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Click here for the new e2: Digest Version. It reads like bad ad copy but whatever, give me a break. — creases

2004-06-18 16:45:00

Hi, this is dem bones. These changes are as far off as a full time coder volunteer is. I'll answer your many questions when that coder appears and these changes are only a few months off instead of a day dream*. Please? As always, suggestions for E2 should be emailed/msg'd to me. They're useful. That's how we get most of our ideas.

E2 Changes: Short Version

Fundamentally, the goal here is to switch E2 over from the 'publish it all, let the gods sort it out' (a uniquely E2 approach, as far as I can tell) to 'publish it and keep it because it's good' (which is a bit more intuitive and how most of the publishing world works). The changes will not generally affect currently published writeups on E2. These changes will alter the submissions process for future writeups.

Under the current system you submit a writeup to New Writeups and it gets voted upon. It may get deleted immediately. It may get deleted tomorrow. It may get deleted next week or next year. There are over 70 people who can remove it. Under the new system you will submit a writeup to a Submissions bin and any one of over 100 publishers will peruse it and if they refuse to publish it to New Writeups they will tell you why and what can be done to bring it to a publishing level. You can choose to work with one of these publishers exclusively (filling a private Submissions bin) or freelance with the entire group. Once your writeup is published it stays published until you choose to remove it.

The hope is that any given publisher will tend to focus on and seek out what they know best and are most interested in. New users and old publishers will tend to find each other's common ground. The variety of publishers will be much wider than that of the current editorial staff because punitive tools will be removed. This means not every publisher needs a particularly diplomatic personality as long as a number of them are focusing on helping new writers adjust to html/linking and E2 itself. To sum, we can finally put some of the real wackos in charge of art - which is what they're good at. All of this will result in a wider variety of writing being published. More poetry, more fiction and more esoteric whatever. More.

Simple, right?

I wasn't planning on putting this up for discussion for several more months. I'll do it now as long as one thing is clear: Jay and I aren't done thinking about this and the code isn't even close to ready. These changes will coincide with some major hardware changes and the introduction of the newest version of our ecode (the core of which is what C2 is running on). The soonest we can hope for is whenever of next year. You know how that goes, so it'll probably be later. Jay and nate are both extremely busy with their dayjobs now, too. I'm totally shiftless but all I'm good for is writing down what I want.

So, here's a thumbnail sketch of the Big Changes. These are the broad strokes. You'll see some chinks in the armor - we've got many of them solved and many we're still thinking on. Overall this will be a vastly more professional website while simultaneously improving community and reducing editorial/user stress.

I swear to God.

Community Improvements

  • Editorial Group Changes
    • The content editor and 'gods' group will be melted into one large group called (probably) 'publishers.'
    • Punitive tools will be removed. The publisher group will have full permissions only on the writeups they've published. Publishers will no longer be focusing on roaming the database or ENN for weaknesses, but adding always to E2's strengths by publishing quality work from the submissions page.
    • Editors will be encouraged to work mainly in their specific areas of expertise for publishing purposes. Informally. I see it this way: a 'choose your publisher' page listing the user's choices and their individual areas of expertise. A user will probably gravitate towards an editor with similar interests.
    • EDB will be extinct. We'll still have a way to block a troll from distracting the entire chatroom but it'll be 'silent' and a msg will be sent to the user explaining his/her error(s). The time the user is chatless can be assigned when the msg is written. Only a very small group will have access to this tool, it's to be used only in extreme situations.
    • A very small group consisting of coders and bones will be left as an 'admin' group ('gods' as a term has got to go) and a second and very small group will be handling the larger tasks of project deletions or other work that requires access to admin tools. The members of the group left with deletions powers will always do their work with their name signed. It won't be a hunt and kill group so much as a janitorial team. As for the weak writeups we've still got in the database, we'll be handling those when users sign up with 'publishers' (and get an audit) or/and with good old E2 Nuke Requests.
  • New 'personal' nodetype
    • In place as a level power, on the higher end.
    • Writeups in these nodes only be visible to users who've logged in.
    • Not votable.
    • Won't create softlinks.
    • No editorial standard for content - like daylogs.
    • These nodes can be private or public (like a scratch pad) or available only to users the author has specified.
  • Daylogs and dreamlogs:
    • Can be C!d.
    • No longer votable.
    • No longer "count" towards user levels.
    • Still appear on the public server.
  • Experience System:
    • Professor Pi is still looking at this. The idea is the new xp/level system will be much simplified with only four or five levels. The goal of this sytem is simple: to reward a user who has clearly shown they understand how the site works. Once they're past this 'newbie' status we'd like to get them home node pics and votes/C!s relatively quickly. A few toys in the higher brackets but levels 2-3 will have all the basic perks E2 has to offer.
    • Possibly make it so a downvote costs a user 3-5 votes instead of one. Less capricious downvoting.

Database Quality Improvements

  • Improved User Control of Nodes:
    • Users will be able to 'title' their individual daylog entries, day/dreamlogs will be searchable by both this title and the date.
    • Users will be able to delete their own writeups
  • Publishing System Changes:
    • To be allowed to post without having a publisher review your work first, you must receive a "stamp of approval" from a publisher. Level 3 and higher users will receive automatic stamps of approval. Level 2 users may receive a stamp on a case-by-case basis if they demonstrate superior work before meeting the requirements for Level 3.
    • Noders without the stamp of approval will submit writeups to a editor-viewable-only "Publish" page. It will be identical to ENN. This will be the submissions bin from the userbase.
    • Editors will evaluate each and every writeup in the submissions bin for publication.
    • Users can request that specific editors look at their work.
    • Editors work with authors to improve writeups denied immediate publication.
    • Editors will be associated with writeups they approve for publishing, and will field all concerns about those writeup for the authors forever (or until they sign them over to another publisher)
    • Authors need only deal with one editor to have their writeups published (as opposed to the current system of convicing over 70 editors not to delete it)
  • Copyright Stance Changes:

*For those of you interested, these changes have been on the books and in the works since Summer of 2002.