At least, E2 is no more friendly to old noders than new ones. I use myself as an example of an old noder: I've been involved with Everything, version 1 and then 2, since the summer of 1998. I'm safely ensconced on the Everything's Best Users list (well, the "Everything's Highest-XP Users" is a more descriptive name for it; "best" is in the eye of the beholder).

Does this mean I'm immune to downvotes? Nope, not according to the node tracker. Does it mean I'm immune to having writeups nuked? Nope; it happens not infrequently, either because they were getting-to-know-you nodes from my earlier days, or because the content was superseded by a later writeup, or because it was just lame. Does it mean I'm immune to negative soft linking as commenting? Nope; in the last writeup I made before this one, someone softlinked to fact spamming. Someone will probably read this writeup and tell me to stop noding about noding.

And what do I do about it? Rewrite the downvoted nodes that are worth saving. Practice XP stoicism when I get downvoted. Occasionally rewrite a nuked writeup and put it in a more appropriate place (when "America's named after a pornographer" was nuked, I redid that writeup and put it in Amerigo Vespucci where it was new information). I vote up editor logs because I approve of the editors who tell us what they've gotten rid of. Once I sent a long e-mail to dem bones pleading for the existence of the nuked "Everything Mailing Address Registry," which unfortunately had no effect. But just whining is useless.

So don't complain that newbies get uniformly treated badly. They get treated the same as everyone else; sometimes well, sometimes badly. The Gods and Editors of E2 (a group I'm not a part of because I'm not interested in the responsibility) are not always in agreement with one another, so don't say that they, much less the mass of other users are all anything, whether it's friendly or unfriendly.

I'm inbetween being a new and old noder. On one hand, I'm 37.87 years old, which puts me in the age group of some of the E2-users Dads. On the other hand, I've only been on for a relatively short time, October 9th of last year, to be exact. That makes me a relative newbie.

When I first signed up here (thanks, Yurei), I took my time. I did a lot of reading, and then I read some more. My very first node was actually something I wrote for one of my old websites, which was well received before I put it here. As with most of the writings of newbies, it languished in the low single digits. Nobody knew who I was, nobody really gave a shit. And why should they? I was an unknown making a little ripple in the ocean of Everything.

I read some more. I actually read all of Everything University, probably one of the few outside of Dem Bones who has. I added links to my first writeup before anyone noticed they were missing. When I had a question, I asked respectfully in the chatterbox. One endearing thing about youth is its addiction to itself, and its firm and total belief in how "right" it is. I know, I've been young for a lot more years than 98% of you. With age comes the ability to not take everything seriously. Some folks get one downvote and they think the whole of E2 hates their guts. I get downvotes sequentially almost daily from some unknown person, I assume because I killed one of their precious nodes.

Everything2 is neither friendly nor unfriendly to any group of noders, young or old, new or established. It is more neutral than real life, in my opinion, because we cannot bring our personal prejudices to bear when we cannot see each other's personal exterior. Imagine a Yankee from Brooklyn, New York enjoying the written works of a Southern Man and a woman from New Zealand. That's not to say I have anything against either person, but perhaps if I heard and saw them deliver a speech, I wouldn't have been as impressed by the actual content of the message. Please note the "perhaps" in there :)

So, the only way for anyone to get to know who you are without indulging in the dreaded "Getting to Know You" style of node-writing is to just write about what you know and what you've experienced. I'm sure that 99% of you don't give a crap that I lived in Thailand for a while while I was teaching computers and electronics. I have found that people respond to the little interesting bits of my experience there, however. By taking the slices of life and making them entertaining, you introduce folks to other people, other cultures, and especially how human you are with the embarrassing moments that you can laugh about now. If you're writing about how boring your day was, you'll get downvoted quickly. Everyone has boring days, and most everyone thinks their lives are boring. Why do we need to hear about yours too? Instead, tell us about the unusual things; the slices about someone special; the wry observations about life. Through these little vignettes, we will come to know who you are. By talking about where you've been, the folks here will come to know where you're going. It's like going to a new grade school, nobody knows if you're yucky or a superstar. By interacting with everyone else, we'll know if we want to hang out with you or avoid you alltogether. Don't take it personally - some folks get along, some don't. Enjoy your time with your new friends, and just be plain respectful to those who you don't get along with.

I've been lucky... I've had excess time to hang out here and write. Honestly, the only reason I've built up XP is because of the sheer volume of writing. I don't think my writing is any better than some of the folks who've been here longer; in most cases I'm jealous of their skill. If you want to get anywhere on E2, you have to make concessions and pay your respects where due. It is not a threat to your personal space. I originally thought I'd be looked down upon by the real established old-timers, who joined when it was a little group of die-hards on E1. There were folks here who are the age of my oldest daughter, but it did not harm my self-esteem to show courtesy and respect for their accomplishments. Personally, I have a lot more respect for the folks who are halfway down the Other Users nodelet than I do for my own position on that list.

So, in conclusion, I suggest the following:

  • When you first appear in the Other Users nodelet, nobody hates you. Nobody likes you yet, either. How you proceed is up to you.
  • Everyone has a bad day. Not everyone will like what you write. Unless it is complete tripe, it will sit there with a +1 reputation. You haven't given anyone reason to flock to your writeup yet. Give it time.
  • Respect the other folks here. The ones who make it to Level 2 and up have worked to get their growing pains worked out, just like you will. Respect them for that, as there are a ton of folks who were here one day, gone the next.
  • See those folks at the top of the Other Users nodelet? They were once where you are right now. They've been through the process. Most of them would be more than happy to help you should you have a question. My first day, DaveQat and Wharfinger went out of their way to help me get on the right track. Don't mistake offerings of help or suggestions for personal attacks on your skill or style.
  • Your first three nodes got downvoted, perhaps even killed? Nope, it's not because E2 is Unfriendly to New Noders. It's because there were fundamental problems with the writeups. If you are having problems with nodes getting nuked, try posting it on your homenode and having a Content Editor (those folks with the $ by their name) look it over before you post it. That's their job... helping you get started. It's like an investment of time... they help you so they don't have to clean up after you a month from now.
  • Is someone being an asshole to you? Yup, E2 has a cross-section of humanity and personality. If they're threatening you with mass downvotes, you can let someone know about it. Otherwise, just be polite and avoid them. I've never run into a bully here (yet), but I have had people say unkind things to me. I just thanked them for their observations and kept on writing. The three folks who were jerks to me are long gone and I'm still here. Don't take things so seriously; remember, it's just a hobby. One day N-Wing will get around to adding in an ignore feature, but until that day, don't let the little things bother you.
  • Read. Read everything, pun intended. Read the stuff in Everything University. Yes, it's a lot of stuff, but it is worth it. Those folks towards the top of the Other Users nodelet got there because most of what they wrote was well-written. If you find someone whose style is akin to yours, look at their writeups using Highest Reputation First as a sorter. See what works, what others see as "good node writing". Then look at their Lowest Reputation nodes to see what doesn't work. Even XP Giants like Pseudo Intellectual have nodes that are not particularly good (sorry, P_I). Most of those are older items, written before their skills developed.
  • Show respect and common courtesy at all times. Someone having a bad day and is taking it out on you in the chatterbox? Take the high road, let them vent. More than likely the next time you run into each other, they'll apologize for acting like an ass.

Everything2 is what you make of it, not what it makes of you.

Oh, crap, this has turned into a Node about Noding node. My apologies, especially to dannye and my fellow Content Editors. If a fellow editor or local God wants to nuke this, I won't take it personally. I know you guys are the friendly sort :P

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