The Everything Editor's Job
There are many noders who do not understand what the editors (and gods) actually do here. The best suggestion I can give to anyone in doubt is first of all to read The Everything Editor's Job. This, in summary, gives each member of the 'editorial staff' certain responsibilities in order to gain and maintain a high signal to noise ratio. This includes writing well, rewarding good writing and 'weeding out' the not-so-good writing, and keeping the database healthy. They encourage and support others to write well and improve the overall standards here, to make it a better place to be.
There are no set standards for us. Nowhere is there a secret document which says "this is good, this is bad; this stays, this goes"; it is up to each individual to decide for hirself what belongs here, and how to reward. There are many standards which are written, for example "cut and paste writeups will die", and there is a discussion group which enables us to, well, discuss things. Each of us is, however, free to choose how they implement these standards, and I believe that each editor has hir own philosophy, hir own standards which they apply to everything they read.
The development of an E2 philosophy
This process of developing personal philosophy begins almost as soon as anyone comes to E2. Everyone begins to form an idea of "what E2 is about", and varies from one to another. For some, it is a database of factual, informative nodes, for others, a resource for them to practice and improve their writing, for yet others, somewhere to let off steam, chat or rant. As 'newbies' gain experience, they begin to gain levels, and begin to vote. Each votes in accordance with their own belief and standards of what is good/bad; some upvote, some downvote, some get silly and get personal with mass downvoting. No-one calls them to account, and no-one knows what they are doing. Every one of us has had the experience of getting a good write-up downvoted, and has wondered "Why?". This is the reason - different people have different standards.
Still later, a noder may (with time, patience and good writing) get to a point where sie gets The Power of C!. Once again, noders will C!s things which they like, in accord with their own standards and philosophy. Sometimes, they will ching a writeup because it taught them something, or is a good piece of writing, or is particularly amusing. Some perhaps give their mates a C!, purely because they are friends, some do it for a Ching! of Death. This explains why frequently, one sees the comment "Who chinged so-and-so, and why?" in the catbox.
When will you get to the point?
Now, actually. Editors are chosen for a variety of reasons. They are good noders. They are helpful noders. They believe in E2. They share a common vision of E2. But each of them, in addition to the above, has a philosophy, a vision of what Everything2 is.
There is one thing you should remember - the editorial staff are only human. They have the same weaknesses, the same tendency to form opinions, the same fallibility as you. They do not always agree on things. This is not a weakness of the system, this is necessary. As I said earlier, there is no officially defined set of guidelines - each individual has hir own view of what is 'right', what is 'wrong'. What one will ignore, another will pick up.
These personal differences create strength within the team, each member dedicating hir skills, knowledge and understanding to create a whole which works for the good of all. Never be afraid to approach any of them with questions, suggestions or requests. Just don't be too disappointed if they don't always agree with you.
wertperch's personal editorial philosophy
- I Ching things which are above-average in terms of their quality of writing, formatting and ease of reading. Most things I C! are factual, and I look for well-researched material, well-presented and easy to understand. I like to see intelligent hardlinking and softlinking, and also references to research material where appropriate. Quotes should be made clear and sources cited.
- I upvote things which are informative, clear, well-written and presented. Again, most of the writeups I vote on are factual, and they should be integrated into the database with softlinks.
- I downvote things which are thin, badly-written, inaccurate or silly opinion. Bare unexplicated lyrics are a classic for downvotes.
- I nuke things which add nothing of value, or detract from the value of the database. This includes one-liners which add nothing to the value of a node, or which are superseded by one or more other writeups. This may include some things from E1, where they have been comprehensively 'rescued'.
Other candidates for killing include one-line quotes which are irrelevant to the node, 'me-too' additions and purely subjective throw-aways. When I do remove things, I tend to do it mercifully, (without the -5XP penalty), and will always give a reason via Klaproth. Frequently, especially for newbie noders, I sign it with my name or initials.
- Quality is important to me. I want to see the database improve, I want to see enjoyable and valuable information, with a balance of humour and intelligent opinion. I want to see the community of noders enjoying themselves reading and writing.
- I support noders of all levels. We all have something to learn - you, me and everyone else. Feel free to ask questions. I am always pleased to help.
- I give feedback to noders, because Kind words beat upvotes and C!s every day. I love the blab button, and use it to comment, offer information, or gentle criticism. If you get a message from me, it is because I care, about you and the community which is Everything2.
Update January 20th, 2004: The "penalty" nuke is no more and lyrics now fall under the auspices of E2 Copyright Changes, but otherwise, I find it intriguing that my views are largely unchanged after two years, and elevation to godhood. This pleases me greatly.
One further comment - all my Klaproths are now signed, have been for a while. I believe in accountability and take personal responsibility.