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Most everyone, at one time or another, follows the quest for high rep nodes and exp. This is a good and healthy thing to do - it encourages you to write good nodes.

The following are tips about different types of nodes that appear on Everything and how to use these to their fullest.

Write about sex
Sex is a very popular topic on Everything - admit it. We read and write about intercourse, masturbation, lesbian experiences and most anything else that crosses the screen with the letters 'S', 'E', and 'X'. Women have a clear advantage here - there are many males on Everything2 and it is almost a universal truth that they we are curious about women - bodies, feelings, emotions and how-tos.

On the flip side, many people can commiserate with the battle of the sexes. Likewise, erotica is often quite well received. From datagirl's Passionate Kiss to MoJoe's Toilet seat. From Aphrodite's explicit works to Junkpile's subtlety. Katyana and masturbation to Lillianvalencia's experiences. Even technical descriptions of male issues can get a high rep. Yes, sex is well received.

Pets, and primarily cats
Almost everyone has had a pet, and can tell a story about the pet. For some reason, it appears that there is a conspiracy of some sort and cats are better represented than other pets. It might also be they have better stories to tell, or they own interesting keepers... or maybe they know how to type and write their own nodes?

Religion and philosophy
While Everything is a rather enlightened community and often enjoys the not too deep philosophical writeup, avoid preaching and dogmatic writing. Frequently, there is a pro-science bend. Do not insult other religions, cultures, or philosophies. If possible, research the topic fully and explain belief and historical context rather than preaching it. Examples of this include: Religious Dietary Laws and Restraints, 39 Melachot, 10 Reasons to Believe in God, and Ten reasons why creation scientists don't believe in evolution.

Feed the troll
Often, feeding the troll can be a bad thing, and beware of the DMan land mines that sit there waiting for someone to reply to them. Many times, the troll doesn't know that he or she is trolling, but rather putting forth some really bad facts or off the wall opinion that they honestly believe. Yet, there are times that feeding the troll can lead to a well written writeup, and these are the source of high reps and thus exp.

An important thing in troll feeding is to completely ignore the troll. Do not respond to the troll directly and make sure that your writeup does not depend upon the original one. Instead, take ownership of the node and make it your own - that way if the original is nuked, yours remains to bask in glory. One example of this is 'What's wrong with the world?' - the original has been nuked.

Factual noding
The truth of factual noding gets you nowhere is debatable. However, a well written factual node has longevity and reuse beyond any other node out there. When writing factual nodes for high rep, take time to research the topic fully and create ASCII art to demonstrate what is being written about. Quoting sources often helps. Do not copy and paste the content but, once again, make it your own and add original content. Glance at Quinine and drawing knots with ascii art for examples of the essence of ascii art.

Touch the person reading
When we go out to buy a book in the book store, we get books that interest us, humor us, enrapture us, and touch us. A book that does none of these things we don't enjoy. The same is true with nodes. When writing a node about a story, make the reader actually feel something rather than yawn. When writing these nodes, don't whine - there are several hundred people who write nodes with some degree of regularity, and there is enough of whining as it is. Examples of good nodes: you better put some beauty back, while you've got the energy, I wish I could cry, Crystal Rose Giczy, and let the earth hear his voice

Don't lie, don't make stuff up - you have now touched a person's feelings, and have some control over them.

Paint a picture with words
Very much akin to touching the reader, here it is a description so vivid that the person can feel the place being read about. This is especially true with 'ordinary' things such as a night where you live.

I would especially like to mention prole, yossarian, stand/alone/bitch and junkpile in their descriptions. Their use of words to describe a situation constantly amazes me - each word choice and phrase speaks with the power of a master painting... or you can see for yourself: I know how to bring a whiskey bottle pleasure with my touch., I have a punklin and you don't, Her, eating apples, showers in the dark, and piano outside in the snow. and she was spinning

Poetry and fiction
One common thing that people often do is node the poetry or a story they have written. Often this falls in the touching the person reading, tell us that it is such so that we know what to expect and can judge it as fiction as it is read. Poetry and fiction rarely gain high reps, and everyone considers someone else's poetry to be 'bad'. However, here are always exceptions to the trends.

Daylogs
Daylogs are vote dumps that renew each day. Many people vote there just to get rid of their votes. This often leads to 10 or 20 votes on a well written daylog, sometimes more. Rarely will these be C!'ed or receive attention after they are written. It is attention that gives nodes high reps over time.

General advice
  • Formating is a very nice to have on any node. Paragraph breaks, italic where appropriate, bold where appropriate. Make the page visually pleasing to read and look at. If you need help here, glance at The Nitpicker's guide to E2 style and formating - this node lists the more picky things about formating.
  • Choose titles wisely, and don't be afraid to add to an existing node. The title is often the only thing that people see and bring them into the node. Give them everything you promise in the title. Make the title one that people will link to, and one that does not exclude everyone else.
  • Realize that subjective writeups get subjective voting. Not everyone wants to read the same thing. Some do, some don't, and some will vote upon how they feel. Don't be dismayed.
  • A node presenting fact or opinion should be written as if it was a college paper, or if not college, a paper written at to get an 'A' in the highest level of schooling attended.
  • Avoid noding about noding - like this. We all have access to Everything, and we all have something to say about it. Often, it takes some time to get the feel of Everything and the comments of those who have just started are less respected than those who have been around for several months. This does not mean that words of old timers are canon. Whatever the case, unless it is very insightful or helpful as judged by the Everything community, it won't get a high rep and is most likely to get eventually nuked.
  • Realize, that many of the nodes I have mentioned above are recognized because the people (I like to include myself in that list) are well known and recognized as being excellent noders and thus the fame with that name leads people to vote upon the nodes too. The first step in this process is writing quality nodes.
  • Whatever your reason for wanting to gain exp and rep, do not let it come before the reason of 'having fun'. This should be paramount in all cases to any other reason you may node. If you are not having fun, you won't be enjoying what Everything has to offer.

Happy noding - and don't forget to have fun.

Have Patience

As a Newbie I saw a number of my write-ups which I thought were pretty good, but had lower rep scores than some of my mediocre efforts. Now, months later the vote scores on most of my contributions are pretty consistent with each other. Broadly, the better ones have been found and earned more votes, while the worse ones have fewer. I have concluded that the voting system on E2 works, more or less, if you give it enough time.

I've tracked the rep scores of many of my write-ups over time, and looked at hundreds of other contributions to the nodegel. Thanks are due to those who made it possible. Here are some conclusions about how the rep point score changes with time, and what influences it. Everyone above level 2 or 3 will know most of this, so it is aimed primarily at newcomers.

First, the obvious stuff

  1. Quality of writing
  2. Technical competence: grammar, spelling, capitalisation* and so on.
  3. Content
  4. Competent HTML
  5. Accuracy (where relevant)

* Yeah, I'm English, so this is English English, not American, but thanks for noticing :)

These things apply to all nodes, creative, factual, opinion or otherwise. Good writing, which is technically competent and with worthwhile content and sensibly laid out will always get positive votes—eventually. There are plenty of places on E2 which describe these aspects of your contribution. Try these.The Perfect Node, E2 HTML tags : Quick Start, How to get your stuff voted up, Everything University

..And the not-so-obvious stuff
  1. Titles
  2. Hard links
  3. Soft links

Links are important. There are some excellent write-ups which have poor hard links, and as a consequence have been voted down by people who feel these things are important. As a newbie, you might think that is anal-retentive and snobbish. You might be right, but links are part of the culture of this place.

As to soft links, it turns out that they are going to be critical to gaining exposure—and therefore upvotes—in the weeks and months after the original posting. Look at these links for advice. The perfect node, Node integration, Link and link, E2 FAQ: Integrate your writeups

In order to get more exposure, try to link your new writeup to as many other things as possible. If you cross-click between two nodes a few times, then the respective links move up the softlink table. Aim to get 48 softlinks in each of your nodes and thus get yours linked to 48 other nodes.

Titles are also important. More advice here: Pick titles carefully, One example of why you should pick titles carefully, Choosing a node title, choose short titles

Beyond that basic advice, however, the best guarantee of getting long-term upvotes is to do a killer writeup in a node with a title that people will return to time and again, or click on when they see it in the softlinks. Look at Jupiter, or Sunspot or Alan Turing or cunnilingus FAQ or fisting, or Milla Jovovich and check the rep scores on each of the writeups. Learn by example. And note how these titles are short and to the point.

Once these basics are in place, the next obstacle is getting the exposure, because a write-up can only attract votes, if people find it.

Time and Cool! factors

  1. How long the item has been up
  2. How many people saw it in the New write-ups list
  3. Chings and ed cools

Again, these things apply to all write-ups. When the node is on the new writeups list, it will attract attention, which should lead to votes. The more people who see your contribution, the greater chance it has of being voted on. Even so, many good contributions drop off the bottom of New Writeups with just 2, 3 or 4 votes.

Getting a Ching! is good, but getting Editor cooled is better, because of the exposure. It is very hard to quantify how many votes the chings and Ed-cools are worth, partly because an Ed cool is assigned to a whole node, not just a single write-up, and partly because it is such a variable process. One of the top reasons for giving an Ed cool is to bring a worthwhile contribution to the attention of more people. I don't presume to offer other reasons. If you want to know, ask. They won't bite.

There is a huge variation in the rep scores of Ed cooled write-ups. A few poor contributions are on negative rep points, some great write-ups are still below 15 rep points and a few are on astronomical figures. There is a band between about 20 and 40 where many of the good contributions lie. It is worth visiting those nodes, partly to see what the editors here regard as good, but also to find the excellent writing which is sitting at low rep points. Even a level 2 can make a difference by voting on the Ed-cooled stuff.

The value of a simple Ching! is less than an Ed cool, but it is even harder to quantify. Five or 10 votes is not uncommon, but if an item is Chinged once, and then again some time later, that will probably add another batch of votes, as different noders check out the cool archive.

And then, simply time. If a write-up is in a node with good softlinks, then over time, people will come across it in the course of their normal probing of the database. If you have successfully linked your node to other popular or similar nodes, then you can expect more traffic, and more traffic means more votes.

What other people do

Sometimes, you will have a good, but under-rated write-up sitting at a rep of say +6/-1. All of a sudden, every time you load a new page, you are getting more XP. You check your recent write-ups, and find no change, but then notice that forgotten old write-up has jumped right up into your top ten rep scores. Why?

  1. Others adding to your node
  2. Someone linking to your node

The first one is the most likely. If someone adds to your node, then the whole node gets more exposure, which brings your contribution to the attention of more people. If they like what they see, your old efforts will once more earn their reward.

The same can happen if someone has a really popular node, and links it to yours, or even if someone mentions the node title in the catbox. One day someone will come across your work, and like it so much that they will go through the rest of your list, and read and vote. There are so many people who want to recognise and reward good writing here on E2 that it happens surprisingly often.

Other factors

This is probably the most difficult to assess.

  1. Popularity
  2. Time of day you posted the item
  3. Who else is on
  4. Interest factor of the subject
  5. How the kitten feels to day

Like it or not, if you stay here for more than a month or two, you will have made contact with gods, editors, M-noders, wannabes, fellow noders and others.Through this contact, and through your contributions to the nodegel, in the catbox, on #Everything, by /msg, you build yourself an image and a reputation. This reputation will affect how others perceive you.

As in life, also on E2. Some people are popular: a lot of people take the effort to check out their stuff, and that leads to upvotes. Others are not so popular, and people simply don't make the effort to seek out their work, or if they find something bad, they have fewer qualms about downvoting. Nevertheless, popularity or otherwise makes little difference to the progress of each of your write-ups. A popular person will get higher average scores for the same write-ups than a less popular person, simply because more people look at their stuff, but in general, your better efforts will score more highly than your less good ones. Don't compare yourself to other people (especially other popular people) but to yourself. Aim to better your own scores over time. Look at your good work, and try to understand why it got the votes. Look at other peoples' work and see why it is on the page of cool.

Daylogs

There are good daylogs, mediocre daylogs and downright dreadful daylogs. Too many people upvote the mediocre ones. Not enough people downvote the terrible. The first three or four entries in the daylog will get a lot of votes, both up and down. On the whole, entries which are well-written, or have something to say get voted up. Such logs frequently score around +30/-10 or more. Compare that with typical rep scores of 20 to 30 on the Page of Cool.

Don't take the rep scores on daylogs too seriously.

Downvoting is not a nuke request

The bar has been raised. There's a feeling out there that downvoting is impolite. Let me offer a counter view. Downvoting the bad is helpful: it's natural selection in action. If this place is going to be the best there is, then each of us needs to think about how we are going to help make that happen. Downvoting contributions which should be better is one way to help that process.

This write-up written, formatted and edited in Dann's E2 offline scratchpad

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