Ok, I am not going to answer the survey, because I don't particularly message a lot of new noders, when I do I rarely get a reply, and if I do they are usually fairly confused. Honestly I think we might be messaging new noders a little bit too much. Fresh new noder comes to write something, probably pops off a paragraph, and in return will get many times his original word count in criticism, constructive or not, it is too much.
We don't treat old noders like that. Believe me, we don't. I am lucky if one person is willing to let me know when I post a turd (thanks artman). Mostly I don't even bother writing anymore because there aren't even many people around to read the stuff anymore.
One of Clampe's students made an observation that is a lot more true than we might want to realize.
"Once upon a time, a group of bullied English majors got together with one goal in mind. That goal was to enforce their degrees and hatred of people who got useful degrees upon everyone who strayed, or was forced by school, upon their internet path. They would spring their trap by creating something that looked interesting, but was basically an internet mouse trap. The first meeting must have gone something like this: Lets take an interesting concept, convolute it so badly, make it difficult to participate in and then on top of that once someone tries to we can decide we don't like what they had to say or how they said it, so we will delete it! And so everything2 was born."
This echoes a similar sentiment that was written seven years ago. "Hey great, big fucking word dexter, have a fuckingly fat roll of diploma wonderwank!"
To make things blunt, our standards are too high, the learning curve too steep, and the "game" portion of the website is rigged to reward inactivity. After the Honor Roll went into effect people stopped writing and started removing writeups. We have less writeups now then we did 4 months after the site was launched. Let that sink in, less writeups now then we had in April of 2000. We have maintained a net daily loss of writeups since the Honor Roll was conceived.
The honor roll also failed in its effort to help promote better content at E2. Oh sure, the average wordcount is up, but the actual amount of good content is way down. A year ago today there were 24 writeups submitted. There are still 316 surviving writeups that were posted 7 years ago today. After 7 years of raising the bar, node deletions and other downsizing we still got more good content on the average day 7 years ago.
I have a few suggestions, and some of them are rollbacks.
- Make being able to see the total vote number thing a level power, even if it is just second level. Turn off XP loss for downvotes. We all know that this is a teeny tiny number that doesn't even have any real bearing on the game portion of the website, but it can certainly drive the newbies away.
- Don't delete anything until it has been up at least 24 hours (aside from obvious spamming and trolling). It isn't like that flood of bad writeups is affecting the 27 hours that the average nodes sit in new writeups these days.
- Get rid of the honor roll. Make it go away. People gamed E2 before the honor roll and that produced content. People now game the honor roll, except winning that game is more a matter of not writing. Also, the honor roll highly favors noders that have been around since 2000-2001.
- Make the level system go on forever and reduce the total number of writeups needed at the higher levels to something reasonable. Maybe 100 per level, not 1000. Even if all the highest levels do is give an extra 10 votes for every level past X, people will still shoot for them.
- Another consideration, just get rid of downvotes altogether, or make it where a writeup simply cannot have a negative reputation. The editors are more than competent to handle the tiny daily node traffic. The ability to watch a node plummet in reputation just drives people away before they ever get a chance at getting the positive feedback of one that gains in reputation.
Really, just code some of this stuff and try it. It isn't like things are going to somehow get worse. We can always just go back to the current setup and continue to hemorrhage nodes and users and the last one out can turn off the light.
I didn't spellcheck this node.