New User Blues
September saw continued unreliability of the follow-up e-mail on new user accounts, sometimes
the service that sends them was unavailable and they got dropped into the bit bucket. nate made a few arcane changes (he uses words like "local relay", and I make wise nodding motions — which he can't see over the interweb anyway) so that messages were spooled until they could be sent, and that seems to have made this problem disappear. Yay nate!
Admin team changes
I finally moved on this. I re-added doyle and SharQ to the content editors team, we're happy to have them both back. Soon after I added some new blood, with paraclete, Bitriot, LaggedyAnne, The Debutante, and sekicho all joining. This has given us a strong and nicely diverse team, and has increased our admin presence during prime Britnoder time. The new folks have tackled some thorny consolidation issues and are doing fine work.
Quests and Events
I've moved to a single 'Quests and Events' news item for each month on the main page. This seems to be working well to keep all that's new and important in the spotlight.
Heisenberg's The Everything2 Podcast continues to be very popular, not least due to some noders' infatuation with the sound of H.'s voice. This may be not entirely unlike the way David Caruso makes CSI: Miami popular (in spite of its increasingly ridiculous plot lines, but that's a topic for another node). If you haven't checked the Podcasts out yet, do so now!
The Ninjagirls have demonstrated their combined might once again, this time with their fundraising calendar project, Boobies for Charity - Ninjagirls' Cleavage Calendar 2007, raising money for E2 and for the Young Survival Coalition. A most worthwhile effort, check it out right now! I'll wait.
Welcome back. We were on the topic of fund raising for e2. One of our regular users msg'd me thusly: "E2 accepts donations ... but we still don't know what this money is spent on." Fair enough. I didn't know either, so I asked. The money is administered through Blockstackers LLC. Some of it has just recently been used to buy a powerful new database server, which will be going on-line in the near future. Previously, some was spent to replace our backup database server when it crashed earlier this year. Nate notes that "we are being as frugal as possible because we want to be able to run this site indefinitely on several hundred bucks a year." Your donations keep e2's systems running.
Pack up your Troubles
Last month I mentioned that e2's server farm will be moving. The move has been a bit delayed, but we will be packing up our servers into an oversize bindle and hitting the road sometime soon. nate has been staging some new systems including the aforementioned new dB server, so once the move happens we can hope see some reduction in e2's notorious lag. Hopefully a news item will announce the move before it happens, if not I'll pop something up on LJ.
Room topic chaos
I was having fun putting date-relevant topics into the chatterbox for a while, until the day I totally busted it for many users by using an ampersand, which broke many of the secondary feeds and services. Bad Brawl. Anyway, ascorbic's clever new "On This Day" nodelet has automated the news of the day feature, admittedly with a BBC spin, so I'll need a new hobby.
Kudos to ascorbic for his many coding gems, including but not limited to "On This Day", the New Writeups Atom Feed, and some home node improvements. ascorbic seems disinclined to toot his own horn in the root logs, so I'll ask you to track down some of his nodes and vote them up by way of thanks.
Image problems (type I)
Gorgonzola asked "Is there a definitive statement somewhere on what's up with home node pictures? Sometimes they work, sometimes not."
I replied that "Sometimes they work, sometimes not." *is* the definitive statement.
Yet another thing to look at post-move, if the server upgrade doesn't fix it.
Image problems (type II)
There was a mild blog attack on e2 and its "elitist old guard" recently. I found this disappointing. I've gone to some lengths to try and dispel this idea, through appointment of new staff and by communicating through these editor logs. To read this comment from someone who made no effort to speak to me about it was rather insulting. Nonetheless, it serves to remind me and the admin team that we have to continually strive not to let that perception become reality, and to welcome and cultivate new users.
During September, a muddle of well-intentioned "gang editing" created a mess which browned off a regular user. She fled the site and hasn't returned. Several admins took conflicting actions almost simultaneously, resulting in a hopeless muddle, which must have looked like her concerns were being ignored. It struck me that the unfortunate event demonstrates that e2's admin team isn't a like-minded cabal. Our admin volunteers have different values and ideas about how to keep e2 running. Fortunately we normally coordinate our activities pretty well, and the kind of collision that happened here is a rare event. We need to take care that it doesn't happen again, and I ask our users to bear with us if it does. We're all volunteers, doing our best. When mistakes happen they can be fixed up again.
e2, the motion picture
The e2 node Male Restroom Etiquette appeared as a video on YouTube (http://tinyurl.co.uk/17h0), showing us a possible evolution of H.'s podcast with video visualizations of your favourite nodes. My mind reels with the very thought.
As always, please feel free to msg or email me with concerns and questions, I'll do what I can. See you around the nodegel.