I have been on this website for 3.3 years, according to my homenode. Joined August 18th, 2004. In this time, I've met quite an interesting set of people, read quite an interesting set of work, and seen, more recently, a set of interesting things happen.
I will not wave a flag and yell that we have died, we are dead, and we are dying. I am no god, I am no editor. I can't even cool writeups yet. 48 writeups (61 if you count Node Heaven) in 3.3 years, averaging about 15 writeups a year. I'm not exactly prolific.
I remember once, back in my first few months, I noded SA (don't look, it's dead now). I remember wondering why it had done so badly. I remember an editor (or god, perhaps -- at the time, they were the same to me) messaging me, informing me about some great conflict about gender neutral pronouns that was before my time. I remember nuking the writeup due to that. It seemed that standards were different, or that a decision had been made in the past about this sort of thing.
Everything, apparently, was not intended to contain everything.
Right now I am watching over two-word poem, the current hot-button node. And I am watching it go belly-up, nearly every writeup. The deletions are not what scare me. The reputations and chings on several of them do. When did e2 lose its ability to laugh at absurdity? It doesn't have to be smart to be funny, and it doesn't have to be smart to belong. That's the E2 that seemed to exist years ago. The Loud Node, Butterfinger McFlurry (the classic), the "customer :" series. Why the hell can't we write that anymore?
Two solutions come to mind, and one of them is more likely to happen than the other. One, we all lighten the fuck up. Seriously. Licking the bar. I'm not saying flood the database with crudely drawn ASCII penises, but there is a place for most of the writeups in two-word poem. It happens to be in the node they're in.
Second idea? I heard something about a tagging system instead of the drop down "person - place - thing - idea - whatever" list. Either with that, or a little checkbox when you make your node. It will be labeled "silly", "a joke", "quick" WHATEVER. Have your content and label it too. That or throw on a layer to voting so you can vote on "database appropriateness". Or is that what upvotes and downvotes have been for all along?
I want what E2 was before I was here -- I want what E2 was that got me here in the first place.