As some of you know, I recently had students from a class I'm teaching post as new user on Everything2. Later, I asked them to write a reaction paper answering the following questions:

  1. Did you have anything deleted? If so, what was your reaction to that?
  2. Did you receive any messages from the users of the site? How many? What were they generally about? What was your reaction to getting contacted by these users?
  3. How did you do with the voting in general? What were your reactions to the voting?
  4. What kinds of things did you do to learn about the site? How much content did you read before posting, and what impression did you form of the site?
  5. What do you think the site is for?
  6. Why would you participate in this site?
  7. Why wouldn't you?

As you can see below, the reactions were very mixed, ranging from positive to apathetic to fist-shakingly angry. I think we need to take some of the reactions below with a grain of salt, but I do think there are some interesting findings here. They had a week to learn E2 and have three write ups survive, which is probably too short a time. However, what is the new user experience? Right now we're getting about 1 out of 1000 new users to stick around, looking at the server numbers. Where do you want Everything2 to go?

Some things I took away from the student reactions.

  • People interpret downvotes as worst cases. The Fundamental Attribution Error predicts that people who are downvoted are more likely to attribute it to some flaw in the voter than in their content.
  • Sometimes messages are helpful and sometimes they are overwhelming. If I had to guess, seven is about the optimal number for new users, and more than that gets confusing.
  • New users are seeing mixed messages when they are told their content is too short, but they see other short content on the site.
  • The FAQ is overwhelming.

Anyway, I hope this starts a discussion.


1. Did you have anything deleted? If so, what was your reaction to that?
I did not have anything deleted.

2. Did you receive any messages from the users of the site? How many? What were they generally about? What was your reaction to getting contacted by these users?
I received 3 messages from one user regarding my first two posts. The first was noting that an item I had created a link for was not noded and asked for me to provide a description of it (a software title) and also for clarification on if my tech tip was legal and not against the software license. I created a new node for the one software title and updated my post to reflect that as far as I am aware, my tech tip is perfectly legal, especially since the process is facilitated by the software publisher. The second message was noting that I messed up and instead of replying to the first private message; I posted in the public chat area. He told me the easiest way on how to send a private message. The third message was noting that my 2nd node (for the software title) would probably not be well received (it wasn't) since it was short and low on content. He noted that the info would be better being added into my first write up. So I added that info to the first write up. Overall, being contacted so quickly gave me mixed feelings; initially I felt like I had screwed up and was being berated for not understanding the site; however it was also nice getting immediate guidance. However it was also a peculiar experience since the site didn't seem to facilitate one-on-one communication very well as it was confusing to know where to post and how to reply. It was not intuitive at all.

3. How did you do with the voting in general? What were your reactions to the voting?
The breakdown of my articles is as follows: Article 1: Score: +4 (+6/-2) Article 2: Score: -5 (+3/-8) Article 3: Score: +3 (+5/-2) For the second article, I didn't mind the negative voting, although I thought my other two articles were decent and not sure why they were voted down. The site doesn't really do a good job at informing what voting means. Most of the information about the site is overly verbose. I'd rather have a succinct, well thought out presentation instead of something as long and drawn out.

4. What kinds of things did you do to learn about the site?
How much content did you read before posting, and what impression did you form of the site? I created an E2 account late last year, but never posted on it until this assignment. I had browsed around it a bit before, reading random articles on occasion. The site seem like it wants to be a companion to sites like Wikipedia. Some specific places/things/people have nodes and information, but most posts are either creative writings with little to no connection of anything useful (other than entertainment) or tangents of material that is too specific or focused for inclusion in a Wikipedia article. Basically if I wanted more detailed information about a specific area of a topic, outside of what would be found on Wikipedia, but not as in-depth as something from a dedicated website, E2 might be worth visiting. However, I found the layout of the site very cumbersome and it was kind of confusing to use; which was probably why I'd had an account for nearly a year without ever contributing.

5. What do you think the site is for?
Initially I thought it was more for heavy computer users, but after reading and browsing more, it seems more geared for computer savvy amateur writers. But again, it seems to be a place for creative (fiction or non) writers to share their information, as well as sort of an auxiliary information source for any topic person/place/thing.

6. Why would you participate in this site?
If I had some creative writing piece that I wanted feedback on outside of my circle of friends and family, I might consider posting it.

7. Why wouldn't you?
If I wanted to provide general information about any topic that I was an expert in, I probably would not use this site and instead go to Wikipedia. While there are some topics with general overviews, there are a lot of holes of missing topics. Yet at the same time, there is more specific information outside what would be found in an overview article. So the there is little flow among articles and topics are disjointed with spots of general information and random bits of detailed articles. Filing in some of the larger holes seems futile since Wikipedia already has much of this information, and a larger audience of authors, reviewers and users.


1. I had a huge problem even formatting the post in HTML, let alone getting it deleted. It's not like I don't know basic coding… The instructions to post were confusing. I understood the scratch pad, but getting user help was a trick. When I did go to post something on a node, I got a message saying the post was set for destruction. My links did work though, so that was a plus! Between Wikipedia and E2, I found Wikipedia the easiest to use, both functionally (usefulness of information) and also to contribute. I liked how you could track what overs jumped to from node to node on E2. I tried 7 different times, each time with multiple attempts to post on E2. In my text editor, my HTML formatting was perfect. When I posted each time, it came up as one whole string of sentences, no paragraphs. I asked the other Team America members for help, but they were having the same issues. I finally gave up asking them because I didn't want to be a bother.

2. Considering I didn't post anything, I didn't get any messages.

3. No post, no vote.

4. I actually read a lot of content. Its interesting to see peoples reactions to postings. The whole E2 site is a combination of Wikipedia, SlashDot/Digg and a creative outlet of sorts. I saw a lot of poetry on E2. In fact, the poetry node was closed for new posts.

5. As I said before, this site is a combination of different sites, hence thew 'Everything' in E2. It's trying to be all things to all people, but it seems like a failure in that sense. Obviously with all wiki's, its a way to share information, whether right or wrong, good or bad.

6. I took a look at some of the topics I knew about (VoIP) and the original post wasn't clear or concise, or even totally correct. The response to the original post was much more precise and clear, but still didn't describe HOW the interface devices connect to each other, or that there were even devices that needed to be connected to begin with. My post was going to address that issue, as well as some of the regulatory issues going on today.

7. I wouldn't use this site because its a pain in the ass. Some people with a lot of knowledge on topics would run away screaming from this site because of its PIA formating and post to wikipedia instead. Perhaps that's the reason they decided to keep the site this way, to keep away the rif-raf. That also may be why when I Google a subject, Wikipedia comes up first and E2 is buried somewhere on page 287.


1. I did have the first thing I submitted deleted. What I'd written was an analysis of the versatility of a certain curse word (starts with the letter s) and it was deleted because the topic had already been thoroughly covered.

2. The first message I got was regarding the article I'd had deleted, it basically just told me why. The other ones I got were basically regarding typos in some of my other articles and suggestions for more info. I also got one inviting me to join a comics-related group.

3. I was not overly concerned about the voting as long as my article remained up, although some of the people there did seem to nitpick a lot.

4. The site seemed interesting, although I learned that you really do have to put some effort into what you post if you wanted it not to be deleted. I read a couple of articles before posting, not many though.

5. Partially encyclopedic, and partially a forum for people to have their writing skills analyzed.

6. Well if I wanted someone to look at and criticize my writing it would definitely be the site to go to.

7. The site doesn't seem friendly to new people and there's a bit of a learning curve as far as learning how to write articles. Also, the voters seem a little "anal" for lack of a better word.


1. Did you have anything deleted?
If so, what was your reaction to that? I did not have anything deleted.

2. Did you receive any messages from the users of the site? How many? What were they generally about? What was your reaction to getting contacted by these users?
I did receive several messages from the users of the site. I actually received 27 messages, although several of them were from Cool Man Eddie who appears to be an apparition. Other messages were generally about the content of my postings. Most made some sort of suggestions or were welcoming and congratulatory. I was grateful for some suggestions which other users made, for example suggestions about node choice for my write ups and pipe linking were very helpful. On the other hand, I found some suggestions--such as personal opinions about the way a specific user would have written a passage in a write-up, or comments about the content of my personal profile were just annoying and over stepped the bounds of the message sender, in my opinion.

3. How did you do with the voting in general? What were your reactions to the voting?
In general I feel that I did well with the voting. My first write-up scored +19/-5, my second was +45/-9, and my third scored +30/-3. I really like AND really dislike the voting system. I like it because it incentivized writing things that people would like, and it made a little game out of writing. In this sense, the voting system makes E2 an incredibly compelling (and addictive) community. On the other hand, the voting system seems flawed. I do not understand why my most popular write-up was also my least popular write-up. Further, I did not receive one explanation via personal message about why I scored so negatively on that write-up. I find that cowardly. In an environment where people are writing creatively and offering a bit of themselves to the community, to get voted down without any explanation feels like a slap in the face.

4. What kinds of things did you do to learn about the site? How much content did you read before posting, and what impression did you form of the site?
I read the FAQ and a few of the other "How to do E2" sorts of nodes. I read a bunch of content before posting, mostly the masturbation / body function sorts of nodes. I found them funny and this probably led to my natural gravitation to those sorts of write-ups. I formed the impression that E2 was mostly a site dedicated to sharing humorous or creative stories on specific topics and making witty observations about a variety of topics. Probably the most informative thing I learned from, however, was from the helpful comments of other users. As previously mentioned, although some were frustrating, there were also very helpful comments from other users.

5. What do you think the site is for?
Frankly, I think E2 is a competitive wikipedia which is wittily written. I think E2 is competitive because of the voting system and various user levels which can be attained. Numerous times I saw users making reference to "achieving" a certain level which further evidences my "competitive" (even if only self-competitive) claim. I think E2 is a wittily written wikipedia because it seems to have a similar scope of topics (with the notable exception of lyric nodes) as wikipedia, but a simple wikipedia "informative" style seems like not quite enough to be successful at E2.

6. Why would you participate in this site?
I would participate in this site for the same reason I might play a game like World of Warcraft. In the end, I think E2 is compelling because it allows for measurable benchmarks of accomplishment. For those who like to attain levels of achievement and gain notoriety within the community.

7. Why wouldn't you?
I would choose not to participate in E2 because of the immense amount of time it takes to do a write-up successfully. There are no shortcuts to a good write-up. Of course, for some community members, herein lies the appeal of E2. However, I do not feel that it would likely be worth my time to spend countless hours making sure my pipe links send other users to the most accurate nodes. In short, the user interface is a tad klunky and this is a drawback, in my opinion.


1. Did you have anything deleted? If so, what was your reaction to that?
Yep. 4/4 got deleted. Quite frankly, I was pissed. Not that they deleted them, but that they deleted them because they subjectively didn't like them. I don't like President Bush (who is a component of "everything"), but I can't just delete him and act as if he never existed.

2. Did you receive any messages from the users of the site? How many? What were they generally about? What was your reaction to getting contacted by these users?
I received a total of 22 (and possibly more since) from users. Generally, they were saying "I didn't like your post so I nuked it." However, a couple decided to make assumptions about me, such as I don't have kids. My reaction was one of anger. I actually got into a discussion with one via e-mail, which because of her narrow perspective I found myself wanting to flame her, but ultimately remained silent and hope and pray still that her allergy finds her quickly and kills her genetically-weak little parasitic offspring-she irritated me just that much.

3. How did you do with the voting in general? What were your reactions to the voting?
Voting didn't go well. 4/4 posts got put into the negative, and all 4 ultimately fell below the arbitrary threshold and were deleted. Voting seems subjective and arbitrary. I put something witty and intriguing up, people voted it down. I posted something happy and shallow, and people voted it down. They didn't want my ideas, they didn't want the opposite of my ideas, and they didn't want something between. If voting meant something, I'd be more inclined to care. Unfortunately, it seems I don't have the personality that fits their site-and was literally told that by a user.

4. What kinds of things did you do to learn about the site?
How much content did you read before posting, and what impression did you form of the site? The site has its own special little HTML coding. It was a pain in the ass to learn in that it has no bearing on any other website-it's completely intrinsic to E2 and not externally useful at all. Before posting, I read several nodes (including the FAQ), and read multiple more posts before posting again. By the time of my fourth post, I'd estimate I'd read over 100 posts from others of varying sizes and specificity. The impression I got of the site was that it was a pitiful attempt at re-creating Wikipedia, but also by including emo poetry and middle-age angst. It seems to be a group of like-minded people just reinforcing their view.

5. What do you think the site is for?
Friends to provide self-masturbatory material for one another, solidifying and selectively reinforcing one perspective.

6. Why would you participate in this site?
I wouldn't. I'm done, out, and finished. See below.

7. Why wouldn't you?
My experience with E2 was certainly a negative one. Perhaps my final post explains why:

Goodbye Everything 2

I am a noob.

Let me me get that out in the open straightaway. I have posted a total of four times (including this post) over the course of the past week. I have not taken the time to develop my "Everything 2 writing style," nor have I taken the time to immerse myself in the E2 culture. And after my experiences, I don't plan to. But before I bid adieu, let me explain why, in a likely futile attempt to increase the awareness of the E2 community of how those not indoctrinated deep into your culture first experience E2.

Everything 2 says it's about "Everything." Everything, by definition, is all-inclusive, and omits nothing. To that end, the Everything 2 community seems to have forgotten to embrace that principle, and instead has turned to the idea of self-selection of that which is "worthy" to be added to the wealth of knowledge.

Almost two millennia ago, the Great Library of Alexandria was sacked and burned; a loss of knowledge because those of other perspectives thought the knowledge contained in the library didn't fit with their paradigm. In the 2000 years since then, we've managed to piece back some of the knowledge lost, but the travesty is that the majority of the information is lost to the sands of time. In the same way, the fact that the E2 community shuns new and alternate perspectives has the potential to destroy new knowledge in its infancy, detracting from not only from its own purpose, but also biasing the information that currently exists.

I stopped watching Fox News a while ago because of its bias. For a news source the professes its neutrality, its over-emphasis of right-leaning, Republican values and stance on issues made me feel ill. In the same vein, I've recently lost faith in CNN. In the television medium, I think most programs have a lean--it's the nature of the beast which allows them to publish. However, the Internet affords us an opportunity to break free these mortal coils of bias and actually make everything available to people.

I leave Everything 2 not because I'm pissed that posts (and not just mine) are being voted down and sent to Node Heaven. I can get over that rejection--hell check my dating record, as it speaks for itself. What I can't get over, however, is Everything 2's bigotry--not against a person or a group, but against a set of undefined ideas. The fact is, Everything 2-ers like what they like, and reward that which matches their pre-existing ideas. And while that's fine if you're one of the chosen in-group who's had time to acclimate, y'all make it really hard to break that barrier and become one.

So here's your call-to-action Everything 2: either rise above what you've become and return to your roots of attempting to acquire the whole of the human experience on this site; or stay on your hypocritical path of seeking everything provided it fits with your specific world view. But it's up to you. Either way, I'm done. Best of luck.

In attempting to participate in the E2 community, community members have this inflated and biased perception of who they are and more specifically what E2 is. In response to that post, I got the following messages as feedback:

(redacted) Klaproth says I ate your writeup Goodbye E2. Angsty write-ups tend to get voted down. That's just how it is. Node Heaven will become its new residence.

Followed up with

Listen, I hate to say this (primarily because you and I disagreed over one of your prior writeups), but you aren't the first person to "quit" E2. Its right for some people and not right for others. I really feel that you didn't read around enough and "get to know" the site before you started posting. This is generally the big stumbling block for people. Anyway, I deleted your most recent node about "goodbye" because it was already at -5 and would have surely gone further south. If you have even a small thought about coming back to E2, I'd suggest signing up for a mentor, someone to help you to acclimate to the site.

These messages just reinforce the post I made. E2-ers just want to read what they want to read. I'm not going to get a "mentor" for a site for my free time. I get a mentor for something I want to have an investment in-and E2 has given me no reason to invest in them. And while that's fine with me, don't name your site "Everything." The pompousness of calling posts "nodes"…the "god" denotation of master users…everything just seems to be one big circle-jerk in which they try to substantiate their own little online world. In short, I know I didn't get 3 posts to stick, and probably did poorly on the assignment. I can't really say I care. What I learned from this assignment is that CSCW operates within a social framework developed and nurtured by those in the CSCW. To that end, it takes time and effort to acclimate to new social frameworks-7 days wasn't enough to become a clone of an E2-user, and they've not motivated, enticed, or encouraged me in any way to take the time to become one. For a site looking for everything, they sure don't want everything.


1. Did you have anything deleted? If so, what was your reaction to that?
No, none of my three posts got deleted.

2. Did you receive any messages from the users of the site? How many? What were they generally about? What was your reaction to getting contacted by these users?
Yes, I received a few messages from the users. One told me that one of my writeups was transferred under a different key word. One just simply welcomed me to the site. Another commented on one of my writeups, saying that he enjoyed it. I was surprised to find that people actually showed interest in my writeups. At first I thought that my writeups would just sneak on the site somewhat unnoticed. The messages gave a sense of community to E2 and I thought it was very unique.

3. How did you do with the voting in general? What were your reactions to the voting?
I really liked the voting system and it was fun to see what percentage of readers enjoyed my writeups and thought they deserved to stay on the site, and what percentage did not. The voting system keeps the site fun and creates the desire for writers to post.

4. What kinds of things did you do to learn about the site?
How much content did you read before posting, and what impression did you form of the site? I read the Everything FAQ. The topic that helped me the most was the E2 HTML tags: quick start. This contained all the basic HTML help I needed to post. I read around 10 posts prior to actually creating my own, to get a feel for the kind of material the E2 community wants to read about. I quickly learned that any topic, if written well, could be respected by the E2 community.

5. What do you think the site is for?
This site is designed for all pieces of creative writing.
It is a community aimed at those that like to write and receive critique on their writing. It can also be used to find out information about various subjects. E2 is a lot less formal than most wiki sites, so many topics that you won't find on sites such as Wikipedia can be found on E2.

6. Why would you participate in this site?
I would participate in this site because I honestly believe that after a while of posting, receiving feedback, and altering your original writeup based on feedback, you eventually would become a much better writer. It has a great community feel to it.

7. Why wouldn't you?
Because the truth is, I'm lazy. This is typically something I wouldn't expend any energy on, although this is the first time I said to myself, "I actually could do this and find it interesting." Once I have some more time outside of college I would reconsider. I still may post from time to time.


1. Did you have anything deleted? If so, what was your reaction to that?
No

2. Did you receive any messages from the users of the site? How many? What were they generally about? What was your reaction to getting contacted by these users?
No

3. How did you do with the voting in general? What were your reactions to the voting?
Generally I think I did OK. Two of my three articles seemed to be liked and the third was kind of 50/50. I am not sure what users didn't like about the third one as they were all written in the same format. It seems like the voting system is an effective way to judge different articles.

4. What kinds of things did you do to learn about the site? How much content did you read before posting, and what impression did you form of the site?
I learned a lot of the site because I never heard of it before this assignment. I like the tag feature that most of the time relates to other articles that are similar to the one you are reading. I read a few articles to get the feel of how things are written and how long some articles were. I got a great first impression, mostly because they were eager to help in any way and the provided feedback in one case on my first article on how I could make it better.

5. What do you think the site is for?
Site is for providing information to readers about different topics. Users can read or write articles as well as socialize over their site.

6. Why would you participate in this site?
This site can give you insight on different topics as well as provide interesting articles to read. If your thing is more writing articles, it gives you a chance to write on different topics and get feedback on your articles.

7. Why wouldn't you?
It would be hard to identify facts in articles. Some articles would just be some person's opinion. Not as popular as other user collaborative sites such as Wikipedia.


Once upon a time, a group of bullied English majors got together with one goal in mind. That goal was to enforce their degrees and hatred of people who got useful degrees upon everyone who strayed, or was forced by school, upon their internet path. They would spring their trap by creating something that looked interesting, but was basically an internet mouse trap. The first meeting must have gone something like this: Lets take an interesting concept, convolute it so badly, make it difficult to participate in and then on top of that once someone tries to we can decide we don't like what they had to say or how they said it, so we will delete it! And so everything2 was born.

This paper will aim to address the questions put forth by the instructor, but let it be known that the author, having spent much time on the site and giving it a fair shot…hates it. In fact, in my twenty-four years of living I had never before encountered a website that I actually hated. I didn't even think it was possible to hate a website. Who even has such a surplus of hate that they have to spend it on a silly website? Well, as it turns out, I do, and I am surprised. But give everything2 all due credit, it earned my scorn. Oh yes, it did.

Without structure this paper could and probably would turn into a (longer) monologue on why everything2 is so awful. Therefore I will just take some Tylenol to calm the headache that occurs whenever I think of everything2, and answer the questions sequentially.

1. Did you have anything deleted? If so, what was your reaction to that?
Yes, I did. After my first post, I decided to make another that linked the two together. Well, after another long day of dealing with everything2's inane structure and the almost impossible task of posting just one thing, I was not in the mood to create the next great novel. I was just happy that, after a few days of trying, I had figured out how to post one thing. Riding the first wave I had, I posted a small spot on the Indiana University student radio station WIUX. Adding it for pure reference to anyone who didn't know, I planned on editing it later and adding more. I didn't plan on not being able how to figure out how to edit the damn thing later.

Well, the post/node was deleted. My reaction? One part of me was upset, especially since the person who deleted it told me "in general, if people can find out more using Google then they tend to downvote." Well thanks, oh giver of great internet knowledge. I am quite aware that your website is not Google. I am also aware that if, for some reason, someone wanted to find out about the entire history of WIUX, or really anything that was hard information, they would not go to everything2. People who want to be suicidal go to everything2, not those who are looking for information of that depth.

Another part of me was confused, because when perusing the site, I ran into multiple posts (nodes?) that were simple, designed to be there for those who did not know and would like a simple explanation. For example, if one was reading about Jimmy Buffett, and she ran into the term Parrot Head and did not know what that was, a quick link would tell you. I checked this out before I posted, to see if such quick information was accepted. Well, on high and mighty everything2, the parrot head node just says this: "A fan of Jimmy Buffett, usually plumed in hawaiian shirts and hats that contain parrots." Alright…that is a quick, simple explanation for someone who might not know, similar to what I posted and the same length…and yet it stays? Why? That doesn't make sense to me.

2. Did you receive any messages from the users of the site? How many? What were they generally about? What was your reaction to getting contacted by these users?
I received seven messages from users. One was a welcome. The other was a user who liked my user name. Four were of the general opinion that my post mentioned above was too short. Only one comment, "one-liners like this don't tell us much" set me off. If such one-liners don't, then why are they allowed in some places and not others on the website? Why, as a new user, am I seeing one-liner posts, which make me think they are acceptable, and then putting them up but having them deleted because they are too short? Make up your minds! My general reaction to these comments is…who are you people? And how did you even notice? What in your life has led you to be checking up on what new user Hufflepuff Pride is posting, and then deciding it's not good enough? Isn't this website for EVERYTHING? It should be called everythingifwelikeit2. The seventh message is got was from fellow classmate Erik, and is a bit inappropriate to re-state. He has a very vivid imagination though, that one.

3. How did you do with the voting in general? What were your reactions to the voting?
My rating right now says I am a level 1 out of 9. As best as I can tell, that's the voting. Unless it isn't…in which case I would have to take an hour to comb over the FAQ's that don't help me anyway. So I guess I'm a 1. Oh well. If I was a 9, I would have no idea how it even happened or why.

4. What kinds of things did you do to learn about the site? How much content did you read before posting, and what impression did you form of the site?
There is a huge disjoint between what I wanted to learn, and what I actually did learn. I wanted to learn, simply, how to post. Just how to post! That is the main thing I wanted to know. And it took me forever to figure out. The FAQ's did not help me at all. They just danced around the point entirely. I got the feeling that everything2 was trying to weed people who did not have 5 hours to spare in learning how to post. I finally figured it out by calling someone else from the class, and we walked through it together, after much trail and error. Then, once I did, and wanted to post again, I couldn't figure it out. Again. The interface is so counter-intuitive to what I needed, and that bred the frustration which led to the current hate. What did I learn? Well, I learned that one is supposed to link as much as possible, and that you have to be grammatically correct. And I guess one has to write the next War and Peace on whatever topic one nodes, or else it will be taken off. I read much content before posting. I was trying to figure out how the link system works, what to link and what not to. Some posts were big, others small. Some had academic information, some did not. I could not figure out how to separate some of the categories they have, such as opinion, person, or essay. Honestly I spent more time reading about the site (trying to figure out how to work it) than I did reading what was on it. The FAQs exhausted and frustrated me, and after spending so much time with them I had little desire to peruse the posts that other people somehow got up. Once I posted a small addition, and I got railroaded for it, I just gave up because I don't think there was anything I could of wrote to appease these people.

The impression I formed of the site is that it is badly designed and executed. It is too difficult to navigate and getting to what one wants to do is like jumping invisible hurdles. The idea behind the site is good. Everything else I cannot stand. It's like, the idea of a waffle maker is awesome, but if the thing doesn't let you turn it on, add ingredients, or have instructions that make sense, and then wants to rate you badly for making awful waffles, what's the point?

5. What do you think the site is for?
Bored, angry English Majors to preside over.

6. Why would you participate in this site?
I would only participate if I had to for a class assignment. That's it. I will never go back to this site, ever…unless I'm writing about websites that drive people to emotional imbalance. Then I'll have an example ready.

7. Why wouldn't you?
I would not participate because the website misses its own point, is difficult to navigate, and just seems like it is an inside joke that constantly teases you, almost letting you in…but really just wants to keep you on the outside. If I was going to write about something, I would go to a website that had the ability to tell a user how to sign up, and how to post, in an easy to understand manner. The user would not have to spend hours on an FAQ page only to learn that he or she must be grammatically correct or else, which isn't even what he or she is looking for. The list goes on. Before I have an ulcer from devoting anymore of my life to it, I will just say I everything2 is the worst website I have ever dealt with. Ever, in my whole life…and I lived in a fraternity for two years. Do you know what kinds of websites 100 college men living together show each other? Well I would rather spend four hours with one of those than five more minutes with everything2. I would rather go to the dentist. I would rather meet a new girlfriend's dad -who is a former Marine holding a shotgun. I would rather baby sit a one year old child. I would rather live through my high school prom again, the one where I took my girlfriend of two years, the one where I learned that she in fact didn't love me, because she left with my best friend, who happened to be a girl. I would actually live through that, and immediately then go pay them a happy visit to their apartment in Chicago just to check up on how they're doing. I would rather take German class again. I would rather run 10 miles and I hate running. I would rather attend Purdue. If that doesn't answer the question I don't know what will.


I did not have any posts deleted on everything2. It was especially worrying when I started receiving posts from other users. I received a total of 7 messages, but about 4 of them were after my first posting. A lot of the messages were sent by users to offer advice on how to improve my posts. The first 3 messages were all about my lack of links. It seems like the links and format of the posts are more important than the actual content of the posts. Since most of the messages were meant to offer advice and not to criticize, I was not offended by the messages or hurt in any way.

In general I did very well on the ratings. My first post was the only one that got a bad rating, and that was because I had not learned yet how to link and what to link. My next two posts were both positive. It seems from what I have seen on the site, that the more controversial the subject, the more people like it and the better the rating. I read all the FAQs about how to write the posts and how to format them. I also read 3 posts in order to see what people wrote and how they wrote it.

In general I liked this site much more than Slashdot. People seem to be much more accepting of posts and of new users. I also like the fact that there are no restrictions on the types of posts. I did not like the Slashdot assignment, because we had to pick from existing posts and comment on them. The truth was that there weren't always posts up that I found interesting or that I would have liked to comment on.

This seems like a community site which finds members by invitation. Due to how general the posts are, it seems very unlikely that random people will join the site and participate. Most community sites bring in members by attracting people to a certain subject. By making this site so general, it seems that people join more for the communication between members rather than for the actual theme of the site. So I think I would participate in this site if I had other friends in it as well. Otherwise there are no real benefits from being a member to this site.


1. I didn't have anything deleted.

2. I received a number of messages from users of the site - two before I even began posting, and then quite a few after I posted to the catbox to ask for critiques of my work. I received a number of very helpful and encouraging private messages, and some asking what path I took in getting to the site and what resources I found most helpful in crafting my first few write-ups.

3. I did pretty well with the voting. Getting positive votes was very encouraging, a kind of a nice pat on the back after I posted my write-ups. The one negative vote I received really made me wonder, though, what I was doing wrong.

4. I had encountered the site long ago, and knew some of its structure and understood the node/linking concept behind it before I had to do this assignment. I read some of the "everything university" and FAQ documents before I posted. The posting process/interface is kind of clunky, but not too terrible. I really got a sense of community through my interactions with people in the catbox - it seems like there's a core group that's really tightly knit and really cares about the development of users on the site.

5. The site seems like it's primarily designed as a creative outlet for people, a way of honing one's writing skills and sharing one's work in a public setting. There's some factual information that's on the site, but there really doesn't seem to be any attempt to be authoritative.

6. I'd participate in the site because it gives me an opportunity to write, something I need to do more of. The general vibe I get from the site is pretty welcoming and fun, and I like it.

7. The thing that would keep me from participating is time, more than anything. It took me a fair amount of time to create the nodes that I did, and I don't regularly have that kind of time available.


1. Yes, my posting on LPP was deleted. I think that if the community doesn't want my postings on their website, then I am totally fine with that. Although my psoting may have not been technically complete, I would think that some information on the topic would be better then none.

2. No.

3. Well I cannot vote, because I am not a level 2 user. This doesn't bother me much, I see how the community would want it this way.

4. From this site I learned a design way to make a Wikipedia type database of knowledge and build a stronger user community in the process. I think this forms a community with the a personality, good or bad. I read a lot of content before posting to find the style and tone for the article. I came away with a sarcastic twist to the community.

5. I think this site is an attempt to make a Wikipedia type database of knowledge and build a user community to monitor it in the process that isn't so anonymous.

6. I would not personally participate in this site. But I could see a knowledge junky with something to prove and a lot of time on their hands really getting into this... Down to someone who may want to leave a digital footprint on the web.

7. I think the website is very bad at explaining the 5 W's about the website. Period. It takes way to long to find information about posting, linking, general usage, etc. The banner ads at the top of the site kill a lot of real estate on the screen and makes me want to leave right way. The text appearance on the site varies too much and it makes it very hard to read. It needs to be more uniform.


1. Did you have anything deleted? If so, what was your reaction to that?
I in fact didn't have anything deleted for this assignment. As you suspected I did indeed use past papers I wrote as I had received good grades for them so I figured they were a sure shot. But before I did that I was looking through the faq for ideas of what to post and when they said simply something you may have learned in class today I figured, oh old papers brilliant!

2. Did you receive any messages from the users of the site? How many? What were they generally about?
What was your reaction to getting contacted by these users? Yes I received 3 messages actually. The first one was a simple general e-mail to a new user welcoming them to the site. Another was from a user telling me a I had a typo in one of my papers where the raised numbering for powers didn't carry over from word so I had to use the carrot symbol. I found this to be a polite and helpful way of making sure that material for this site is in order and free of most typos. The third one was just to inform me that one of my writeups had been cooled, which was a good feeling knowing that someone else found my work to be rather interesting enough for all the users to see under the recent cools.

3. How did you do with the voting in general? What were your reactions to the voting?
Overall I only received 3 negatives on one writeup and the rest all had positive voting. I only reached as high as a 16 but it was also cooled which was 'cool'. It felt pretty good having people give a positive point to my writeups, like they were actually worthwhile overall.

4. What kinds of things did you do to learn about the site? How much content did you read before posting, and what impression did you form of the site?
I mostly learned that this is a vast site that really anything from general knowledge to actual doctoral write ups can be found. Its nice to have a laid back resource where people can post their work for others to see as opposed to a formal presentation that most research sites are accustomed to these days. I didn't read a whole lot, just little tid bits that I found as I was thinking of topics to post up here there. I went through some of the cools and little stories that people came up with that were amusing. Overall I feel the site is on a good track for keeping track of information and really everything that people find interesting to write about.

5. What do you think the site is for?
A good centralized resource for looking up any general knowledge things and if it isn’t there, it allows the user to put in their two-cents about the topic.

6. Why would you participate in this site?
To get my ideas and theses out in the world to see if anyone else gives a damn about it really. If I can help solves someone's problem with one I've already had, it may make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

7. Why wouldn't you?
Could be a lot of work to keep finding things to post that aren't already posted. However, if youâ're one for writing about stories that really isn't an issue with this site. Also there could be the chance of my material getting removed and all that work wasted, which would be a shame. The HTML of having to post really isn't a big deal but it is time consuming. Other than that I'll probably see myself in the future posting papers or anything of the such I feel may be important to someone else just to see how it gets rated and what not.


1. Did you have anything deleted? If so, what was your reaction to that?
Yes, I had 3 out of 4 successful posts. After I wrote my three posts, one of them wasn't getting very good scores. The post reached a negative score and was at risk for deletion. I was afraid of not having 3 successful posts so I decided to make another one. I was upset and mad that my post was deleted, because I did spend some time on it. It hurt to see something wasn't good enough for the website. When my fourth post received lots of positive ratings, I got over my deleted post.

2. Did you receive any messages from the users of the site? How many? What were they generally about? What was your reaction to getting contacted by these users?
Yes, I received messages. Currently I have 15 messages. The messages were generally about the fact that one of my posts was going to be deleted, how to post and some suggestions/comments to edit my current posts. I liked that the users were engaged and interested in what people were posting. It was also helpful when I didn't know how to create an initial post. I also was a bit frustrated because one user said to read the FAQs; I was reading the FAQs over the course of the weekend and it really didn't help me. After much perusing and a couple posting mistakes, I was able to post successfully.

3. How did you do with the voting in general? What were your reactions to the voting?
In general, I did fairly well in the voting as I had 3 out of 4 survive had high positive points considering the topic. Currently, my scores are Ugg boots 19 (21-2), Sweetest day 13 (17-4) and Hani 5 (10-5.) I guess I am pretty happy with the scoring, although it doesn't really matter what I say, because my score won't be affected either way. Also, I think having posts be scored encourages some posting competition.

4. What kinds of things did you do to learn about the site?
How much content did you read before posting, and what impression did you form of the site? I read the FAQs and messaged other members for help regarding the site. I pretty much spent a couple days reading the quick start pages and sought help from others. I was under the impression the site was a little confusing as you had to figure out the websites style. It was also a bit challenging, in the respect of, needing to know some HTML code language.

5. What do you think the site is for?
This site is used to gain a better understanding of something in which you may not know much about. The site can help with any confusion and also provided a definition or example of something.

6. Why would you participate in this site?
I would participate in this site to help people out. If there is something I have a clear understanding about in which most don't, I would contribute to the site and try to help benefit others with my knowledge.

7. Why wouldn't you?
I wouldn't participate in this site because it is a bit time consuming. You have to figure out what to write in the first place, and then once you figure out what to write you have to hope no one has written about it. Lastly, one has to also cross their fingers their post doesn't get deleted. The process has a bit of a timeline and can get frustrating at times, especially with posts being deleted.


1. Did you have anything deleted? If so, what was your reaction to that?
Yes, I originally wrote 5 write-ups, and 2 of them were deleted. One of the write-ups that was nuked didn't surprise me - it was really short and just meant to be funny. It got a mix of both positive and negative responses - one person even gave it a C! and messaged me telling me not to let anyone nuke it… yet it still got nuked in the end. I was surprised it was as well-received as it was, and not surprised when it ultimately got deleted. The other write-up of mine that was deleted did surprise me - it was a funny story about something that happened to me, and I wasn't sure why it got nuked, and I was kind of offended that it did. I messaged the person who nuked it and asked them why they did, but I didn't get a response. It kind of ticked me off, but I figured there must have been something I did wrong to warrant it being deleted, so I just let it slide and wrote something else.

2. Did you receive any messages from the users of the site? How many? What were they generally about? What was your reaction to getting contacted by these users?
Yes, I think overall I received 15 messages. Most of them were really helpful and polite. A few people messaged me to make suggestions on what I should add to my write-ups, which I thought was helpful - and others messaged me to tell me why they voted my write-ups down, which I also thought was helpful, because it was constructive criticism. A couple people asked me if I had attended certain Zombie Walks (since I wrote an article defining them). Overall, I think the messages were pretty helpful, except for the one guy who nuked one of my posts and didn't say why, and never replied to me…

3. How did you do with the voting in general? What were your reactions to the voting?
I did pretty well, overall. The two posts that were nuked had a pretty even split between +/-, and the ones that survived had overwhelmingly positive scores. At the same time, though, I felt like I was being judged, and it's an uneasy feeling. I felt like, in order to get positive votes, I had to cater to everyone else's standards - it's kind of an elitist community. (Though not nearly as bad as Slashdot.) The posts that had the highest ratings were the ones I spent the least amount of time on, and that was discouraging. But I guess I shouldn't complain about getting high ratings.

4. What kinds of things did you do to learn about the site? How much content did you read before posting, and what impression did you form of the site?
I read just enough content to learn how the site was set up. I read the tutorials on how to create links and stuff, and I picked up on it pretty quickly (as, like many people, I already have a background in HTML). I looked through some links to find ideas on what to write on, too - but I didn't spend much time browsing the site. I really like the linking system throughout the site - I thought it was cool that you could create links to other articles, and I the pipe links can be used in pretty funny, creative ways. I think that's the real key to the site's popularity - because once you start clicking on links, you just want to keep going. I get the idea that the site could be really fun and addicting if you really got in to it - but I, myself, wasn't that interested. I just don't like constantly feeling like I'm being judged, and worrying about not following the community's norms closely enough, or getting flamed or whatever for being a "n00b," or what-have-you… So I tend to stay away from these kinds of sites to avoid stupid drama.

5. What do you think the site is for?
I think mostly for entertainment, but also for information. It's kind of like a cross between Wikipedia and Urban Dictionary - on the one hand, you're getting lots of factual information about lots of things, all interconnected - but also, the information is subject to bias and people can use their own personal experiences as references, which makes it really unique (and I don't think that makes it less credible).

6. Why would you participate in this site?
I guess boredom? Like I said, this isn't the thing I'd normally be into. When it comes to online communities, I'm mostly a lurker. I would only participate in this if I were really bored, and felt like there was something that I could offer that no one else had already written.

7. Why wouldn't you?
Mostly it's the fear of being judged or being involved in some dramatic episode that discourages me. People are too easily ticked off in online communities, and I don't really want to deal with that. I don't want to do write-ups and have them be deleted by some condescending, elitist jerks. I know everyone says "don't give up after your first write-up," - but I don't think I'd care enough to want to keep trying. Spending tons of time learning how the site works and learning how to appease everyone just so you can gain some meaningless experience points on a website seems like more trouble than it's worth.


1. Did you have anything deleted? If so, what was your reaction to that? -
I have 1 writeup that got deleted. It didn't surprise me that it was because not much time was put into it. However, by that happening, I knew what to expect for my future writeups and how to go about writing and posting them so they would not get deleted.

2. Did you receive any messages from the users of the site? How many? What were they generally about? What was your reaction to getting contacted by these users? -
I received 8 messages total. Few were negative and some were helpful. Somebody gave me good advice as to how to write a good writeup (link, link, and link some more), redirecting me to the writeup FAQ, and making my posts temporarily unavailable while I had the time to go and edit writeups while other messages were about my deleted post and notifying my it went to writeup heaven. After submitting more writeups, I was told by some users that they were by far my best writeups I had submitted.

3. How did you do with the voting in general? What were your reactions to the voting? -
I hated the voting. In a way, all writeups are opinionated. Basically I see negative votes as someone not fully understanding your opinion. A voting system where only positive feedback is recognized and negative ignored would have been much more ideal for me. I submitted a poem to E2 and it has some deep symbolic meaning for me, however it is very hard to understand from a reader's first impression. It was my favorite post and I ended up getting a -1 rating on it because I feel I wasn't understood or someone didn't take the time to look deeper into it. When it comes to poems, I prefer vague descriptions so I can use my imagination to try and figure out my own unique message within which give me a more personalized feel and connection to it. I guess in a world with websites competing for all the worlds information and where opinions are voiced everywhere, you never expect to put a personalized entry somewhere and have it removed as if it never existed. Kinda like that guy who speaks out against the government in some 1984 type society and disappears never to be heard of again.

4. What kinds of things did you do to learn about the site? How much content did you read before posting, and what impression did you form of the site? -
I learned that the site is a very small and somewhat closed society. Through reading the site chats window, a few of the regular users didn't seem too happy with the sudden increase in writeups, though others welcomed them with open arms. I skimmed a few writeups before posting to get a better ideal to write about (because as ironic as it sounds thinking of something to write about when the category is 'anything' can be a little hard at times). I got a big feeling of diverseness of ideas and what people think is relevant for the 'anything' category at a certain point in time.

5. What do you think the site is for? -
I see the site as a way for users to post whatever is currently on their mind and want others to read and think about.

6. Why would you participate in this site? -
I would participate in this site if I knew more people in the real world who used it as a way of seeing what people I know are currently thinking about and as a way to stay in touch. It is great for a community of small people to share stories and whatever else they care to write, but honestly, most of it I really do not care about because I don't know who it's coming from and coming from an average internet readers stand point, I dont always want to take the time to figure it out.

7. Why wouldn't you? -
The appearance of the site

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