Like I said at the outset, this is an experiment.
It started, like anything, with an idea. When Randall Munroe drew the excellent second edition of his Internet Communities map, he depicted E2 as a tiny island off the coast of Twitter. I feel like that description perfectly captures my feeling every time I come back to this site from "the mainland" after some months or years away from it. I recognize the geography, the architecture, and a few familiar faces, but by and large I have no idea what's going on or who most of these people are.
Where to start? IRL, when I find myself for the first time in an unfamiliar city, I pickup a local newspaper. E2 doesn't have one. Despite its userbase of dedicated writers and its big team of volunteer editors, E2 doesn't have any kind of organized, human-written curation on a day-to-day basis. "What if it did?", I thought. What if there was a news column I could click on every day that would give me some editorial direction as to what was worth checking out, instead of having to figure it all out myself?
Since that column didn't exist... maybe folks would find it useful if I wrote it?
The format I hit upon as my first thought was to write a thumbnail review of the day's collected writeups, as a body of work. That seems to work okay, but it's a bit dull. Since E2's current pool of active writers is small, many of the same few names show up every blinking day. It's not really capturing my imagination enough to where I'd enjoy doing it every morning. For a daily feature, that's a problem.
My next thought is a week-in-review column, similar to the daily reviews I tried out last week, but posted only on Mondays and summarizing my favorite picks from the previous 7 days. I'll try that next.
Because there is still good writing being posted on E2, right now; that is the greater point I'd set out to prove. I'm sticking my neck out a bit every time I say that among my circle of ex-noder friends, but I believe it is true.
Not to tip my hand too much, but I think it's clear by this point that doyle, iceowl, The Custodian, and wertperch are among my favorites. Anytime I come back to this tiny island and those four familiar faces are all sitting around the local waterfront bar, I am a happy man. If newer, more mysterious figures like rosetinted and BranRainey are also strewn around the bar, well alls the better.
And since this is not an actual bar but a website, it is actually much easier to ignore any people you don't like. All you need is someone to suggest a few noders worth keeping an eye on in the first place, and in that capacity I am happy to serve as an unofficial guide.