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Hi folks, just a short note for this month. Work was busy with some critical software patches and some tricky personnel issues. Home life was hectic as well. I intend to add a number of IVF related writeups soon, sharing some hard-won experience in this area. I hope to add one that starts out by saying "It worked!" -- I can't write that one yet though.

Everything: The Forum

sam512 raised a number of concerns about e2's management and operation. We managed to answer some of them, and others were addressed by Apatrix's creation of THE EVERYTHING FORUM!. I only just got off my virtual posterior and signed up now, so I don't have much to say about it yet. I'm user 287 so it seems that it's doing well so far! I hope to be a bit more active there after the holiday season.

Senior admin (e2gods) staff changes

Long-time admin yossarian stepped down from the e2gods usergroup to pursue his graduate studies. I hear that those are tricky things to catch, like landing a marlin*. dann added JohnnyGoodyear to the e2gods usergroup in yossarian's place (many of you noticed right away when JG's $ became a @). dann and I talked about some other minor changes to the e2gods roster that we will likely implement in December -- largely making official some semi-retirements that have already taken place.

dann and I have agreed that he will manage the e2gods usergroup, and I'll manage the Content Editors (CEs). I am hoping to change this group up a bit for the new year as well. The current team has been keeping things ticking along, yet this group has been a bit more passive than I'd like. I hope to see some more quests, contests, challenges, and other content-stimulating activities in 2006 and I'll be looking to the CEs to lead the way.

Who and what are Content Editors?

CEs are the folks who help to guide and shape the content of E2. When the site's content is good, and we're getting quality new material, then the editors are content, as it should be. CEs are not simply "Content Removers"! There's always a need for that power, but we've evolved away from the days of "delete first and debate later". It's an evolution of process that continues today.

I will be asking any new volunteers for the Content Editor team to fill out a short 'bio' for me, which I hope to post in these monthly editor logs when the CE team changes. I hope that CEs will also place these on their home nodes. I'd love to see all of the current admins do this as well, and intend to do it myself. In fact, I'd hope that many experienced users will respond to these questions! But for the Content Editor team, seeing the answers will help us ensure we have balanced site coverage, and it will show us where we have weak spots and need to recruit expertise.

Here's my best shot at a short but informative CE bio:


Short explanations are optional, but may prove helpful.

  1. List 3 to 5 writeups (not your own) that epitomize what's special about everything2 for you.
  2. List 2 or 3 writeups (your own) with which you're most pleased.
  3. List 2 or 3 writeups (anyone's) to which you would point new users as an example of "how to write for e2".


  1. At what time or times are you typically active on e2 and accessible for user questions and help?
  2. Are you an active member of the Mentoring team, or if not, would you be willing to join?
  3. Are you a subject matter expert to whom the admin team can go for content advice? If so, in what area(s)?
  4. Are you a leader or an active, contributing member of any e2 usergroups?

Bio questions rejected

I toyed with asking Are there any writeups that you'd want to delete on your first day on the team? If so, which ones and why? but I decided that this was not useful. It's too negative and it focuses on removal, which I don't want to be the primary mission. Further, bad content is (in the main) ephemeral, and so there's nothing to be gained from pointing it out.

Content issues

There was some discussion about the use of abbreviations and acronyms, especially in technical nodes. Transitional Man recommended that abbreviations be spelled out at first use with the abbreviation in parentheses and then be abbreviated thereafter. This matches with my preferences. Judicious use of pipe links can also help, but this interrupts the flow of reading for most people.

Several people have also recommended changing the underlined hard link to a simple colo(u)r change, as Wikipedia does, to help with reading. As this is more code than content, all I can say is, wait for the blessed day when we get a new code base, and then all things will be possible. Well, lots more things, anyway....

The Good Stuff

I was remiss in hunting up anything for this section this time. Help me write next month's version, tell me about stuff from December that you loved!

Page of Cool rewards as always, with smartalix being especially diligent about nominating stuff. (smartalix, btw, has an excellent home node bio already!)

Coming in December

I'm late with this post, so December's already well underway. I think everyone's going to try and get through the month safe and sane, and then we'll try to start off 2006 with some new content-generating activities. Cheers!

Marlin didn't link to what I wanted. Do I have the wrong fish?

woolworths111 was with E2 for about five months. He joined here in September of this year, and asked to have himself removed today in the catbox.

It's pretty standard to talk to a member and ask for motives, reasons for leaving, encouragement to stay, offering of help/guidance. I did all that with private messages.

His responses, which I have his permission to repost:

Meh, just a general sense of dissatisfaction. Plus the way this site often seems to be little more than the internet's biggest in-joke, one which it is impossible to comprehend unless you've been here since 2000.

/msg IWhoSawTheFace I did take this site on as a challenge, to help with my writing after discovering it on sam512's website; I hate myself for giving up. Ah well.

And thanks for your offer of help. It's alright.

That's fine. And I probably will come back occasionally; I enjoy reading the database. And the Ed Stories.

Thankyou. I'd like to say that I still think this is a great site, best web community I've ever met.

He didn't pull an Asamoth. His nodes and his homenode information remain here, intact. I told him that a lot of people leave E2 for various reasons, and that later they'll come by just to check in. Some resume their writings here, others never do. He was fine with that.

I didn't want him to leave without anyone saying goodbye, and making sure that his last few messages were at least somewhat positive and upbeat. How we treat people when they threaten to leave means almost as much as it does when we welcome them to E2 at the beginning. It could mean the difference between someone who's pissed off at the "don't let the door slam on you on the way out" attitude and someone who has his voice heard by a sympathetic ear.

woolworths111 strikes me as a stand-up guy. His photographic artwork on pleases the eye. He has a good sense of aesthetic. He also strikes me as a loner. It is not surprising that he didn't have much interaction with us while he was here. He's probably used to walking his own road and picking up tools and talents as he goes alone; an autodidactic sort. He probably didn't ask for mentoring.

He came here for good reason. He read sam512's writings and was hooked. I know that feeling well. I first read mitzi when I got here, and thought, holy shit, this place is fantastic. Read a bit more, realized this felt like home. If you've ever read sam512's Standing on a mountaintop in northern Siberia under the rapidly descending bulk of asteroid McAlmont, with a calculating expression and a baseball bat you couldn't help but feeling the same way.

He was frustrated by the inbred nature of this place. He's got a point. It exists here. I wish he'd indicated to someone he'd like to play more. I like the inside jokes. I like the recursive, self-referential nature of conversations here. But not everyone does.

His last two comments were telling. He'll come back to do more readings of good E2 stories. And he still has a high opinion of this site. I don't think he was writing this because he thought I wanted to hear that. It seems to me this was his real feeling. We should be honored.

I wanted to give you his comments because it's as good for us to hear the bad perceptions of E2 as it is the compliments.

We live. We learn. Hopefully, we get better.

Now that I’m apparently in sync (timewise) with the rest of the world (see Editor Log: November 2005), it’s time to get down to this month’s business.

Lord Brawl has presented the staff and, by extension, all e2ers, with some interesting requests in his recent Editor Log:

List 3 to 5 writeups (not your own) that epitomize what’s special about Everything2 for you.

List 2 or 3 writeups (your own) with which you’re pleased.

List 2 or 3 writeups (anyone’s) to which you would point new users as an example of “how to write for e2”.

At what time or times are you typically active on e2 and accessible for user questions and help?

I’m almost always on E2 in the evening, usually after 20:00 CST every evening except Wednesday, and irregular times on Saturday and Sunday. I’m only cloaked when I check in for a few minutes on workdays, due to irrational workplace internet use restrictions.

I’m ready and willing to assist users when I’m on, and also when I’m not. I’m roadboyIL on Yahoo! Messenger and AIM for those times when the E2 chat box won’t quite do. Hell, I’ll chat with noders via telephone if that works better. I hope users will never hesitate to contact me if there’s something with which I can help.

Are you an active member of the Mentoring team, or if not, would you be willing to join?

I am an active member. I joined the Mentoring team almost as soon as I reached level 4. In my professional life, I’ve achieved a reputation as a good mentor, and I’m happy to be able to bring that to E2 in whatever small way I can.

Are you a subject matter expert to whom the admin team can go for content advice? If so, in what area(s)?

Well, I believe I have a good grasp of English grammar, syntax, and style – I certainly have plenty of reference material handy. I’m also pretty good with things technical.

Are you a leader or an active, contributing member of any e2 usergroups?

I am the leader of e2Pagans and a member of Content Editors, the groups where I spend most of my usergroup time; also a member of outies, britnoders, e2pandas, e2books, E2LUG, e2religion, the Typo Death Squad (of course!), and GrayPanthers. I am perhaps not as active in some of these groups as I could be, largely due to the fact that there’s only so many hours in a day.

The preceding will also appear in my soon-to-be-revised homenode.


Now, on to this month’s activity:

Recycled nodegel

  • The mystery that is I by stoOpiDgenIUs – advised noder it might work better as a daylog.
  • Why you get ice-cream headaches by factgirl – noder requested deletion because "it’s a little too close to some Australian homework helper website".
  • Yellow Pages by zephtar – one-liner of unverified content (no sources) and a typo to boot, by a fled noder.
  • Reconstituted nodegel

    • Danny Glover by Davidian – fixed a few typos and a minor grammar problem. Noder notified.
    • nip/tuck by Fushiryo – advised noder to fix typos, expand the writeup a bit, and soft link.
    • medieval weaponry by rianu – fixed a few minor typos and syntactic errors.
    • Kimi Räikkönen by saturnine – fixed a "who’s" that should’ve been a "whose", and a few typos. Noder not seen for a while.
    • Austria, Turkey and the EU by Epiphany – messaged noder with a number of small fixes. Noder quite cooperative.
    • Fascism by noung – some minor typo fixes in an excellent writeup.
    • William Henry Harrison by O Boy – assistance with grammar and syntax.
    • Data Age by passport – a few minor punctuation fixes.
    • Examined Operators

    • O Boy
    • bewilderbeast
    • grundoon
    • greth
    • *Steps up to podium, clears throat and loosens tie.

      "Um. Hi. You don't know me, really, or maybe you do. Many of you do, now that I think about it, either through messages here, or the occasional note from Cool Man Eddie or, less frequently, Klaproth. Mix the bitter with the better, the best friend with the scary dude with the whacking stick. An ongodly number of you have met me in person, and if I did, I apologize. Exuberance is contagious but bad for the judgment, so.

      "My name's Jack, and I'm an editor here. Lord Brawl recently asked us to think about what we, you know, do here, and while I could answer that question in two sentences to him, I figured I might as well let the rest of you in on this two. Above everything else, you should know that that I'm not out to whack you with a stick or nothin', and that I'm here if you need me.

      "I'm trying to think of ways to expand on that, but it isn't coming easy. It's so fucking hard to pin down what we all do here and, apart from writing, hanging out (in person or not) and trying not to drive each other insane, I'm really not sure. I don't have an editorial philosophy - if a node needs work, I'll talk to the author and if it's incomplete, awful, unlinked or what-have-you, I may bring out the whacking stick. I also tend to avoid the politiking that goes on in the wings and, for the most part, I keep to myself.

      "Nevertheless: here's an encapsulation.

      "When I'm not buried under the mountain of insanity that is New York City retail 'round Christmas, when I'm actually here, I try to be visible, first and foremost. I don't cloak myself, figuring that I can't help people if they don't know I'm here. I spend my time going through the new stuff, messaging our newer members and keeping a close eye on the older, more established noders who I know will pump out something entertaining. Recently, I've discovered I've been fingering the C! button more than the Nuke button, and it feels like there's been quite a lot of new stuff that has at least grabbed my attention. That's a good thing.

      "I don't catbox, really; while it would indeed go a long way to getting myself out there amongst my friends and family, I can't quite come to grips with it. Can't put my finger on why, but that mode of communication has never been easy for me. Could be why I've always had trouble writing dialogue. Hmm. Never thought about it that way.

      "I'm a big fan of Apatrix's side project and have been spending some quality time over there as well. That interface, I'm good with.

      "When it comes to editorial duties, I spend most of my time fixing the little things on the older stuff, typos and html problems on nodes long out of the public spotlight. I tweak, really, adding paragraph tags and fixing typos and generally sweeping up. I also seem to be the night watchman, online from midnight to 4am EST. It's a good shift to mind the store, though the buzzing of the florescents gets on one's nerves after awhile.

      "More than any of that stuff, I help people relax and be happy here.

      "Welcome aboard HMS Everything; I'll be your cruise director for this particular voyage, got the little paper umbrellas for your drinks and everything. Buzz me if you need.

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