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As a sometimes fact spammer, I think I should contribute some insight as to why I node what I node.

To start, I quote from the Everything FAQ*:

Everything is an ever-growing, pulsating database that moves through cyberspace like a death-borg...slowly collecting and assimilating information and nonsense until...until...

Until it knows all.

I, when I signed up to have my life partially taken over by this forum, took this phrase to heart. I remember also reading somewhere that E2 was a collaborative project wherein the users try to create a database which contains all the knowledge in the world. So, I set about contributing that little knowledge that I have collected in my few decades on this earth. Now, I don't feel that I (or anyone else) should apologize for being scientific of both spirit and profession, and not being the type to contribute poetry to E2. I know ecology and statistics, two fields of great importance which are, in my opinion, woefully under-represented here. Not only is there a paucity of information about these two massive bodies of science, but what information is presented is often wrong. Am I to be condemned for providing accurate information, even if it can be at times somewhat dry (I could note, here, for you)?

In short, I think that those fact spammers, like myself, should continue to do what we do, in order to deepen and extent the database that is E2, even in the face of criticism.

* This quote has apparently been removed from the E2 FAQ, but believe me when I say it was once there.


Note, personal comment following:
I also find it interesting that my nodes on correlation and anova have been soft-linked to the fact spamming node, but the endless morass of nodes on each and every freaking card in the entire Magic: The Gathering series are described in detail without such criticism from the gallery. And I think I don't need to mention the lengthy series of nodes on Windows 9x error codes, which are not only painfully boring (again, to me) but of no use to those of us running OSes that don't suffer from such troubles

Whether something counts as fact spamming in my book is largely dependent whether or not anyone would find it interesting. Since there are a wide variety of E2 members, just about everything will be interesting to somebody. Hence the name Everything2. The other dependence is by whether the author has stretched one node into many, or decided not to compact a large number of tiny tiny nodes into a few, more organized nodes.

I do think that a comprehensive listing of all magic cards is fact spamming. First, it is formulaic and available from better sources that are easy to find on the web. Second, it grants each card one node - doing a single expansion set will provide the author with around 300 nodes, enough for level 5 on its own, provided that the author can come up with the XP. Of course, the administration does not take levels very seriously, but it provides a sense of scale.

However, even simple lyrics listings aren't fact spamming. Some people want to know that stuff, and might not know where else to look. It also serves as a starting point for any further writing on the subject of the song. But also, it's a matter of scale. Noding up the lyrics from an album would yield twenty nodes at most, as opposed to the 300, above. This does not diminish my opinion that they are cheapass writeups. That is to say, they do not bespeak much of the author: anyone can do it, but also anyone can find a reason to do it - so no information about the author has been gained. Therefore, they won't get much in the way of up or downvoting from me.

In the end, it is best to Earn Your Bullshit by writing good nodes, whether they are factual or not. If some of your factual nodes are a little out there, consider them part of your bullshit quota.

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