We thought that it was a big deal back then, getting a mention from the NYT. Following that article was the first big wave of new members. A lot of posts were lost in the great crash of 2005, but if you read posts from that time, you'll find that very little has changed in old members being grumpy about new members changing the tone of the forum, dumbing it down, asking stupid questions, etc.... la plus ca change, right?
Steve Brinkman was the original supermoderator, the position to which Matt was recently elevated. He's mostly emeritus right now. Just not around as much as he used to be. Steve actually invited to join the site. At the time, I was helping him edit the "designers" section of his self-published book. The picture was meant as a joke, but I think that the concept died in execution.