Review 2003:
Who was the best new person you met in 2003 and what was the first thing you talked about?

It occurs to me that all of us probably meet many interesting people everyday. We sit next to them on the bus or train, we walk past them on our way to work, they sell us our lunch or see them in the lift at work. But we never have time to stop and talk, always rushing about, probably missing out on learning something new or making a brilliant new friend. But to choose that smashing girl who works in Boots would be missing the point. So instead I'll say Nancy from my World Music course, because she's studying accountancy by day so that she can help those who have none when she graduates, which sounds inspiring to me.
Stuart Ian Burns, feeling listless

I've got to know the inhabitants of my own village much better this year, and so I'd nominate the fellow members of the village Arts Festival team, whose company I really enjoy down the pub, and with whom I'm putting together something really satisfying. Freelancers don't get to organise very often, and this fulfills that need.
Paul Cornell, Writer, British Summertime

That's an awkward question, given the possibility that in choosing I may hurt the feelings of someone else. Generally speaking, thanks to my online world I've met a number of great people and while I can't remember any specific discussions I know I've enjoyed talking to each of them
individually and as a group on my site.
Mike Brown, the pepys project

I met some great folks from New Jersey while waiting for the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland. We talked about sports, Disneyland and films. They were extremely friendly.
Greg Mariotti formerly of The Uncool: Cameron Crowe Online and cigarettes & coffee.

I got to meet the Brothers Chaps from We talked about beer.
Drew Curtis, Fark

Despite living as a virtual hermit due to being somewhat fiscally challenged this year, I have nevertheless met some very cool people. In January I met up with a whole bunch of fellow Elliott Smith fans whom I'd come to know via a messageboard called Sweet Addy. One of the regulars, Mike, held his 40th birthday party in Manchester and 32 Sweet Addiers went up for the party. I'd met only two of them once, yet I was warmly welcomed by the other 30. We had such a fantastic time, talking, embarrassing Mike at his local pub by singing Happy Birthday somewhat raucously, and playing Elliott's songs late into the night on acoustic guitar. A truly great party. However, if I'm forced to pick just one person, well, that would have to be Vincent Holland-Keen. We met online on Zoetrope at the beginning of August and the first thing I think we spoke about was his script for a short film, Nothing Travels Faster Than Bad News. Since then we've corresponded quite a bit, met in person, and now I'm helping co-produce his film and he's helping me iron out the wrinkles in my script. I'm absolutely sure that I'll cop flack for saying this, but Vince is not only a deeply cool person, but also very a talented writer whom I suspect will eventually be horrifically successful. His acting sucks arse, though.
Suw Charman, Chocolate and Vodka

That person would be my new friend, Canela. The first thing we talked about was, how much the concept of family, is changing in different parts of the world.
Celeste Lanari, PR Manager, Geotecnica S.R.L

I rediscovered a friend I'd lost contact with. We talked about the past 5 years.
Eva Katzler, singer

Stephen Done, curator of Liverpool Football Club's museum at Anfield. Our conversation immediately and wholly consisted of the life, times and effect of Bill Shankly.
Cameron Borland, Off The Telly

Bill Viola ... we didn’t 'talk' as such, well, he did, at me, or more accurately, at us.
Rowan Kerek, editor, The Collective

Andrei Codrescu. Our hope for Romania.
Kathleen Laraia McLaughlin, Photographer, Leaf Pile

This honor would have to go to my new coworker, Rachel, who is witty and wise beyond her young years. She has this odd habit of interrogating people: I think that she has a sort of imaginary life where she believes she's a talk-show host. I think the first conversation we ever had was related to her asking, "If you had to choose between having a problem with uncontrollable constant flatulence, or random and unpredictable projectile vomiting, which would you choose and why?" Never a dull moment with Rachel. She makes work a joy, and she just generally rocks.
Kat Sagbottom, Headmistress of the Sagbottom Home For Wayward Girls

Warren Ellis. Palm Pilots and mobile blogging.
Charlie Stross, Writer, weblog

I'm going to throw a shoutout here to a fellow blogger - Rex Sorgatz - who runs (He's an IBS guy in Minneapolis.) I met Rex at an RTNDF gathering in DC this year, and we instantly argued over nearly every aspect of new media. But he has a vision. I think we disagreed on everything except getting another round of drinks. Great guy - more cool and hip than I ever hope to be. I check out his site every day - I'm a fan. I met some famous people, too, but they weren't nearly as interesting or insightful.
Steve Safran, Executive Producer, NECN: New England Cable News & Columnist,
Lost Remote

Michael Buffington. He had us in stitches telling stories about his website, Stink Factor.
Rebecca Blood, Blogger and Author

I was introduced to the artist Yinka Shonibare by his girl-friend, Maxa Zoller, and all we went for lunch together. We started off by mentioning that I had named my dog after his girl-friend and I promised that if ever Maxa the dog got a male companion I would call it Yinka.
Denise Raine, Librarian, The Henry Moore Institute

Probably the author Dan Rhodes, and it was probably about how one of our mutual friends had tried to pick up a particularly gorgeous girl that night by explaining, in depth the rules of bridge. Either him or a lady called Lisa Thomas, who runs a comedy management agency, and has become a bit of a big sister. I think we talked about how stupid my haircut was.
Danny Wallace, Writer, Join Me

Sarah MacCormick, who became my agent in May this year. The first thing we talked about was a performance I gave at age 18 which by a strange twist of fate, Sarah had seen. If that isn't destiny calling I don't know what is.
Emma Kennedy, Actress, Writer and Comedienne

Mil Millington; I met him to interview him about his book. The first thing we discussed was smoking - I asked if he minded if I smoked, he pulled out a packet of fags of the same brand as mine and we chain-smoked through the interview. We've subsequently become mates, which is cool cos he's a sweetie.
Emily Dubberley, Founder of cliterati and Dubberly

Ostentatious I know, but it has to be Dudley "Tinker" Sutton, who I interviewed along with a couple of other TV Creamers during the Edinburgh Festival. What a truly smashing chap. Unfortunately the first thing we talked about was about the least interesting thing we discussed. Given that we had done no preparation, and knew very little about his career (Children's Film Foundation, token heavy in the 1970s, Tinker in Lovejoy) the TV Cream contingent resolved to simply ask him "what brings you to the Edinburgh Festival" followed by "and what are you doing next", in the hope that natural conversation would thence spew forth. And spew forth it did. For an hour, Dudley kept us captivated with his wit, anecdotes and general low opinion of Ian McShane.
Jack Kibble-White, Off The Telly and TV Cream

Nadine Cox (my now girlfriend) - we talked about West End theatre.
Jason Haigh-Ellery, Producer, The Audio Adventures of Doctor Who, Big Finish Productions

Every day my two children, 3 and 6, really are new people, and each conversation with them is an awakening. We talk about airplanes, books and what it is like to be a fish.
Miles Hochstein, Documented Life

I met my niece, Rachel, in May. She was just about five months old. We didn't really discuss much, as you can imagine, but we had some meaningful laughter and a few moments of one-sided hideous screaming.
Jeff Blitz, Filmmaker, Amateur Magician, Spellbound

I met many 'best' people this year, including new housemates, colleagues and soulmates. First conversations were usually about places, films, being ill and food.
Kristina Perner, Audiopark

That would have to be the aforementioned niece, Victoria, and she didn't have a lot to say when I met her the day after she was born. But we did exchange a skeptical look in which she seemed to say "Can you believe this crap?" and I nodded sympathetically.
MaryAnn Johanson, Film Critic, FlickFilosopher

Sorry, 'bout that, am kinda hidden away in HW (Hollywood).
Cynthia Basinet, Entertainer

Best new person (sounds like a BRIT Award).... I've met no one this year who is worthy of a mention... I'm thinking very hard and if there was someone I'd be detailing them now... No, sorry, not enough Networking this season from me..
Ben Birtwistle, Fine Art Printmaker and 'financial advisor'

Sadly, nobody.
Caroline van Oosten de Boer, prolific and Whedonesque

I remained unimpressed by everyone new I met this year. You all really must try harder in 2004.
Nick Jones, Web Editor, National Museums Liverpool

Tomorrow: Describe the one thing in 2003 which made you stop in your tracks and say under your breath 'That's so cool...'