someone like Archaic or Serebii one-on-one. And look at me now. I'm dealing with Archaic for our site's details, and others in the case of intersite relations.
RexRacer: One of the things that I've noticed about you is that you often put a personal touch on your work with the wiki. You have many backstories relating to your experiences with the games, from getting Yellow as a result of your parents winning a contest to the shiny Sandshrew and your Psychos. You've got a lot of stories that you post about your times with Pokémon, something that most other staff members neglect to do. Why do you do this, and do you think that it brings you closer to the users as a result?
TTEchidna: Pokémon's supposed to be customizable, really. The point of it all is to choose your own team. It's why I've always been against turning the pages into "recommendation pages" for Pokémon, moves, and the like. I share my stories because those are indeed my stories. How many people have a shiny Sandslash that they caught in Union Cave? How many people caught Mewtwo by a fluke, throwing a Great Ball? Sure, plenty might have a shiny Sandslash. With the size of the games' userbase, and the amount of them, certainly there has to be tens, if not hundreds, of people who legitimately caught a shiny Sandslash. But make it unique. Recommendation pages take out the uniqueness. I share what worked out for me in my userspace because that's what worked out for me. But I don't go into articles and say "use Garchomp because it kicks everything's ass".
Get what I mean? It's why you can name the player. It's why there's 493 plus two; so you can have whatever team you want. It's why I didn't like the kids who used Mewtwo back in the day because it kicked ass. I used my Mewtwo because there was something unique.
RexRacer: How was the transition from being an Editorial Board member to Editor in Chief? There was the unofficial handing off of powers from Zhen Lin, and when that was made official, did things change from how they were when you were unofficially in charge? Maybe a little more talk page flooding?
TTEchidna: By the time Zhen handed power off to me, I was pretty much already in charge, so it was a smooth transition. It wasn't sudden or anything. Not to say I saw it coming, I was actually quite surprised, but yeah, the talk page floods were already there.
RexRacer: Were you active on any other parts of the site while you worked on Bulbapedia?
TTEchidna: I've always been primarily BP. Forums came out of necessity, really. I'm basically 90% Bulbapedia, 10% anything else.
RexRacer: Thank you for your time, TTE.
TTEchidna: You bet!