Edited Jan. 12, 2006.
Funny that a string of random characters should be so controversial.
Every so often I get a msg about this writeup. In almost every case the msgers are incensed that this little piece of E1 memorabilia has been allowed to survive, while many similarly low-content writeups have been deleted (often by me) for not being up to current standards.
Well, what can I say. On the one hand, the furious msgers are undoubtedly right - if this writeup were submitted today, it wouldn't last five minutes on the New Writeups list. That, perversely, is why, with the tolerance of my fellow editors, I'd like to keep it around.
I submitted this silly thing when I was a new editor, in the very early days of E2, long before the bar had been raised and we started requiring all writeups to rise to a certain standard of content. Editorial expectations were very fuzzy then, and there was a lot more room for silliness. (Um, obviously. case in point, my bosoms)
Since then we've necessarily moved away from silliness. I don't regret that for a second. This remains one of the very few open forums where you can write on any topic you like, with the assurance that even if people disagree, you can have a voice here as long as your writing meets certain standards of content, quality, and accuracy. And if any other user wants to disagree with you publicly, they're free to do so, but will be held to the same standards.
In other words there's no more talking about anybody's momma.
When explaining our standards of content to a new user, I often use the metaphor of a physical magazine. E2 is like a magazine which is open to covering every conceivable topic. This leaves our doors open far wider than any print periodical. We are amenable to crazily in-depth, far-reaching articles the length of a term paper. We're open to shorter articles too, and, yeah, even anecdotes, provided they have a point, or are a good read, or seem to the editors to merit their own spot here. We're even open to rambling personal stories about your day, provided you put them in their proper place.
We are not open to isolated quotes or one-line "fun facts." We are not open to transcripts of IM conversations. Are there exceptions to these rules? Damn, of course. But in general, to stand on its own, a writeup needs to be something that people - some people, at least - will find merit in. If it's just for you and your circle of buddies, a magazine is not the place for it.
Every writeup doesn't have to be a 20-page paper, and it doesn't have to move every reader to his very soul. But there needs to be some meat in it, and that series of hard and neverending decisions is what largely makes up the editors' jobs here.
I've watched this website morph and develop for the past six years, and I still find it every bit as interesting as I did the first day. A writers' community that's lightly policed for standards of content, but which opens its doors to all opinions? I continue to think that's a good thing.
If this silly little writeup sets you on fire with disgust or whatnot, well, that's too bad. It's the smallest thing I ever wrote, most likely the stupidest, and I love it. It didn't even have any html in it before just now, when I added it in. It reminds me of how far this site has come, and how long ago it was that I started writing here. I'm not sorry for submitting it, even though it's crap. I think I am allowed, by now, one small piece of memorabilia.