So I just finished reading mauler's Editor Log: December 2014 and I wanted to add my two cents. I don't believe that revamping the voting and experience system is going to do much to improve the new/lower level user experience. It's not a bad idea, but I don't think it addresses the root cause of the problem and since this is an opinion piece, feel free to disagree with what I'm about to say next. I don't believe that most people are that interested in accumulating XP or leveling up because the idea of a power structure where you get trinkets is not a great incentive to keep people coming back which I think is a far larger problem than attracting new users. If we can't keep the users we have, what's the point of bringing more people on who have less invested in this site and its perpetuity? When I joined I wanted to become a better writer. When you go back and read people's first posts, a lot of them probably have not aged well, however some of these people are considered very good, possibly even great writers today. 

People like Lucy-S have published books, and others are doing very cool things outside of E2. I know this would be a lot of extra work, but I think we need to be proving more editorial feedback if we want to encourage people to keep contributing. Not long ago I wrote about wanting to work with an editor. I have gotten great feedback from people here that has been invaluable to me as an author. While there are still many areas where I need to improve, I would not be able to write the way that I can today without E2, and I feel a debt of gratitude for the people who encouraged me, explained what I was doing wrong, and helped guide and shape me as a novice here. I no longer log in and care if I have any votes. I now want more human connections and less artificial constructs like a voting system. This place used to be a lot of fun to come and hang out and chat and the catbox isn't that anymore. I don't think it's really anyone's fault, I don't come in and start chatting the way that I have in the past, and it's not because I don't have things to say. It's because I don't feel like anyone cares. 

The talent here is stunning. There are people here that I respect, admire, and love. There are people that I've offended, upset, and alienated, and I feel badly about the interactions where my behavior was less than classy. I'm torn between wanting to stay here because it's familiar and breaking away entirely because this platform isn't working the way that I would like it to. I get more feedback on things I write from my Twitter friends, some of whom have followed me from here to there, and that's what I really crave. Possibly I am unique in wanting feedback, as I mentioned earlier, this is merely my opinion and everyone has differing views and ideas about what will work best for the site, and the unique way that they see E2 and envision its destiny. Over time I've stopped reaching out so perhaps I am part of the problem, and I accept my role in being quieter in the catbox, writing less, and not messaging people the way that was habitual in the past. Whoever you are, I wish you well and pray that you will do some soul searching of your own if you are moved and inspired to keep this place viable. It's a mad world here, and for many years I was happy to be a part of that. 

With love, 


If we're going to be commenting on Mauler's log, then I'll just say that I am 100% behind revamping the level system, mostly to let newer users vote sooner.

Frankly, I find it absolutely ridiculous to NOT let new people vote. When someone joins a forum, they're usually immediately allowed to contribute to a conversation; maybe they can't start their own boards, but they can comment. When someone joins a regular website, they're immediately allowed to comment. Why is voting any different? The only reason I see for the bar on level 0 users voting is to prevent malicious sockpuppet downvoting (meaning potential malcontents would have to provide a modicum of effort before they were allowed their spree), and even that seems a bit like a far-fetched thing to worry about as the majority of the people here are functional adults of some level who probably wouldn't stoop to such a thing. Those who would would have to sink in a lot of time into creating multiple sock puppets and voting (as they could only downvote a writeup once per account), and frankly anyone crazy or bored enough to waste that kind of time on internet pettiness is someone who has much larger problems than E2. Even then, considering that downvotes these days do absolutely nothing, and users aren't even notified as to when they have been downvoted, it seems particularly pointless.

Maybe the excessive amount of exp. points low level users were expected to acquire made more sense back in the bustling days of E2 when there was a million people running around here voting on things, but these days to get so many points from a smaller crowd means leveling up takes a stupidly long amount of time. Maybe the risk of crazy petty downvoters was higher, too, when there were more people. But the current system is a remnant of a bygone era and it needs to modernize.

So, that's my two cents.

I'm pretty sure everyone here wants feedback, as much of it as possible. Nobody wants to spend time writing things that nobody else is going to read or comment on, or talking into an empty catbox. We are in the midst of a vicious cycle where, as more people drift away from E2, there are fewer people on E2 to provide the interaction and feedback that people crave, so more people leave and the cycle gets even worse.

But let's not beat around the bush - the real problem that E2 has is that the look and feel of the site itself has not kept up with the times. I freely admit that any changes we make to the XP/Level system at this point are not so different from rearranging chairs on the Titanic, and I am under no illusions that any of this is going to magically resurrect E2 to its former glory days.

But what really gives me hope is the fact that for the first time in years, there is actually a real plan to make this place better, not just in terms of our internal rules and requirements, but in terms of the actual look and feel and backend and frontend functionality of the site. As I'm sure most of you have noticed, jay has been working like a dog to get this place modernized, and the fact that it so far still looks exactly the same as it did 10 years ago is actually a tribute to his genius, because he's already changed a ton of things behind the scenes.

I believe in jay, and I really do believe and expect that some huge changes for the better are around the corner. That's what gives me hope and is the reason I'm even bothering to tinker with XP/Levels to try to make them better at all.

Look, I don't think E2 can ever get 10,000 new writeups in a month the way we had it back in 2001. But the internet was a completely different place back then. Blogs didn't even exist, let alone Wikipedia, Facebook, or Twitter, and outside of E2, you basically had to know HTML to even write a sentence online, so E2 was kind of the only option to write stuff. And frankly, 10,000 new writeups a month was insane and completely unmanageable; I was there back then, so I remember how most of those writeups fell off the front page in mere minutes and never got read by anyone, and also how most of them were complete crap and the editors had to delete things like crazy just to keep their heads above water.

Getting this site modernized is the first step and is going to allow us to do all sorts of things. Like actually pay some of our writers, if people want to do that. And write all kinds of new content that makes use of images and video and better layouts. The old E2 will live on, and all past work will be preserved, but there will be new layers on top of that that are promoted toward the general public. I've been around quite a while (although not as long as some), and I've seen a lot of visions of "The New E2" peddled over the years. But the vision that jay has is definitely the best and most viable one yet, and at this point, let's be honest - almost any change would be a good change.

So I urge you all to stick around and see what happens. These changes are going to be big (behind the scenes, they are already big), so at the very least, you won't be bored.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.