Schneider in c. 2015
|Born||5 December 1988|
|Known for||Founder of MicroWiki|
Fabian Maximilian Schneider (born 5 December 1988) – also known by his online username Monsterfurby – is a German retired micronationalist who founded MicroWiki on 27 May 2005. He reigned as the Prince (and later Emperor) of Seraya under the title Maximilian I from 2004 to late 2005.
Born in Hanover, Germany, Schneider founded the Sovereign Principality of Seraya in 2004 during an exchange year at a school in the United States. He reigned as its Prince through Seraya's transition into a democratic principality and then an empire – for which he crowned himself Emperor – before dissolving in late 2005. After Seraya first became inactive in June 2005, Schneider departed from MicroWiki only a month after its foundation, making only a brief return in August 2006 to appoint a new administrator and write his now well-known Word from the Founder about MicroWiki. He still keeps intermittent contact with current site co-owner Jonathan I.
Between 2004 and 2005, Schneider spent a year at Chopticon High School in Morganza, St. Mary's County, Maryland, US as a foreign exchange student, during which he founded the Sovereign Principality of Seraya in 2004 alongside friends Richard Conklin and Matthew McQuade, and declared himself Prince Maximilian I. Seraya, claiming no physical territory, was instead based around the social interactions of its citizens, nearly all students of the school and all acquaintances of Schneider. At its peak, Seraya had roughly seventy citizens. The success of Seraya sparked the creation of several other micronations in the nearby area in an event known as the Maryland micronations boom. This influenced him to found MicroWiki on 27 May.
In June, Seraya greatly declined and fell into a state of inactivity following a period of political instability after a coup d'état. Sometime around August, Schneider reformed Seraya into a democratic principality, however it only grew to 28 citizens – including Conklin and McQuade – considerably less than the sovereign principality. In late 2005, Schneider returned to Germany after his exchange year in the United States concluded. This proved detrimental to Seraya as it made it problematic for Schneider to keep in contact with Conklin, McQuade or Seraya's other citizens who lived in the United States, inevitably resulting in its dissolution.
Schneider wanted to be able to easily record information on Seraya as well as other closely-related micronations, such as the Holy Empire of Tritoniakamia and Umoria, and so he founded MicroWiki on 27 May 2005 upon registering the domain
micronations.wikicities.com on the wiki hosting service Wikicities (now Fandom). Schneider registered under the username "Monsterfurby". When Seraya fell into a state of inactivity in June, Schneider departed from MicroWiki, which led to MicroWiki falling into a complete dormancy. Nevertheless, MicroWiki started to become active again upon seeing an arrival of micronationalists who discovered the wiki via the Internet. Schneider made a brief return to MicroWiki on 18 August 2006 to appoint a new administrator and write his now well-known Word from the Founder about MicroWiki.
Schneider next appeared in 2011, when contact was established between him and Sebastian Linden. It was discovered that, due to the IP ban of Linden's account which he used for the first half of 2011, Schneider had ironically been inadvertently blocked from editing MicroWiki as at the time Linden lived relatively nearby to him in Germany. Also in 2011, Schneider privately expressed disapproval of the Schneider Awards which had been named after him, disagreeing with the way in which they were used to insult some recipients, such as the award category "Worst Troll". In August 2012 and April 2015, Schneider made several public discussion threads on MicroWikia – a wiki which split off from MicroWiki in November 2010 – expressing his amazement at MicroWiki's growth and confusion over the split between the two.
According to MicroWiki historian Zabëlle Skye, "Schneider founded MicroWiki then was out", his short time on the wiki meaning he ultimately had little to no influence on its development or growth. Skye further explained that this made Schneider a relatively obscure and little-known figure to present members of the community. The first period of the history of MicroWiki (which is in the "Foundation Era" and lasts from 27 May to June 2005) is named after his username. The Schneider Awards, which were created in March 2011, were named after him. However, Schneider privately expressed disapproval of the awards, disagreeing with the way in which they were used to insult some recipients. The Word from the Founder quotation which he wrote about MicroWiki upon his brief return on 18 August 2006 is well-known in the MicroWiki community, and has often been linked to from the Main Page or sidebar of the wiki (most recently restored to the sidebar in late 2021).
- Skye, 2020. p. 20.
- Fabian Maximilian Schneider at MicroWikia. Wikia (Fandom, inc.). Archived from the original on 11 November 2006.
- Skye, 2020. p. 4–5.
- Skye, 2020. p. 5.
- Skye, 2020. p. 6.
- Parker I, 2010. "Foundation", ch. 1 "The Early Days".
- Skye, 2020. p. 7.
- Contributions. User:Monsterfurby on MicroWikia. Fandom, Inc.
- Skye, 2020. p. 1–2.
- MicroWiki contributors, n.d.. "History of the MicroWiki community", "Foundation Era" at MicroWiki.
- Skye, Zabëlle (29 December 2020) "On the Early History of MicroWiki: Influential Micronations and Micronationalists". Indie Books!. (Google Docs).
- Parker I (24 October 2010) "A History of MicroWiki". (MicroCommons) – MicroCommons.fandom.com. Archived from the original on 26 September 2021.