I'm freshly returned to the staff myself, and looking forward to getting back into the groove in that regard. What the heck do all these buttons do? All I know is if I push the wrong one, I'm liable to get all kinds of unkind words. The masking tape labels are faded and peeling, so I'm going by feel, here. And some joker wired everything with the same color wire, so trying to trace the contacts is an exercise in humiliation.
Jokes aside, I realize that I'm not nearly as tenured as many of the users and staff, but in the six-plus years I have been around, I've seen a lot of changes in the community and culture of the place - some good, some bad, some indifferent or orthogonal. Qualitatively and quantitatively, though, this is a different place than it used to be. Normative opinions on that topic will differ wildly of course.
It's my opinion that change is not necessarily bad, and purposeful, careful change is sometimes preferable to Darwinian (or perhaps Hobbesian) evolution. While not nearly as exciting or romantic, care and curation can steer us clear of the dead-ends in which unthinking responses to disorder can sometimes result.
To put it bluntly, I'm extremely interested in helping to develop a culture of content here at E2. I won't comment on "earning your bullshit" directly, but I do think that it is incumbent upon all of us, whether staff, old-timers, or brand new faces, to seek out and reward the creation of interesting and well crafted content.
It's also incumbent upon each of us to offer constructive criticism and generally help shore up the weak spots of people making their best efforts.
It's very simple. Content is what drew us all here in the first place, and it's what makes most of us stick around. Aside from the (very old and well-trodden) discussion on what, exactly, E2 is, what's more important is what it has:
Engaging content, and the users who furnish that content.
In my opinion, all questions of mechanics, features, community, and chatbox that don't directly address what we can all be doing to foster excellent content are secondary. That's not to say by any means that I think they are trivial, or unimportant, only that they should be seen as seasoning and not the main course.
What's marinade without the steak (or vegan steak substitute) to put it on? The corollary, of course, is that the steak is rather plain without any seasoning.
No, I'm not about to go taking hostages and making demands, but I do intend to voice opinions and try to help to shape decisions and policy such that the focus of E2 moves in a consistent and constructive direction.
Questions, comments, and bags of flaming dog shit are all welcome.