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Hi all,

even though this editor log is being produced on April the first, I try not to make it sound too much like an April fools joke, although nevertheless one of the facts mentioned in the next dozen or so lines will be false, just to keep you on your toes.

With me being with E2 for almost five years now, I can honestly say that I am currently experiencing E2 at its best: Old noders are coming back, new noders are sticking around and adding fantastic content to the database. The catbox (apart from some rather unpleasant repetitive trolling by a half dozen coprolaliacs) is vibrant and exploding with astonishing philosophic one liners. The machine itself has been given a new lease of life with some cool new hardware, and our very own code-geniuses are actively revamping the geriatric gears of that algorhithmic beast that is E2. Additionally to the obvious infrastructural changes, Lord Brawl has been able to keep tempers under control during the heated discussions that were started by the maus's daylogs last month. I think the resulting subtle changes in editor policy has been for the best and should suit all noders, regardless of which side of the 'bar'/'fun' debate they should find themselves.

Being the eternal optimist that I am, I predict a second golden age for E2. It's about time.


It has now been almost three months since Our Dear Leader has made me part of the admin team. This was specifically not for the quality of my writing (which is pretty below average) but for the work on the podcast. I am aware of this and leave many editorial decisions to my colleagues and rather perform other admin duties. This 'artistic deficiency' means that I mostly don't judge your writeup for it's artistic content or value, but rather focus on the more obvious things and specifically look for:

  • Cut and paste writeups. My access to the University of Otago's electronic library makes checking cut and paste jobs from text books a doddle, so don't do it. And if you think that I am picky, you will see that Jessicapierce is probably even more minutious. I have no problems to request penalties from a high level admin if this is a recurring issue. And just because you took a Wikipedia article and changed 3 out of 100 words doesn't mean it's not cut and paste.
  • Formatting. Even the most beautiful prose is impossible to read without some strategically placed line breaks. If you learn N-Wing's E2 HTML tags node by heart your w/u's will be more beautiful and you will feel the noderlove flowing towards your XP.
  • Linking. Hardlinks embed your masterpiece into the database, while pipelinks give it a third dimension. Use them extensively. Add softlinks that you think add something special to your node. Let your imagination run wild and associate freely.
  • Cite your sources! How do I know that you're not talking out of your arse when writing about the mating habits of the nepalese bush rhinoceros? Read the E2 FAQ: How to cite your sources and use its vast expertise.


Remember, if you feel hard done by me or my colleagues, have a word with a sympathetic god who will try to resolve issues.

And now, enjoy the golden age of E2 while I continue the celebrations in honour of my ascension to the throne of New Zealand.


Peace,

H.

I'm quite glad to see graceness posting a daylog. I'm enjoying seeing established noders wander back to the site and join in the fun again, and I hope they feel as if they're being welcomed back with open arms.

That said, I want to speak about a point that she raises in her April 3, 2007 daylog; in her words, The trouble I'm seeing is - there is no room for a "beginning" stage here. It is almost expected that your first write-up be stellar, or so help you God and Sunny Jesus.

This is a – call it what you will, idea, meme, thought, belief, whatever – that periodically raises its ugly head. Many noders may believe it to be the God's Honest Truth. Indeed, others besides gracie have expressed this at one time or another. I'm here to tell you it's as true as believing the moon is made of green cheese.

YOUR FIRST WRITEUP DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THE BEST YOU'LL EVER PRODUCE.

(Was I shouting? Good, I want you to hear me.)

Your first writeup doesn't even have to come close. Naturally, we – gods, editors, noders, and your parents – hope that your first writeup will be your best effort and the first of many; but if it falls short of the general tone and style of what makes a good E2 writeup, there's plenty of help available. I don't know if that can be made any clearer or any more understood. Very few of us started out as excellent or even good writers, but we all should remember that E2 can help you become as good a writer as your talents will allow. That's been proven so many times it can not be in any dispute.

Couple that with the knowledge that it's been strict E2 policy for some time now that we editors and gods do NOT delete writeups willy-nilly; rather, the policy is to try to help the noder salvage the writeup and polish it to the point that it will begin to acquire a positive reputation, whether that be through XP or word of mouth. Again, we're here to help. There's plenty of non-admin noders as well who are ready and willing to lend a hand. They remember being a newbie and freely give of their time and feedback to anyone who needs it.

All one has to do is realize that sometimes you need help. Sometimes what you believe is a piece of Great Literary Work just ain't. In actuality, the writeup may need some work. There is real, verifiable danger in taking any criticism you may receive here personally; it's detrimental to your outlook and your career on E2. Don't. Don't let anyone tell you that you have to be a factual noder, you should be writing fiction, poetry doesn't cut it on E2, or any of the other nonsense that refuses to die. E2 is and always has been about good writing, whatever the genre; and if at first crack your writeup isn't so good, there's a universe of assistance available. All that's asked from any noder is a willingness to dig in alongside those that have offered help, and then get down to the pleasant work required. It's much more fun and productive than going off in a huff!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

A final comment in that vein, before the usual ed. report: some noders, long-time and not so long-time, have expressed to me that these are actually the Golden Days of E2. I couldn't agree more.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Well, in February and March, I nuked a few writeups by long-fled noders; and assisted others with some grammar and style fixes. Unfortunately, like a big dolt, I nuked all the notes I had made and I didn't save 'em anywhere else. Sometimes I wonder if I should be allowed near a computer. Happy Noding until next time.

On the Status of the FAQ

As some of you know, this site is owned by the Everything Development Company. In terms of personalities involved, the owners are more or less co-extensive with the developers of Slashdot. I've never met these guys in person, but years of contact with E2 have allowed me to make some observations.

First, they are dedicated to the continued existence and vitality of Everything2 and the Everything2 community because they fixed whatever it was on the hardware side that needed fixing. I think I speak for everyone when I give a hearty "YAY!", and extend kudos, heartfelt thanks, offers of sexual favors, etc.

Second, the Boys in Michigan are big proponents of the "open source", or collaborative model for projects. If I may be permitted a reflective digression, it appears that authority over the direction of a collaborative project is weighted, as the term suggests, towards those who have contributed labor to a project. That is, the weight given to a person's opinion is proportional to the quality and quantity of the labor contributed (though the details vary depending on the needs and goals of the project). Thus, in the Linux world, the opinion of Linus Torvalds carries some weight, the opinions of millions of non-contributing spectators have "neutral karma", so to speak, and efforts to take control of the project using money, without contributing any labor, are met with intense hostility. *cough* SCO *cough*. This is the true essence of pure capitalism along the model of Locke's Second Treatise of Civil Government, where property is founded in labor, but with the added insight that once labor or property is converted to money, the pure medium of exchange, it loses its moral and intellectual value, and thus cannot be taken seriously as "capital" investment or entitle a person to exert authority. This is why the notion that contributing money is "free speech", as in Buckley v. Valeo, is fundamentally flawed... what? Hey? Oh. My license to digress has been revoked.

Anyhoo... this information ultimately has relevance to the FAQ. The Boys in Michigan have appointed certain persons to run the place. For years that was Ryan Postma (pbuh) also known as "dem bones". A lot of the help documents were his work, or the work of wharfinger (pbuh). Those documents are now mostly obsolete, despite their historical, sentimental and aesthetic value. Now, as you probably know, Lord Brawl leads the Content Editors team. As you probably don't know, dann leads the code development side of the project and is vested with ultimate, absolute, despotic authority. Keep in mind that they, like all of us, are volunteers and have other things to do in their lives.

Now dann has been somewhat invisible to most users recently, but that will soon change. He's been testing code, at the Community2 site, which will enhance and extend the capabilities of Everything2. I'm not quite sure what is going to be ported to E2, but in a recent telephone conversation with me, dann mentioned "the registries" as one example.

Registries solve a conundrum which has been bothering us for years, the conflict between quality content and the social needs of the members of the community. On the one hand, every internet social community needs and desires a feature whereby members can get to know one another, and share personal information, likes and dislikes, affiliations and so forth. In the early days of Everything2, the node/writeup and wiki structure was adapted (or perverted, if you will) to create what came to be called "Getting to Know You" nodes, or GTKY for short. The problem with GTKY nodes (aside from being ephemeral, and usually not the product of research or thought or artistic exertion) is that they impede the function of hypertext links. If you click on a link and get a GTKY writeup, it will probably not be what you are looking for, because it is by definition intensely and one might also say, "merely" personal. So the decision was made, and has repeatedly been reaffirmed among the administrative staff, to deprecate GTKY and kill all GTKY nodes. Still, the need and desire for GTKY persists, and dann tested several possible solutions at Community2, including compartment for GTKY, called "registries". Basically, you can create a topic and everyone has the opportunity to join in. The E2 rule, "Writeup Does Not Mean Reply" gets turned on its head. This is fun. The result isn't "Noding for the Ages", but often hilarious or interesting or both.

All that having been said, we are most definitely not at the stage of the project where all our help documents can be set in stone. The documentation needs to be modular so it can be changed and easily maintained by the volunteers who do that. This is why the E2 FAQ Editors Group has put most of its efforts into creating one central index, so we can keep track of what's there, what's current, and what needs work. That central index is called, for lack of a better term, the Everything FAQ. This is intended as a resource for experienced members of the community as well as new writers on E2. If you want to know how a feature works, or you forgot what the HTML code for the interrobang, you can start there. We've also put some effort into a "Read Me" page, E2 Quick Start, for new writers who decline to Read the Freakin' Manual (RTFM).

For casual readers, or people who just encountered the site and wonder "WTF is this?" we offer little. First, because we can never agree on what E2 is, and second because I, as the team leader, could not care less about casual readers. Sorry, I just don't.

Everything else has been left as it was... and may or may not be delinked, hidden, or otherwise distinguished from the official, current help documents, Some Time Real Soon.


4/26/2007 10:31 MDT: BREAKING NEWS: we now have a user group called e2docs, open to all interested parties.

Please direct comments or questions to me, God of FAQ, or to members of the e2docs.

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