The number of earthlings has grown from the original 13 to the current 42. Here's how it happened:
The original movings behind earth.li came in February 1998 from JonathanMcDowell, Mike Ricketts and Tristam Fenton-May. Stuart Adamson, Tim Bond, Jon Chin, Paul Duff, MikeMason, David Sheldon, GaneshSittampalam, ChrisVenus and David Woolger joined in soon afterwards and David Ball followed shortly after that, thus completing the original EarthlingsCouncilOfThirteen. Each of the original members paid £5 towards the earth.li registration.
Sometime in between February and November it appears that Tim Bagot and Adrian Chadd joined.
In November 1998 SimonHuggins joined, followed by Janet McKnight, Kate Pugh and Simon Cozens, and then Stephen Gower.
In January 1999 Roland Kay joined, followed by Caroline Berry and then Stephen White at the beginning of February. Next was Tim Ricketts and then Toby Jaffey in May, Angharad Green in November, and Meryki Horton and Ian Lynagh in December.
2000 started out with Matthew Byng-Maddick joining in February, PatrickMoore in May, and Rebecca Luckraft in July.
Up till this point new earthlings were added by acclamation - new members were known to several existing members so even if some people didn't know them there was little controversy about adding them. This changed in August 2000, when Dominic Hargreaves asked to join. It was felt that he wasn't really well known to very many earthlings, and as a result a policy of new earthlings requiring (at least) two existing earthling sponsors prepared to say something like "I know him really well and I think (s)he'd fit in with the ethos behind being an earthling" and no dissension from the others. At this point little effort was made to define said ethos.
Although Dom had one sponsor at this stage (GaneshSittampalam) he wasn't well known to the rest, and so his application didn't proceed. After a few months Kate Pugh also agreed to be his sponsor and so Dom eventually joined in November 2000.
In February 2001 Amanda Kerr-Munslow asked to join, with Ian Lynagh and Kate Pugh as sponsors. After a brief discussion that focussed mainly on her reasons for wanting to join, she was accepted. The question of why people wanted to join was to become a recurring theme.
In April 2001 CarolinePearson joined, with David Woolger, Simon Cozens and Kate Pugh as sponsors. The discussion as to whether she should be admitted focussed mainly on a demand that she shave her PubicHair.
At around the same time a request was made by Kate Pugh and Simon Cozens to coopt Alex Gough without his knowledge, but after a brief discussion this was quickly killed off when it was realised they appeared to be serious. They later said they hadn't been, however.
In June, Dave Higgins asked to join, sponsored by Dominic Hargreaves and GaneshSittampalam. An objection was raised that he was at the same college as Dom and Ganesh and not known to many other earthlings, but this was contested by some other people saying they thought he'd be a good earthling too. Another objection was that Dave had apparently not done anything noteworthy online, which provoked something of a row on the relevance of a prospective earthling's web presence and ended with Simon Cozens resigning (the only earthling to have left so far). The discussion also degenerated into some rather pointless arguing about exactly how the sponsorship system worked. The eventual outcome was that Dave was accepted, and there appeared to be a general consensus that prospective new earthlings should provide some reasons for why they wanted to join. This didn't seem to happen for a while, though.
Next to join was Martin Ling in July 2001, with Tim Bond and David Sheldon as sponsors. There were no objections except the now obligatory suggestion that he should have his PubicHair shaved. Later the same month Arthur Bullard asked to join, sponsored by Kate Pugh and Tristam Fenton-May. There were some doubts from people who weren't sure if they would get on well with him due to his general quietness, but those were allayed and he was accepted (but not before there was a protracted discussion about what makes a good earthling).
In November Alex Gough asked to join on his own behalf, with GaneshSittampalam and Jon Chin as sponsors. His quoted reasons for wanting to join were seen as rather frivolous (one of them was "ILikePies"), but after a bit more discussion it was agreed that he would make a good earthling, and once the now-obligatory PubicHair and "what is earthlings all about?" discussions were out of the way he joined.
Next up was Simon Chatterjee, sponsored by JonathanMcDowell and David Ball. There was remarkably little discussion about this, and he joined in January 2002. Juliet Kemp then joined in April 2002, sponsored by David Sheldon and Martin Ling. Again this happened with remarkably little discussion.
March 2003 saw the addition of JamesGreen, though not until after yet another long and protracted discussion about voting systems, reasons for voting, stagnation, explosion and all the fun and games that we've come to associate with a request for a new Earthling.
In April 2003, Niall Harrison asked to join, sponsored by Dave Higgins and Angharad Green. Known to many earthlings, he was accepted with a minimum of fuss and a vindication of a new electronic voting system. Slipping in to the group with similar ease was Tom Womack in March 2004, sponsored by SimonHuggins and Amanda Kerr-Munslow. In Tom's case it has been suggested that the only reason he hadn't become an earthing sooner was that half the existing members thought he already was one.