Last month I did an experiment. One of the things that editors sometimes do is to welcome new users to the site. Often, this happens when a new user posts something... well, crappy, and obviously needs some advice about linking or the whole writeup does not mean reply thing. Off and on we get into the habit of welcoming new users just because they are new.

I had fallen out of the habit of doing this. It occurred to me that I (and as far as I know, all the other editors) had fallen out of the habit of doing this, while at the same time the number of new users posting new nodes and/or drafts for review seemed to be decreasing. I thought there might be a correlation. So for a period of four weeks I did my best to catch every new user that hadn't posted yet, and send them a brief hello message. These messages were very simple, basically "Welcome, let me know if you have any questions, E2 Quick Start is a good resource".

Well, as far as I can tell, it didn't make any difference. I did not get any replies, and most of the new users who posted were basically those who logged in and posted their first node that same day -- before I sent a message.

Admittedly, this experiment was very limited in scope, had no formal control, and really only measured the effectiveness of my own dopey messages, rather than offers of editor support in general. It should also be noted that new users have been relatively open in asking for help in the chatterbox, and maybe receiving a random message from a random stranger supported that. Also, I have to admit that I'm not planning to stop greeting new uses just because it's proved ineffective so far. So the effect of this experiment is basically nil.

In other news, it's been almost a year since I last let everyone know every little thing I do. So here's July's tallies.

Removing writeups to draft: Four writeups from new users, two from old users. The new writeups had something obviously wrong with them, such as no links or being spam. Some were fixed and reposted. The older writeups were removed because they had been superseded by newer writeups or because they had been consolidated with another node on the same subject, making them redundant.

Reordering writeups within a node: I reordered 43-Man Squamish to put my own writeup on top, replacing a lede that had been asamoth'd. Usually I do this more than once a month, but things slow down during quests.

Moving writeups from one node to another: Just two this month: I moved false nodevertising to nodevertising and I think I am addicted to The Learning Channel (both writeups) to The Learning Channel. The resulting nodeshells were deleted.

Retitled nodes: I changed Holy Flamin' Frost-Brand etc. to Holy Flamin' Frost-Brand Gronk-Slayin' Vorpal Hammer o' Woundin' an' Returnin' an' Shootin'-Lightnin'-Out-Yer-Bum, and tweaked the capitalization of some nodeshells. (The difference between retiteling and moving is basically that in retiteling the node keeps all of the softlinks. Sadly, you cannot retitle to a node that already contains writeups).

Editor cools: I did not cool anything. I would like to be cooling more, but I prefer to cool nodes with multiple good writeups, and people are not posting multiple writeups in a node as often as they once did. I may need to loosen up a bit. Especially as I removed two editors cools -- Decalogue and Editor Log: September 6, 2000 -- that had been added by other editors long ago.

Typo alerts: I messaged 12 users about typos in writeups, not counting draft reviews. I also received about this many corrections on my own writeups. In addition, I messaged a few noders about adding more or better links and other odds and ends.

Typo corrections: I corrected typos in seven writeups by fled users. These included misspellings, broken links, and broken HTML. None changed the meaning of the writings.

Drafts reviewed: Eight drafts reviewed, with feedback given. Three of these have not yet been posted, which may indicate that my advice was not as helpful as hoped.

Random assistance/meddling: There was a period, months ago, when writeups removed to draft remained as public drafts; I hid six of these that were just terrible. I helped a user add HTML tags when WYSIWYG wasn't doing it thing. I added an editor note to one writeup that contained a factual error; I also msg'd the author, but e hasn't been logged in for over a month.

Editor discussions: It was a slow month, but we spoke briefly about why we have a room labeled noders nursery if no one hangs out in it to help new users. No decision made as of yet. I vote for it to be deleted, as the chatbox is doing a great job in answering new user's questions. There was also some chatter about the chatbox archive, but you know as much about that as I do.

Removed a number of insulting softlinks: We have at least one troll who is smart enough to proofread people's writeups but dumb enough to think that noders go back and scan the softlinks in case anyone has decided to comment in the most indirect fashion. If you think someone needs to proofread, tell them. Softlinks to FAQs and insults are useless, do not help the database, and are likely to remain even if the writeup you dislike so much is fixed or deleted. The correct methods for dealing with a "bad" writeup are a) send a polite message to the author, b) write a better writeup yourself, c) ignore it. If you are not doing these things, you are just as bad as the problem you are trying to solve.

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