Welcome to the Terrordome
Up until now you have kicked ass on E2 as one of its outstanding noders, through a combination of superior writing, a commitment to the growth of the database and the community that creates it, and the mentoring (official or unofficial) of new writers. Now we invite you to kick ass on a whole new level -- as a true Agent of the Empire, a Content Editor. In essence you will continue to do the things you've always done, only now you'll have the tools to really get in there and fix the things that need fixin'. You'll be able to open up the case on this baby and repair broken writeups with your own two hands, sweep the true crap into the dustbin of history, and propel worthy nodes to the Editors' Page of Cool. More than anything, you will speak with the the voice of hard-won authority on E2. Noders will come to you for advice and help. They will report issues to you with the confidence that you are someone who can and will resolve them in a timely and professional manner. They will listen when you speak.
Of course, there will always be those crap-flinging monkeys who will pick a fight with you just because you are an editor. This is the sucky part of the gig. Remember, though, that these people are few and far between. Most of them quickly get fed up with E2 (or vice-versa) and leave while you, made of sterner stuff than they, remain to carry on the Great Work.
This Is How We Do It
Behind each goofy nickname here there is a human being putting a piece of themselves out there on the block each time they contribute a writeup. However cavalier we try to be about it, each deletion of our work cuts us at least a little. Serious problems can arise on this front and the way we head them off is through communication -- with the noders, and with each other. Before killing a writeup, stop to consider whether a /msg to the author might be in order first. The best result in this scenario would lead to the piece in question being brought up to standard and the author getting some needed guidance. Noders who've been here a while will likely recognize when one of their older writeups is crap and needs to go but a new or mid-level writer may not understand. Enlighten them -- even if it means telling them bluntly that what they're doing just doesn't cut the mustard here. If it comes down to that, make sure you point them to examples of what does meet our standards. Better still than driving off bad writers is turning them into good ones. This takes time, effort, and patience, but it's worth it.
Likewise, don't be afraid to take your questions to more seasoned editors, or to the group as a whole. If you are working with an erring noder to resolve a problem, let everyone else know so they don't jump in and accidentally muddle things. If a serious or exceptionally difficult issue arises please bring alex into the loop -- he wants to know. If he receives enough reports about something he'll want to consider whether a change in direction or policy is in order. But he won't know unless we tell him.
If a user has been unresponsive to other editorial help or is somehow intentionally flying in the face of common sense, please /msg one of the E2 gods and they will take care of the situation. This way you can be nicer than them, even if they don't deserve it.
- Talk to the noders.
- Talk to each other.
- Talk to alex.
Few things are more frustrating for noders than the feeling that editors make up rules and then fail to apply them in any kind of consistent manner. Learn our policies, keep up with the latest CE debates in usergroup discussions, and make sure you always walk the talk. This leads to fewer conflicts and less confusion, and makes life easier for everyone.
Lead by Example
alex asks that all CEs continue to contribute content regularly. Your writing was a big part of what got you noticed here. alex asks that all admins add at least one writeup to the database each month. It's easy to get caught up in the admin work and forget to write. Please continue to share your writing with us.
Almost all newbie editors delete writeups far too often and too quickly. I know I certainly did.
In some ways this is a natural behavior. Most of us spent a lot of time at the site before we became editors, and probably compiled a mental list of writeups we would delete if we ever got the chance. Moreover, since ordinary users do not get to see all the behind the scenes steps that experienced editors take before finally deleting a writeup, it is typical to assume that deleting a writeup is something editors do readily at the drop of a hat.
But deleting a writeup is a last resort that should be avoided if at all possible. In most cases it causes no harm at all to the site to leave a writeup up a few days longer, especially since writeups can be hidden. But on the other hand a hasty deletion can cause a lot more problems than it solves, sowing anger, bitterness, and confusion among the userbase.
There are many, many intermediate steps that can be taken before hitting the "kill" button. For example:
- Talk to the author. Most people are happy to make corrections and changes.
- Is the writeup badly formatted, lacking in links, or low on content? Consider hiding the writeup and giving the author time to make revisions (often, doing one or two links or html tags yourself to show them how it's done is quite helpful).
- Is the writeup too GTKY? Consider having a god move it to that day's daylog.
- Does the writeup seem like nonsense/bad poetry/mumbo-jumbo to you? Try asking some of your fellow editors what they think. Perhaps it means something special to other people (I have to do this a lot with math/code writeups).
- Finally talk to the author some more. Be patient. Be reasonable. Be wise.
The main point is, every writeup we as editors have to delete represents a failure on our part to effectively communicate our expectations to the userbase, and represents a final and utter breakdown of communication between ourselves and the author. Sometimes this breakdown of communication is the author's fault (they are fled, simply refuse to make changes, the writeup is deeply offensive and cannot be saved, etc.) and in these cases deletion becomes necessary.
But nearly all other writeups can be saved. And there is no rush.
Enough of this touchy-feely crap -- bring on the superpowers!
Editing: By clicking on the writeup type, you can now get into writeups and edit their content just as you would your own. Use this power only to correct blatant errors in spelling, formatting and (though this is tricky) grammar. There are cases where these "errors" may be intentional though so it's often best to just msg the noder and ask if that's really and truly what they meant to do. Never take away a user's artistic license. Please check the Broken Nodes page often to help out with requests regarding fled users, etc.
Killin': You now have check boxes with 'axe' and 'instakill' located above each individual writeup on a node, as well as an additional box for entering text. By checking 'axe' you will be deleting the writeup with no additional XP penalty (though the author will lose the one XP point that they gained just for creating the node). If a writeup is dated Nov 13, 1999 that writeup is an import from E1. Most likely the user is long gone and if the writeup is weak don't worry about breaking any hearts.
The 'axe' execution method will put the writeups on Node Row to be expunged every 24 hours. This will reduce the strain on the server that a an 'instakill' deletion entails. Only use 'instakill' if the writeup is a troll working ENN or something similar.
The text field allows you to compose your deletion msg before proceeding to the Killing Floor. This is very useful if you are deleting multiple writeups at once, each for a different reason -- you can compose individual messages while you're still looking at the writeup.
Make your deletion messages respectful and to the point. Your message must contain one or more of the following:
- A brief explanation of why the writeup is being removed
- A link to a FAQ entry that will explain the deletion
- Where appropriate, suggestions for improvement
- Where appropriate, a link to where the writeup should have been posted. Gods can simply move or retitle writeups but often if you're dealing with a new user it's best to have them repost in the proper place. This gets them thinking about picking titles carefully.
You can set up a few convenient msgs at user settings 2 to save you some typing time. Again, don't be mean. We have the power to delete any writeup and lock any account -- we win in the end no matter what. There's no need for us to be petty about it.
After you've finished checking all the appropriate boxes for the writeups of a node you scroll down and click the button marked 'the killing floor'. This will take you to a confirmation page where you will once again find text boxes for your deletion msgs. If you didn't fill them out on the previous page, do so now. You will also see up to two additional check boxes. The one marked 'H!' gives you the option of hiding the newly deleted writeup from being viewed by ordinary users in the 'New Writeups' nodelet. It is strongly urged that you check this box. You may also see a 'shh' box in cases where you are deleting your own writeups, which you can check to avoid filling up your inbox with deletion messages from yourself. Once you're finished, click the 'massacre' button and send 'em off to heaven.
If you've axed all of the writeups in a node with a title that won't likely be created/used again please hardlink the future nodeshell in Nodeshells Marked for Destruction by editing bones' main writeup there.
Please check e2 nuke requests regularly, and delete the request before you take action on the node to avoid tripping up another editor. And note that just because a user requests deletion of one of their nodes it doesn't mean you have to automatically do it right away. If you feel that the work in question enriches the database and you're not sure of the reasoning behind the nuke request, delete the request as usual and then msg the noder about your concerns. Although if a noder continues to insist upon deletion, you will have to do it eventually, it is perfectly acceptable to take a bit of time try to politely convince the noder that the writeup is good and should be retained. One particularly effective strategy for keeping worthy content that a user no longer wants to be associated with is to offer to have the writeup(s) in question moved to the everyone account (you can ask a god to do this for you).
Vox Editorium: It is possible to send a single Chatterbox message privately to all members of a group. You can now use this function to send messages to the Content Editors group, which broadcasts to all content editors and e2gods. Use discretion when sending a broadcast message. Do all members of the group really need to see the message? When appropriate, consider sending your message to a single person, or use online-only messaging (described below).
To broadcast a message, type:
/msg user_group message
/tell user_group message
into the Chatterbox and click the 'talk' button.
Since broadcast messages often pertain to things happening in the database at the moment they are sent, you can choose to send your message to only those members of the usergroup who are online at the time. To do this, type a question mark (?) immediately after the
/msgcommand in your message.
To tell all online gods and content editors that you are speaking with the user Hapless Noder, type
/msg? content_editors I'm talking to [Hapless Noder] about his last writeup now.
To ask all gods and content editors, whether online or not, if they know what happened to a given node, type
/msg content_editors Does anyone know what happened to [My first writeup is so groovy]? Msg me privately.
Current members of the Content Editors group can be found at node ID 923653:
Current members of the E2Gods group can be found at node ID 829913:
Editor Cool: When viewing an entire node you will see a cool! link in your Epicenter nodelet. Clicking this will put the node on the editorial Page of Cool and toss it into the pool for random display at the top of the Front Page as one of the "Staff Picks." Theoretically, EdCools are for nodes with several excellent writeups. If it's just one writeup consider just C!ing it. On the other hand if a one-writeup node is truly out of this world then go ahead and EdCool it. In all cases, please bear in mind that EdCooled nodes are supposed to be representative examples of the very best writing on E2, and are prominently promoted as such on the Front Page. Please make sure that when you EdCool a node, it is something you consider worthy of being displayed at the very top of the Front Page. EdCools are not the appropriate tool to use for bringing attention to inside jokes or "ironically" cooling supbar writeups. You can do that with ordinary C!s, if you must.
Contentify: You will notice a 'contentify' link in your Epicenter nodelet. This rarely used function will cause a writeup to appear on the content editors page. This can be used to make general announcements to the rest of the group. If you post something here please msg the usergroup and let them know.
Firmlinking: Please be cautious with the firm linking at first. Remember to firm link from contentless to content (or nodeshell to node, if possible); do not use a firm link when a hard link or a soft link will suffice. You can firm link a node (or nodeshell) to an e2node or document by typing the name of the node you'd like users directed to and clicking 'firm link'. Primary uses are for plurals (firm link 'trees' to 'tree'), alternative spellings (firm link 'Koran' to 'Quran') and the occasionally useful metanode. Misspellings are also candidates for the firm link but this should only be done when the misspelling is so common that the node is regularly re-created by fools. Firm links are not meant to replace or amplify hard links or soft links. And please, never firm link one node to another, and back again. This way lies madness.
Soft Locking: If for some reason there is a need to prevent anyone from adding new writeups to a node, you can soft lock it using the link at the bottom of the node. We used to do this a lot more often in ye olden days, to stop flame wars and shut down GTKY nodes and such, so you may still come across the occasional soft lock.
However, nowadays the use of the soft lock is strongly discouraged, except in a few special cases which rarely occur. If a node is GTKY, the whole node should be deleted, and if it is not, the node should be left alone. It is not fair to allow some users to have GTKY writeps but not others.
Nowadays softlocking should be strictly reserved for common misspellings that people would otherwise keep recreating and a few old GTKY nodes retained for historical purposes, such as having a writeup by Hermetic. But even in these cases, Editors should think extremely carefully before softlocking. The guideline should be, could this node ever conceivably elicit a writeup we wouldn't mind having in that particular place? In the case of actually misspelled node titles, probably not, but consider the example of a British spelling of a node title. Even though we would want factual nodes to go under the American spelling as per E2 Titling policy, users might perhaps want to node poetry or creative writings under the British spelling, and they should be able to do so. In these cases, a firm link is in order rather than a soft lock.
Update, 12/07: softlocked nodeshells with a firmlink now automatically redirect to the firmlinked node. This means Editors should be even more cautious with softlocking nodeshells which have any chance of attracting real content, as now users might not even be able to find those nodes at all.
Regarding Nodeshells Marked for Destruction:
- Please separate "empty" nodeshells (the ones with no writeups) from nodeshells-to-be (the ones with writeups marked for destruction). The two categories are Ready to go and Not ready yet. After the daily writeup purge, please move the new nodeshells into "Ready to go" so that the gods can take care of them. This makes things easier for all of us.
- When adding to this list, PLEASE remember to refresh it right before adding your additions. If two editors are simultaneously adding nodeshells, your alterations may cancel out one another. It's rare, but it happens. Gods taking destroyed nodeshells off the list should also keep this in mind.
- For nodes destroyed due to title errors, please check the softlinks to find and correct erroneous hard links. For example, the node genious (instead of genius) appeared in several nodes as a bad hard link. It's tough work, but it pays off in the long run.
- Not every nodeshell deserves a death sentence. If the nodeshell would make a good node title one day – especially if it's a properly spelled "factual" nodeshell – consider letting it live.
Once more, with feeling: Not every nodeshell deserves to die. Some are amusing, clever, or worth keeping for some other reason. Only kill nodeshells which are actively
bad. I've rescued a couple dozen really nice ones from this list. Use some common sense. We sure do kill, by golly, but we're not here simply to destroy everything in our path, just stuff that's bad.
Regarding Edit These E2 Titles and Other Titling Matters
There are three things gods can do regarding the title and author with which a writeup is identified. Writeups can be...
- Retitled - This is the most common. The entire node is retitled to fix typos, egregeous capitalization errors, or to reflect established titling conventions laid out in various documents, but especially the "Pick Titles Carefully" guide. In general, a good rule of thumb deciding when to retitle is: the titles of factual nodes belong to e2, while the titles of creative nodes belong to the authors.
- Reparented - Somewhat rarer. Individual writeups are moved from one node to another when they are somewhere they don't belong, or kinda belong where they are but would be more relevantly placed in a different and already existing e2 node. Once again, "Pick Titles Carefully" is your best resource for deciding which writeups should go where.
- Reauthored - This is the rarest. Gods may reassign a writeup to a different user. This most commonly occurs when users take up a new username or when users wish to have writeups they have written moved to the everyone account.
Part of your job as a Content Editor is to assist the gods in determining which nodes need to be retitled, reparented, or reauthored. Your main forum to pass on such information is Edit These E2 Titles. To help keep things neat, please drop any retitling or reparenting requests in
dem bones' Lord Brawl's writeup there. A blank (or more likely, already started) bulleted list is provided for you. Please check back every so often in case the 'gods' need more info or have concerns about previous requests. It may expedite matters if you include your username (or well-known abbrev.) in HTML comments, like so:
<!-- by Lord Brawl. -->
Reauthoring requests are best referred via private message to an individual god to maintain users' privacy.
If you have specific questions about titling matters that you have not been able to answer on your own, please message one of the gods. You may receive a quicker response if you message one of the gods who has expressed a special interest in titling matters, as conveniently identified by their membership in the SIGTITLE usergroup.
Regarding Everything Daylogs
Leave them alone. If you really feel there is a daylog entry that should be removed just msg alex and he'll have a look-see. By keeping the day and dreamlogs almost completely unedited we leave a nice, safe place for users to practice writing, linking and generally blowing off steam. It's to E2's advantage to have such a place -- leave 'em be.
Voting Pit Stop (EP)
Writeup Settings (US)
E2 List Formatter
E2 Source Code Formatter
E2 Paragraph Tagger
Wharfinger's Linebreaker or Break Tag Machine
E2 Word Counter
E2 Collaboration Nodes
"(EP)" links are already in your Epicenter nodelet
Please direct comments on this to alex.