We've always been huge h2g2 fans. Unlike other well-known online encyclopediae, it retains a certain wit and style, and remains fairly faithful to Douglas Adams' original vision of creating the ultimate guide to life, the universe and everything.
But you can only do so much with text and a few diagrams. We felt it was very much in Adams' pioneering spirit to forge on and try to find new ways of innovating. And so the Aviators began; a project not to replace the written Guide, but to complement it by producing audio and visual content to accompany the written word.
The original plan to have all this new material onsite, but, sadly for us, the BBC bosses had a change of heart. The Aviators almost died as soon as they had begun. We decided instead to hold our AV on a YouTube account, but the situation was far from ideal. We wanted users to be able to download our content to listen to on the train or to take on walks as an AV guide. After all, the written Guide is mobile — so why not the AV version?
What you see here is the result of a conversation between two h2g2 Researchers, Skankyrich and TRiG. Deciding that the idea was too good to be limited to YouTube, we decided to create a site where we could do what we wanted to do for h2g2 — set up our own feeds, host our own content, and supplement the site without restrictions imposed by other sites.
We do need your help, though. We need your skills and ideas to take this project forward. We need film-makers, musicians, animators, writers, photographers, narrators; innovators of all kinds to help to bring the vision of an audio-visual Guide to life.
Come and join us. It's going to be a blast.
Rich Blagden joined h2g2 in September 2004 under the slightly disturbing pseudonym of Skankyrich. An enthusiastic walker, naturalist and occasional cricket umpire, he has since contributed a number of articles for the Edited Guide and h2g2's fortnightly magazine, The Post. After helping out with many of h2g2's volunteer schemes, in April 2007 Rich decided to give AV a go as well and revived the Aviators project with a series of short video clips created to accompany h2g2 Entries. He manages a hotel in Torquay, and is thoroughly sick of Fawlty Towers jokes.
Timothy Green invented the name TRiG for himself when he was still in primary school (it's his initials, with an added vowel to make it pronounceable), and decided to use it when he joined h2g2 as TRiG_Ireland, under the mistaken impression that a non-British member would be out of place. Members of h2g2 are called Researchers, and TRiG still intends to do some proper Research one of these days.
TRiG finds writing in the third person awkward.
h2g2 has done a lot for me. It's made me a better writer, and taught me how to present an argument. And it's made me a lot of friends. Thanks!