The guestbook was part of Tripod's list of add-ons. In today's world, it was basically a comments section. It was nice hearing from fans, but I knew that they wanted some interaction, both with me and each other, so I moved towards a message board, which is more geared toward that kind of interaction.
But it started to get out of hand, where users were posting single line posts, conversing on a message board like it was a chat room, and it irritated me. So I started looking into setting up a chat room, and as the comic says, Robin suggested I use IRC, which was a good suggestion, but I knew nothing about IRC, so he set it up for me.
In addition to basically running the chat room, he also became an admin on the message board.
Also, the fans from the second and fourth panels are, starting from the left in the fourth panel: Andrusi, Liss, Rick, Lupus, iX, and Kefka. They really were some of the earliest fans.