My name is Dan Carlson. I use the screen name "MinutiaeMan" for a lot of my online communications—it's derived from my personal website, Star Trek Minutiae. I am one of the two co-founders of Memory Alpha, along with Harry Doddema.
I fell in love with Star Trek during the first season of Deep Space Nine in 1993. DS9 has always been my favorite, but I have enjoyed every single series. During my high school years, using the wonderful Star Trek Encyclopedia as a starting point, I created a personal database of ships, episodes, characters, planets, and other items of interest—something that reflected my interest in the details, background, and history of this rich fictional universe.
In the fall of 2003, I saw a message from Harry Doddema posted on the Flare Sci-Fi Forums. He had found this new site called Wikipedia, and it had a pretty radical concept: it was an encyclopedia that anyone could edit. He noted how most Star Trek fan pages were limited or incomplete references, and you needed to browse multiple sites to find the information you were looking for. He wondered if the Wikipedia concept could be applied to a Star Trek reference site. With my existing interest in building my own database, I jumped at the chance to build something like that.
Harry and I poured a lot of time into Memory Alpha in the early years, assembling lists of episodes to set up the structure and writing example articles that others could build from. I particularly enjoyed writing articles about historical events like the major battles of the Dominion War, because I could recount the events of the episodes in great detail but also connect the events together in a way that the Encyclopedia's necessarily terse entries couldn't. I think this style is what made Memory Alpha stand out, and it quickly gathered a thriving community of contributors.
I gradually stopped contributing to Memory Alpha after the first few years; I'd gotten a little burned out from writing so many articles, and I also got promoted to a full-time position at work, so I had less time to spend writing and editing articles. I also fell out of touch with Harry, as we stopped posting frequently at Flare and moved on with our lives.
I've continued to visit Memory Alpha over the years, though, and I've been very pleased to see how it continued to thrive—thanks to the efforts of all the other fans who contributed their time, thoughts, and energy into creating the most comprehensive Star Trek reference in the world. I'm proud to have helped this invaluable resource and thriving community to take off.
Outside of the world of Star Trek, I'm a former history student who got an opportunity to follow his passion and work for an insanely great technology company. I spend my days sharing that love with others, showing them how they can do all sorts of cool stuff with technology, to enrich their lives and share with friends and family. (I know that sounds cheesy, but it's true!)