That would be digeri. I think I knew him from as early as 1996/1997 and we actually met up before the first Anthrocon. Everyone else on my friends list I got to know later.
It should be noted however, that I heard of plushlover earlier. He was active in some Usenet newsgroups in the early 90s. I didn't know about the connection until much later though when he mentioned the name that he used to go by on newsgroups.