I don't remember the how, but I remember the "what". Someone pointed me to the browse-by-color tool, and I was blown away. That tool was way ahead of its time.
TechCrunch and BoingBoing, 2005.
In Oct of 2005 I was doing research on unschooling families who were doing creative projects with their kids!
I ended up interviewing this family:
The googles told me! I was looking for venues to sell my quartz/mineral photography. Twas 2006.
A former professor of mine, Michael Dearing, told me about Etsy and how user centric the design/product team was here.
I think my dad sent me a link in early 2006. I remember thinking "finally, an ebay for people like me!" - as the clouds dissipated and light shone down. I wasn't sure if I could sell and buy from Brazil, but I opened an account right away.
I first became aware that every girl I knew was sending me links here sometime in 2006. I was impressed by the Legend of Zelda error page, which I wound up viewing frequently.
Anda started talking about this "space" in Brooklyn that was an open studio. It was open to the public and anyone could use their sewing machines. I was living in Richmond at the time and we were very jealous we did not have such a space. This was in 2005.
some blog, maybe a livejournal?, during my Junior year of high-school (2005).
then it would often pop up whenever I was reading steampunk blogs/deviantarts