Ironically, now that I don't need to write these every month, I have the time to do it. :)
Welcoming new users
Admins can see users who've signed up recently at a glance via a marker in the Other Users nodelet. When I see new noders I pop over to the home node. If there's no admin note to indicate that someone else has done so, I msg them a welcome message. Mine is:
Welcome to e2. Please see E2 FAQ: What is E2? and E2 Quick Start and ask if you need any help.
Other admins use different messages with similar intent. I'd like some feedback (not
via a response in this node, please!) from users who have joined us recently. Did you get a welcome message? If so, did it make you feel welcome? Do you think this advice is helpful? What else might have helped you get started?
Announced site changes
We've seen a healthy debate over the announced site improvements, with lots of passion. That's good to see. The admins and edev have been having side debates too. Some of the dissenters on change have made some good points, and I have some concerns myself. But I think we'd all agree that we want to see more users here and more use of the site. For years we've been crying because we had no serious coder support. Now we may have that. The people behind the proposed changes love and support this site. e2 still exists because these people care about it so much. Let's trust them to have the site's best interests in mind. That's not to say we can't argue about direction and implementation ... but let's remember to respect the people behind them.
During the aforementioned debate, Mikebert asked "Remember the tidbit about having negative net writeups some days? Why is that happening, editors?" I've covered deletion in previous ed logs, but here's my perspective at the moment.
I don't fully trust the stats nodelet, it's more than possible that the values are misleading. Lots more things than writeups count as nodes, and this muddies the waters. But let's assume they're more or less correct. Since Mikebert posted, I've been auditing my own work. I have deleted about 36 of my own writeups, and this is my second post in that time. So I'm at about -34 myself! But I did rewrite and vastly improve about a dozen old writeups.
In that time, I've probably deleted around a dozen items by other users, mostly old content that has been superseded. That doesn't count handling and deleting title edit requests and so on. I've also deleted a handful of old and never-activated user accounts, with the intent of making those names available to new users.
I browse the database quite a bit, following soft link chains or looking things up, or trawling for typos. When considering old work for deletion as I browse, I ask myself "If I came to this site for the first time from a search engine, what's my impression?" If I think a writeup is making a poor show, or simply needs an update, I'll deal with it. If the author's no longer an active user, and the writeup's superseded or has a negative reputation, I'll mark it for deletion.
If the author's active I often ask for an update. Here's a recent response:
To be honest, I don't really have the motivation to write (or update) stuff for here anymore. Mostly I just log on to get the EKW theme instead of the default one when I'm looking up recipes.
Fair enough. Here I was just asking for an update, so I took no further action. But if I think the writeup reflects badly on e2, and there's no prospect for improvement, I will mark it for deletion. I think that's healthy for e2 and I expect to continue to do that. To my mind the ongoing pruning of older material isn't a problem, it's new content that is not coming in at the rate that we need it.
I get so few /msgs now, I feel like the Maytag repairman. I still have the controls, people, don't be afraid to ask me for help.
A plug for my quest
I'm looking for participants for Lost Gems of Yesteryear. Response so far has been a bit slow. C'mon folks, you must have three favourite nodes to nominate.