"Make E2 what you think E2 should be - as long as that's within the
parameters of what I want it to be - which sounds evil, but isn't."
- Ryan Postma
This is my first and last Editor Log
so I need to cram about four years worth of stuff in here. I have a personal rule that forbids me from adding too much art or artifice to important matters, so I'll apologize in advance if the tone is terse. Over the course of my service at E2, I have elaborated on the following themes ad nauseum so this document serves as a sort of bullet point summation of my E2 worldview
What follows is my debriefing, everything that I know for sure.
My first communication with the administration of this web site was an email to dem bones
suggesting that he change the name of the chat facility at E2. I reasoned that "Chatterbox"
was inviting the worst kind of idle chatter, the AOL Internet speak, or the inane dribble that
is the hallmark of the rest of the Web. It was, of course, naive of me to believe that a
simple name change would accomplish much, but as I explained to dem bones, he would
not be nearly so menacing with a nick like, "Melvin".
I like to think that the reason dem bones didn't simply jot off a dismissive response to me
that mine was an idiotic suggestion is because he saw potential in me, even as wee noder.
It was, nonetheless, an entirely idiotic suggestion.
The solution to the problem of letting The Chatterbox fall to the lowest common denominator
turns out to be simpler than a name change. It doesn't require a borg, or a time out, or a
bouncer to send you to another chat room. You don't even have to pretend that you are in
a room with a hundred (1,000 or 10,000 if you count ascorbic's archive) of the smartest people
on the planet. You are in such a room.
If you think I am kidding around when I cringe at coarse language, you are wrong. Mixed in
with those smart people are Grandmothers and Ministers and impressionable children. I
think it unlikely that anybody worth having around would stumble into such a room spewing
gratuitous profanity. Having said that, a glance at the archive would show that I sometimes
cuss like a drunken whore, but I strive for something better.
When somebody teased me about obfuscating the harsh consonants in my writeups, I
responded that I believed self-censorship to be an undervalued trait. As far as I know that
was the first and only blessing I ever received from dem bones.
The Chatterbox is at once E2's most powerful asset and its greatest vulnerability. If you
think it impossible, or even unlikely, that you are in a room with the likes of Arthur C. Clarke
or Ray Bradbury or Neil Gaiman, think again.
During the nascent era of E1 and E2, the project was rather like building a house, so
design matters were still open to interpretation. Because of the fluid nature of the Internet
and the broad talent pool of designers available, input was eagerly accepted and almost
all of the current design features of E2 were offered by users, not by "Management". For
example, adding the name of Ching! bestower to the Chinged writeup was my idea, long
before I ever became an Editor. I suggested it as a form of accountability for people who
would put things on the front page of this place.
Getting rid of the borg was my idea too, though I took great pains to make dem bones
believe that it was his. We have evolved to the point that the conversation can be steered
through the power of smart people's voices alone. As I mentioned earlier, it is unlikely that
a hormonal 15 year old would be allowed to direct the dialogue in a roomful of really smart
people. When the really smart people abandon the Catbox, all will be lost.
E2 is more mature now, the house has been constructed. Suggestions to change the design
of the house now are mostly impertinent, because again, the house has already been built.
Our focus now is on filling the house with furniture, that furniture is quality writing on a
limitless number of subjects. We can still add a swimming pool or a sun deck,
decisions now reside in the hands of one man, dem bones, so it is only good sense to
discuss those proposals with him in private. (bones retired. Consult the manual.)
I understand that this is a radical departure from the open collaboration that built this house,
but we are no longer building a house.
E2 is a privately held entity; privately owned, privately maintained, privately administered.
As far as I can tell from my seat in the bleachers, it is a for profit endeavor that doesn't stand
a snowball's chance in Hell of ever making a profit. The proprietors are to be roundly
applauded for their efforts on your behalf. If you have surplus dough, toss it into the Donation
Box and cross your fingers that E2 will still be here tomorrow.
If you feel as though you have given more to E2 than it has given to you, you are doing it
In putting together my first printed anthology of stories from E2, I included several direct
references to this place and their initial publication here, against the direct advice of dem
bones. dem bones felt that I might be dumbing down the work by attaching it to this
place because of all of the "whining over XP" and the brand of childish gameplaying that
used to be so prevalent here. It speaks to the endurance of that man, that he should invest
so much time and effort into a thing for which he was marginally ashamed all along.
My response to his concern was to tell him in hard words that if he couldn't take pride in
the appearance of E2 to the casual observer that he was wasting his time and should kick
out the plug and call it a day.
My concern about betraying E2 by removing my work for outside publication was dismissed
when dem bones told me, that if provided with such an opportunity, I'd be
an absolute idiot not to take it.
The first real writeup I did at E2 was called "Mama told me not to Node" and I requested
deletion for it almost immediately for reasons that should be obvious by the title alone.
It was essentially the rearranged contents of a terse email I received from my Mother in
Texas in response to an email I sent her, informing her of my intention to grow up to be a
She told me that I was lazy and selfish and that I shouldn't try to borrow money from her.
After a year or so, when we had compiled enough material for the printed book and needed
ten thousand dollars to make it happen, I printed her up a compendium of the feedback from
fellow noders who had responded positively to my writing at E2. I included things like
Scott telling me I was an excellent author and Katie predicting that I would win
E2 its first Pulitzer Prize. My mother financed the first printing on the strength of
your feedback alone.
Mary insisted that I send one of the first copies to her favorite author, Richard Bach, and
within a couple of weeks, Mr. Bach telephoned to tell Mary that she was married to a funny,
world changing writer and a National Treasure. Mary accidentally hung up the telephone on him the first time he
called and nearly had a coronary event when he called back. We had to remind
ourselves to breathe for about a month after that.
I am in your debt.
Everything is okay.