Is E2 stagnating?
This question comes up a lot these days, sort of like an ongoing memorial service that alternatively talks about "the good old days," complains about "The New E2" that never was, and goes on about the death of the E2 Community.
So, in my raging insanity, I pondered these things over many months time. I read the eulogies for the site, various people's reasons for leaving, checked out various proposals, and did some personal reflection brought on by the very quiet departure of some of my very good friends here who left without fanfare and sent me a message before leaving letting me know it wasn't anything against the site, it just seemed spending energy elsewhere was something that needed to be done.
So, yes, perhaps there is stagnation.
The two things that kept coming back to me as I thought about these things were philosophical thoughts on the nature of "community" and my belief that this site is filled with a large number of strong and interesting personalities that are often suffocated. Some time ago there was a strong push towards factual writeups and use of the site as an encyclopedia.
I used to think it was a fairly good idea, the encyclopedia of facts business. I now think it is shite. We do not have the staff or any legitimate ability to check the facts behind every single writeup to where anyone would come here to find facts. They come here for the personality that shines through in those factuals and writeups of other kinds. Our best factuals are those that give the facts and the details while being framed in the personality of the author. That is the best part of E2. It was what I tried to demonstrate a long time ago with Quest for the Mundane.
So, as I ponder this, I try to think of ways in which we could promote the personalities here. I know that there are many guest users who come to read the works of specific authors. There are also those who sign up for an account simply to contact an author here. It happens to me and I know two other users here who also experience this sort of (in my case anyway) unwarranted attention. How many come here to read and never get a user name, never sign in and never realize how easy it could be to contact someone here who wrote something that jazzed their thong panties into massive vibrations?
Beyond that, I would like to see it easier for a visitor or user to get a look at what else an author has written here, such as a link at the top of writeups next to the one that takes you to the homenode going on about something to the effect of "What else has this moron written..." It could offer "Last Five Writeups" and be expandable from there instead of giving the overwhelming last 50 list that now takes at least two confusing clicks to reach.
The setup of this site is bloody confusing, especially for interlopers who might be drawn in if it wasn't so much to figure out, especially those that just come to read. We could function well as a library of information and entertainment if we separated the FAQs and volumes of reading for new users who wish to write here from that which would help those that just come by to read.
I support some kind of "Read Only" user type who could sign in and be limited to reading and messaging authors here. One of the benefits would be that they wouldn't get innundated with efforts to help them write here and they could feel free to contact borgo to tell him he is very handsome and mentions being old a lot in his writeups. These are just stray thoughts.
It has always been E2's nature to promote writeups and not the individual authors. Back when we used to have that Daily Update mailing you could subscribe to various author names to see if they had written anything today. Maybe that is back to working, but I don't know, I don't use the email forward I used to because I get about 70 emails a day there talking about "Woman have welts give best head in Detroit Altoona" and such. Readers wishing to keep up on what various writers here have posted could benefit from some kind of update, by e-mail or by signing in and seeing "wertperch wrote about having a hair in his afternoon tea today" right off the bat.
However it could be worked, I think it is a subject worthy of much discussion. We have a great wealth of talented writers here, many of them eccentric, entertaining and/or odd, and we need to be promoting those people, and by this I mean all of you here. Some time ago I got an email from someone who read something of mine here and he had no idea I had written more than that. The site has certain unintentional walls keeping the layman who isn't integrated into the quirky nature of the site from finding out more after seeing a specific node following a Google search. We need to take down those walls.
And lastly, I've been kicking around an idea in my head for some time. It involves the Dream Logs, which are hardly ever used, and when they are, no one really reads them. I would love to see them replaced, and easily linked to on the front page like the Dream Logs are now, with something called "Community Log" which would consist of unedited, unvotable, unC!able (WTF kind of word is that anyway) little tidbits and gems from the users here about various things relating to their lives, their interactions with other users here, plans for small gatherings, notifications of matters relating to birthdays of noders, willingness to put travelling noders up for a night or two, and other matters pertaining directly to the community aspect of the site. It would be a GTKY prairie and maybe GTKY needs a home here.
These are just my random thoughts. I am throwing them out there as food for thought. Feel free to /msg me with your thoughts and ideas.