I trust that Petruchio won't mind if I post this here...
On 2007-11-15, Petruchio wrote (in the #perlmonks irc channel):
1999: Tim Vroom gets drunk, launches site based on Everykludge, gifs of text, and Scotch Tape. First troll arrives 2 hours later.
2000: Tim and CowboyNeal get drunk. CowboyNeal creates a Perlmonks Slashbox for Tim, sending scores of Slashdorks to the new site. Tim creates an XP system, then gives himself 1,000,000 XP when people start kicking his ass.
2001 is split between people getting pissed off at DiscoStu and people getting pissed off at merlyn. Anti-Troll gear is created, and Perlmonks more or less gets rid of DiscoStu. merlyn remains a more difficult problem.
Late 2001 or early 2002, vroom gets drunk and makes random users into gods. The site begins a steady decline which continues today.