Recent questions and statements I have heard or overheard lately deal with favoritism, one of the E2 dirty words. Many believe it to be a taboo subject, one that can only be talked about in the back corners of the room in hushed tones between trusted friends. I don't believe in taboo subjects. However, there are right and wrong approaches to such topics. Yes, screaming about someone's writeups getting more attention than yours due to perceived favoritism is very bad. Telling someone you think they vote on and C! writeups by people they know while ignoring or showing less interest in "better" writeups by authors they are not so familiar with is bad form.
What is favoritism?
When asked the question, I contemplated for some time. You see, the quick and easy answer is not always the right one, and sometimes you can respond to questions emotionally and come off as defensive. Yes, with many people here on E2, myself included, there is a bias towards writeups by people we either know or have read good material from before. Are we quicker to upvote and C! such writeups? Perhaps, but that misses a much bigger issue. People are more likely to click on and read writeups by people they know or whose work they are familiar with. Why? Not everyone has the time to read everything that is posted all day long. So, if you pop on to E2 for a few minutes because you have some time during the day and you look at New Writeups, you naturally scan the list for what might be of interest. The first thing you notice might be a title that catches your eye or is of particular interest to you. It might also be the presence of a name in the New Writeups list that you know or that you have read quality work by in the past. So, you naturally click that link and not the writeup just below it. The writeup just below it might be a "better" writeup, but perhaps you have just a few minutes during the workday or you are on your way out to an opium den and wanted to quickly check E2 before you left. As such, a "better" writeup goes ignored while "lesser" writeups by a familiar "face" get your votes.
No one can escape the subjectivity of humans.
I remember one of the first things said by a speaker at a meeting of a writers' group I once belonged to. "Stephen King could publish his grocery shopping list if he wanted to. You have to write the greatest novel the publishers have ever seen." Why? Because Stephen King has an established following as a writer and his books will disappear off the shelf just because his name is on them. When you publish your first book, no one is going to buy it on name recognition. They are going to have to be drawn to it for other reasons. Your amazing novel could sit next to Stephen King's shopping list and that shopping list will outsell your amazing novel 100-1. Is that fair? No, it is simply the gravitational pull of the subjective nature of humans. The known quantity beats the unknown quantity every time. Thus, how does one turn this tide? The unknown quantity must become the known quantity.
"Great work should speak for itself!"
Ah, the desperate cry of the underappreciated. If the general noder population was only allowed to post and voting and C!ing was left to personality free drones that read everything submitted and qualified things based purely on the merit of individual submissions, would everyone be happy? That is doubtful. Throw fifty or more people into any situation and a percentage will never be happy. Put them in paradise and someone will still complain about the preparation of their margaritas. One of the things about E2, and life in general, that makes it worth being a part of is individual tastes and personalities. Not everyone will always like you. You could write the best thing ever seen on E2 and someone will inevitably downvote it because of (a) jealousy, (b) they think you are a pompous, arrogant ass for outdoing them, (c) they just didn't like it and downvoted accordingly, (d) they just had a really bad day and they want to take it out on you. So what. Who cares. Life goes on. E2 goes on.
Perception is 9/10ths of any deduction, as well as 9/10ths of any deception. There are new people who come to E2 and perceive a kind of elitism. There are those who feel that E2 is Unfriendly to New Noders. There are those who will whine that so and so submitted "this" so why did my writeup about "that" get nuked? I have my own feelings about Earn Your Bullshit and Raising the Bar and those feelings are rooted in my belief that quality writers who create quality nodes are more valuable to E2 than the nodes themselves. Your first handful of nodes should be a foundation upon which you establish your E2 presence. Your user name appearing in the New Writeups list can become a blinking light to those who have been here a while. It is your choice as to what that blinking light tells others. Will it say "oh, more crap by that moron" or will it say "another decent offering from that reasonably nice person" or will it flash brightly to the tune of "Great! Supernoder has a new writeup! I can't wait to read it!" The choice is yours.
Whining is the last refuge of noders whose writeups don't speak for themselves.