display | more...

Legend | Sci-Fi 

Several hours ago, someone wished (by saying so in the Chatterbox) he had editor powers. That way he could just kill anything by anyone that disagrees with him.

Yikes! Is that what you think editors do?

Soon after, another noder created a disgruntled postal employee entry in the day log. He was upset because several of his write-ups vanished, some without an explanation in the editor log. He also mentioned the names of the editors who did log the reasons for removing his write-ups. According to him, we suck, because his write-ups were good.

Yikes, again!

Why do we have editors?

Everything is a publication. Not a paper-based publication, but a publication nonetheless.

All paper-based publications have editors. No one ever questions that (though, writers are not always happy about it). Not all online publications do, at least not in such a visible way as Everything does.

Various publications have different criteria as to what they publish. That allows their readers to decide which publications are of particular interest to them, and which ones to forgo. No one can read everything that is published.

Let me make a small analogy here: Everything is to Slashdot what Smithsonian is to Reader's Digest. Just an analogy, mind you, we are not Smithsonian, of course.

By that, I do not mean to say there is anything wrong with Slashdot, or that we are better than they are. All I'm saying is that we are different and serve a different purpose. Slashdot publishes every submission. Everything does not. Reader's Digest publishes many of its submissions (no paper-based publication prints them all, naturally). Smithsonian is more selective. Both Reader's Digest and Smithsonian have their faithful readership. So do both Slashdot and Everything. They simply satisfy the needs of different audiences.

It's not about power

It would be a poor editor who stopped anything from being published because it somehow is fun to do.

Editors of any publication follow the editorial policy established by the publisher. The same editor working for two different publications may reject a submission for one publication, yet readily accept the same submission for the other publication.

I compared Everything to Smithsonian, then said Everything was not Smithsonian. But one might as well think of Everything as the training ground for Smithsonian (or any other high quality publication). Everything editors help Everything noders to hone their skills. Hopefully, when the day comes something you have written is accepted for publication in Smithsonian, or any other good publication, you will look back and feel grateful that Everything editors forced you to write better way back when.

Rejecting good write-ups

First of all, nemo iudex in causa sua. That is to say, a writer cannot be objective about his work. Good writers (yes, even the famous ones) always work with an editor to improve what they have written.

Even a good writer does not produce a masterpiece every time he grabs the pen, or presses a key on his keyboard.

And, by the way, editors are not perfect either. Rejecting a submission for a paper-based publication is fairly easy. Rejecting one on Everything is hard: It has already been "published." The editor is not deciding not to publish it, but rather to unpublish it, so to speak.

Some write-ups are obviously bad. Others are not so obvious. They require a judgement call. And a risk of making a mistake. Either way. If I do not unpublish something that should not be published, I am allowing the quality of Everything to go down. If I do unpublish something that is not quite clearcut, I may be depriving Everything.

As an editor, I feel responsibility both to the readers and the writers, and it is sometimes hard to balance. We do our best, and that's the best we can do.

Editor Logs

The logs show only a tiny amount of the work Everything editors do. Generally, they only list the "negative". So it may seem all editors do is kill write-ups.

Not so. We spend countless hours every day sending and receiving messages. We try to help the noders, especially the new and less experienced ones, to improve their write-ups. We don't log that, because we do so much of it that it would be impractical to log. Besides, it might even sound like bragging.

We also cool nodes, that is, we send them to Page of Cool. This is the editor's favorite job. Finding a really good node gives us pleasure. We mostly don't log this either. After all, Page of Cool lists the name of the editor who cooled a node, so the information is available.

The least pleasant part of what we do is removing write-ups that are beyond salvage. Some of us log this activity, others do not.

In no publication on this planet are its editors obliged to explain why they reject a submission. Yet, many times they do. And every writer is pleased to receive a rejection slip that is not just a pre-printed form but contains some kind of explanation.

Why? Because it is the sign the editor feels positive about the writer. The editor feels the writer can improve, whether this particular piece of writing or his overall writing skills. A personalized rejection, no matter how brief, is always good for the writer.

Writers never complain about personalized rejections (which is what these logs are), they welcome them. Alas, not all noders are writers (though we hope all will learn something and become writers), so every so often a noder raises hell about being rejected.

That shows there are good reasons why an editor does not log a rejection.

The reason can be that the editor does not feel it would serve any purpose (a very bad write-up).

Or, sadly, the editor has encountered enough angry noders that he decides just to do his job and never to explain why he is doing what he is doing.

Or, the editor just may not have the time for, or feel like it. We're all volunteers here. We are not paid for being Everything editors, nor are we likely to be hired by Smithsonian just because we are Everything editors.

At any rate, fellow noders, rejoice when your writeups are rejected. Rejoice even more when the rejections are noded here. Because in the long run you may end up being a bestselling author thanks to the opportunity to hone your skills on Everything. You may not see it that way today, but Everything editors are your best friends.

Writeups killed:

  • 2000 by Bobbelina: "A number combination of the four numbers: 2, 0, 0 and 0." Don't node this shit. I /msg'd the user, as I have /msg'd the same user before. There has been no improvement.

  • Editor Log: October 14, 2000 by Shanoyu: See my writeup in that node for the full text of Shanoyu's writeup, and an explanation. He had some comments that he felt were important and belonged there. I felt that user writeups in ed logs just gum up the works, but that he deserved to be heard. So we agreed to do it this way.

  • energy in motion by quadslut: Empty writeup.

  • Dennis Consultants by hi: "http://www.dennis-consultants.com", no hardlinks. A drive-by; the user was here for ten minutes, said one word ("hi") in the Chatterbox, and left us this gift.


Etc.

Like Lord Brawl, I noticed rubysoho. I /msg'd rubysoho once or twice last night. Porpoise Syndrome has probably set in by now.


If anybody sees Hemos, please give him a quick boot to the balls for me, for afflicting us with this stile critter and its brainless fans. It'll all be cleaned up, but I'd rather not have to waste my time on it. Has anybody read Tunnel in the Sky by Robert Heinlein?

My only worry is that good new users may be mistaken for stile's kids just because they arrived at the same time, so let's all give newbies a chance before we judge them.

Deleted both writeups in #square. IvyNeko's text: "One can only spend so much time discussing Squaresoft games before they have simply run out of things to say to such related topic. I obviously joined this DALnet IRC channel a few years too late. Current discussions usually&revolve around boring personal rants or functions of the body." ojnk's: "Well, that's DALnet #square. EFnet is so much better. Yeah, really. It is. or something." Since neither has logged in since That Fateful November, I didn't /msg them.

Also vacuumed up a bit of schmutz in Everything2 sucks my ass!. stile shat: "Power to the people. You cannot keep the black man down forever. Keep noding, there's nothing to see here." Now there's even less to see here. Jonnii topped it off with a linkless response: "I hear ya brother... but you have to admire the team for coming up with such a wacky idea for a site... All they have to do is sit back and watch it grow, while growing fat from the banner impressions. I bet your just bitter that you didn't come up with the idea! Oh and... STILE OWnz j000" Uh huh.

Nodeshell demolition team, here are some targets:

#square
Everything2 sucks my ass!
"Do thou amend thy face, and I'll amend my life."
Who's been fucking the cream cheese?
HAHAHAHAHAHA I'm on a mad nodeshelling spree
Le roi est mort, vive le fromage!
Wyclef is a pigfucker who likes fucking pigs
...then again, if Wyclef didn't like fucking pigs, why WOULD he be a pigfucker?
And I'm not even high

My editorial cilia are bristling. I think it's time for a speech.

Editors: I encourage balancing calculated restraint and stoic firmness in dealing with the angry multitudes (really just a few hooligans) who have so carelessly taken to poisoning the water of our fair towne with their filth and vitriol of late. One might be tempted to solve the problem with a flurry of nukes and borgs, but such violence only breeds greater distrust and anger when not combined with a hand on the shoulder and a firm talking-to. Children are angry when they're sent to their room, but a good parent knocks on the door an hour later and sits down with the child for a talk. You have been chosen for your position because you know how to separate the wheat from the chaff; but an important part of the job is passing this knowledge and wisdom down to others -- simply letting lesser noders know how they fucked up and how to make sure it doesn't happen again. Your wisdom also extends to users and ABusers; you know which accounts are salvagable with a helping hand, and which accounts were merely created to cause harm to the community. You know which seasoned noders are burning out. You know how to help the struggling; you know how to defuse the bombs. So far, your performance has been more than admirable, but I still think there are a few noders capable of "getting the message" that have slipped through the cracks. Keep your eyes peeled for open ears, and whisper some wise words into them.

Newbies: This is not a rebellion, this is not a signal that things are out of control, this is not the end of E2. Many people who are proficient with computers, and teenagers especially, have problems with authority, no matter how beneficial it is to their community. E2 has been a little annoying lately, but things have been worse. If you have a problem with the way things are around here, don't write some long-winded flame. Don't write profanity-laced one line writeups that you know will get nuked so that you can whine about oppression. Don't be a drama queen. Write an e-mail to me (my address is in my home node). State your concerns intelligently. I'll see what can be addressed. I'll attempt to soothe your concerns. But if you're here just to try to ruin the site, I suggest you abandon your account. You're not the first or the last one, and people like you always fail. You're not a martyr; you're just immature. I don't get angry or offended over your bullshit, I just delete it and take another bite of my sandwich. Save your time, go back to installing Back Orifice in the high school computer lab and making first posts about Taco's mom.

And a bright "Good work!" is due for the thousands giving their best on this site. Just because there are a few squeaky wheels doesn't mean I don't see the silent ones which really move this wagon train.


The "iron fist of fascist authority" hereby falls upon the following writeups:

Bashyle by Nailbunny. Empty writeup! I sent 'bunny an e-mail on August 31 telling her to delete or fill this bad boy. She's decided to neglect it. I'd like to publicly applaud Nailbunny for making a true effort in her most recent writeups to combat her predilection for poor spelling and grammar, but her oldies still have problems that desperately need attention.

Aphid Twix by Your Bestest Friend in the Whole Wide World (Nov. 13 user). A meaningless slam on Aphex Twin. So odd that I'm thinking that Your Bestest Friend in the Whole Wide World might actually be Richard D. James. In any event, his user name is so long that it's not even possible for him to logon to E2.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.