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I’ve never written anything about E2, so I thought I would briefly chime in and give a few of my thoughts.

Insulting Softlinks

Stop using them; they’re obviously not doing anybody any good. This is especially true for new noders. Far too many times I’ve seen people link these to a noder’s very first post. Have some fucking empathy. Sure, maybe the writing is absolutely terrible, but linking Shut The Fuck Up doesn’t give them any constructive criticism, it’s only telling them “Go away, your writing is bad and we don’t want you here.” If we expect to grow, this is not the message we need to be sending. They’re not funny. They’re not helpful. They’re just plain mean-spirited.

Lowering the bar

Go take a look at some of the god’s very first writeups. Chances are, they are less-than-stellar. But look at them now. You see, back when they started, the bar was much lower and they were given adequate time to grow as writers. Also, do you see any insulting softlinks on them? I don't. They were encouraged—not discouraged—to post on this site. Nobody is immune to criticism, we all get it, but there’s a fine line between criticism and name-calling. I sometimes think we’re far too subjective for our own good. I think a lot of newbies leave this place disgruntled because instead of nurturing their writing, we ostracized it.

All of the writing on this site can’t be masterful. That’s not the way the world works. Hell, walk into your local library, you’ll probably see a bunch of average books but only a few great ones. We absolutely cannot hold newbies to the standards of already-established users. The level of quality from the majority on E2 is far above average as it is. But maybe, just maybe, we can turn some of these noders into something great. Maybe one day they’ll mention us in their Nobel-prize acceptance speech or something. But we can’t and won’t do this by being subjective, dismissive, and sometimes just plain cruel to newbies.

Yes, E2 is about writing. But more importantly, it’s about people. Somewhere along, I think we lost track of that. What good is our masterful writing with nobody here to read it? And if we keep driving off all the newbies, that’s exactly where we’re headed. Remember, these people will one day inherit E2, I think we should see that it survives long enough for that to be so. And to be honest, I would trade some of our esotericism for new noders any day. It doesn’t bother me to have to read bad writing, I take it as an opportunity to give my advices and perhaps help them improve. Bad writing doesn’t cast bad aspersions on the site, its just evidence that we are growing, and more importantly, that the person who posted it is growing.

Ending thoughts

I have seen on E2 some of the best writing of this decade. Yes, it’s a bold statement, and maybe it’s a little pretentious, but I truly believe it. How do you think we got this way? — By being accepting, by being constructive, and by nurturing. A lot of people have their ideas on what E2 should be, but I believe it’s a learning experience, not just for newcomers but for everybody as a whole.

So yes, I propose lowering the bar. I don't mean switching back to the way things were in E1, and I'm not condoning shitty writing, but rather, be less subjective and less xenophobic. Frankly, I would like to see us live up to our name a little more and be more accepting of new people and new ideas.

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