An editorial GTKY, by request of His Noderness Grand Vizier Lord Brawl

My name, for the purpose of this piece, is Apatrix. I've been on E2 since April 2001. I've been an editor since September 2001. I've been an admin since August 2002. You almost never see me in the catbox but you may have seen me responding to calls for editorial assistance. My personal details are given on a need to know basis. Those who need to know already know. Those who've met me have seen for themselves.

What qualifies me as an E2 admin? Experience, if nothing else. I was active on IRC as a server operator and/or help channel staffer for many years before joining E2, and my job description has included some end-user support and/or documentation for the best part of the last seven years, and interaction with the public for most of my working life. My writing has seen the light of the printing press and on occasion has earned me money. I'm also one of a handful of admins who are also techs by trade and help manage the technical side of E2--that is, performing the necessary voodoo dances and ritual sacrifices to keep it running, as well as handling tasks for which normal editor tools are insufficient.

What do I do on E2? I patrol the deep end. Jump into it, go off it, plumb the depths, whichever. My admin team role is that of a wildcard player who does practically every job on the list at some point and is willing to handle the hot potatoes. Although I generally leave the front-line editing to the members of the editorial group and loosely monitor editorial activity, I do also fill many requests and apply many small edits and fixes. I used to rack up massive numbers of nukes but these days my editorial activity involves very few deletions. My pet peeve is litterbugs who leave blank writeups and lame nodeshells lying around. That's liable to earn you a nasty message from me. I may come across as a bit stern and intimidating but am really one of the most approachable staff members and will listen and give straight answers on pretty much any subject. I'm around at random times of the day and night.

My early advisors and role models were wharfinger and Demeter. (Hears cries of "I knew wharfinger, and you, Sir, ain't no wharfinger." Bite me.) From wharfinger I learned to lead by example, when to bend the rules, and to support the staff. From Demeter I learned to appreciate diverse content, and to contain myself and slap my hand before it pushed the buttons--usually. JayBonci, dem bones, and Lord Brawl get credit for being those who rein me in (usually in time to keep me from making a complete ass of myself) when I go off the deep end, which happens when my sense of propriety gets the better of me--that is, regularly enough to make me the loudest bitch in the admin group.

I'm part of the mentoring coordinators group, the node title gang, and now, along with several non-staffers, host an E2-centric off-site discussion forum. I've sponsored a number of usergroups and have set up a few but don't lead any of them anymore. I'm one of the "executive council" of policy debaters but whether that's on merit or by virtue of having a big mouth is not for me to judge. Overall I'm one of the most active people on the staff behind the scenes. I wish I were inclined to node more often but I share the noding public's dissatisfaction with The Bar and am not terribly inclined to aim for its dizzy heights. I confess that I find more satisfaction contributing as an ordinary user to other collaborative sites these days than I do posting on E2. I hope that will change, for others in the same position as well as for myself, as we make progress with the plans for E2's future.

"E2 is people" is something that I'm sometimes quoted as saying. Sure, it sounds like a dumb ol' platitude but it's something that I strongly believe--a reflection of what I've discovered working here and elsewhere on-line. I've engaged noders on a personal level and noders now constitute the bulk of my small circle of close friends. I've met other people whom I encouraged and who blossomed into respected writers, popular noders, and even the odd (I'd say "occasional" but "odd" fits better) editor. I've had my failures and have seen people who couldn't handle my no-nonsense style of advice take the highway rather than do it my way. I try to learn from all of them and apply the lessons to E2's benefit. After all, E2 *is* people and that's not going to change.

These being times of (impending) change, my vision for the future mostly coincides with the general set of ideas for The New E2. It includes an E2 with more transparency and accountability; more opportunities for users, especially new users, to see and treat it as a community; a better and more modern user interface; many other big and little things that will make it easier and more attractive for people to contribute and make it more Everything than Anything or Whatever. We're working on it.

Some of the many writeups that I use to show people what E2 is about:

...and some of the people whose overall work I admire:

  • Tem42, grandmaster of the short, handy, factual writeup.
  • Tlachtga and her ever improving Celtic Encyclopaedia.
  • sekicho for managing to be both thorough and prolific
  • Lometa and her authoritative commentary on bits of the English language
  • liontamer and her passionate telling of real life stories

Not to toot my own horn but the Brawlster asked us to. My own stuff that I like:

You may find me scooting about behind the scenes on E2 or you may run into me at a nodermeet. I probably won't bite, though I may lurk in the shadows under your bed. I'm just creepy like that.

Last Month

I hope everyone had a happy holiday season, and has come back to e2 refreshed and ready for lots of noding in 2006. I look forward to lots more actual content!

Content issues

Question of the month: What's the rule on transcripts?

We put this question to our copyright experts, Lometa and GrouchyOldMan. Lometa replies:

Good question! Even though the words are spoken on the public air waves the story ideas and transcripts are work products of playwrights and are under copyright. However if write up in question is public speech then it’s in the public domain.
She refers us to E2 FAQ: Copyrighted Material for more detail.

FAQ Facts

A few questions were asked about e2 FAQs:

  • Who's in charge?
    haze is the leader of the E2 FAQ Editors Group, a sub-team of admins who keep the e2 FAQs more-or-less current.
  • Why are there some FAQs we can't see?
    There are 'document' nodes (such as Everything FAQ) that are normally used for FAQs. There are also various flavours of 'superdoc' nodes. Superdocs are different than regular documents because they can execute code, to run stuff like fezisms generator or to make database queries. Some of these superdoc types are restricted to admin (e2god) users. Other users don't have the necessary execute rights, so even if you could see these docs, they might not work right. But it's sometimes the case that a FAQ was mistakenly entered as a superdoc type, and could be converted. If there's something you think should be open, but isn't, ask me or haze about it.
  • What are good FAQs to recommend to beginners?
    Consensus is that Everything FAQ and E2 Quick Start are the best.

Senior admin (e2gods) staff changes


ToasterLeavings, bluebear, and dizzy have not been active as site admins, and they therefore are leaving the 'e2gods' usergroup. All 3 will remain on the gods roster, and thus have access to the admin controls, but they won't be part of day-to-day e2 site administration. At the moment we have no plans to re-fill these slots.

Update (17 January): Gritchka has chosen to step down from the e2gods team as well. Gritchka has been a tireless worker and a source of much wisdom, and will be much missed.

Content Editors

Chiisuta and Devon have both stepped down from Content Editors due to 'real world' demands on their time and attention. We wish them both the best with their respective projects and challenges. Simulacron3 has also decided to leave the admin team, but will remain active on the site.

I also contacted a number of CEs who were not very active on the site to confirm their status. m_turner, Simpleton, sneff, fuzzy and blue, ac_hyper, and arieh are leaving the Content Editors usergroup for now. I do plan to refill these slots....

Potential Content Editors

I got quite a few messages, emails, etc. about the Content Editors bio from last month, most of which were positive, for which I thank you. There were a number of new volunteers for the position. While I tried to spot them all, I might have missed some ... please let me know if I missed your post or message about this.

Here are those who volunteered publicly as CE candidates, in no particular order.

One further application was submitted privately, but has not yet been posted. Two former editors suggested that they might rejoin the team, but have not yet prepared bios. (He hinted, hintishly.)

A few other users have posted day logs in the CE bio format, but did not explicitly volunteer:

I don't know who I'm going to pick yet. There's a wealth of data to digest, some questions to ask, and some conflicting advice to mull over. It's great to have so many good choices. Stay tuned for answers in next month's log -- or sooner, when $ suffixes start popping up in unfamiliar places!

Volunteer Update!

A few new volunteers were flushed out by this month's editor log:

I'll be happy to consider them as well.

Contacting Lord Brawl

Some folks would rather email me, which is fine:

lord_brawl at (this web site)
If you're sending me a bio, please understand that if you are chosen as a Content Editor, I'm going to insist that you post it in a day log or on your home node. One purpose of the bio is to help the noderbase to know the admins as fellow noders, rather than a faceless cabal. So it needs to be public.

Next Month

It occurs to me that, when I answered Brawl's questionnaire last month, I followed the spirit of the thing without, you know, actually answering the questions. Since I've got more free time on my hands these days than I know what to do with, I figured I'd do it by the books.

List 3 to 5 writeups (not your own) that epitomize what's special about everything2 for you.
(In other words, these are the writeups I really, really wish I could C! more than once.)

List 2 or 3 writeups (your own) with which you're most pleased.

I always have problems with this. Nevertheless, I like this one, and this one, and this one. Ask me tomorrow and it'll be a different three. It's interesting to note that sorting my nodes by reputation yields two daylogs and a book review for the requested three slots which are three writeups I'd have a hard time remembering that I'd written, let alone recommend to anyone. We're a fickle bunch, is what I'm sayin'.

List 2 or 3 writeups (anyone's) to which you would point new users as an example of "how to write for e2".

I tend to point people to users, not writeups, so to that end: 1. 2. 3. There are others, but a good number of them are up for editorial consideration this time around and I'd rather not screw the pooch, at least in public.

At what time or times are you typically active on e2 and accessible for user questions and help?

Most days I'm on from midnight to 4am EST and on and off during the afternoon. This may change if my work schedule does; we'll see.

Are you an active member of the Mentoring team, or if not, would you be willing to join?

I am, though how active is debatable - I haven't had an active mentee in months, at least officially. I help people on the side, of course.

Are you a subject matter expert to whom the admin team can go for content advice? If so, in what area(s)?

sure am. I do fiction (particularly short fiction) and poetry, music theory and music history, radio technology and storytelling, trivia, science fiction, Macintosh stuff, books (both in content and form) and New York City history and culture. New interests come and go, but those're the topics I'm most comfy in.

Are you a leader or an active, contributing member of any e2 usergroups?

Leader? no. I'm a member of quite a few usergroups, but I tend to lurk unles something really catches my fancy. I'm not one for that particular kind of chatter.

As usual, if there's anything else any of you would like to know about me, ask. You'd have to work very, very hard to offend, annoy or irk me with something as simple as a question. Have at.

Well, December was another one of those slow months – E2-wise, anyway. I mean, if you had to organize no less than three holiday parties, and select/send an appropriate E2 Secret Santa '05 gift, you wouldn’t have time for much else, would you!

Nonetheless, there was some discernible editing activity during all the holiday hubbub:


  • Fee simple estate by Mr B – replaced some commas with badly needed semicolons; fixed some typos. Noder not seen in over a year.
  • A-4 Skyhawk by ring_wraith – alerted noder to multiple typos.
  • The Crittenden Compromise by Rathera – fixed some typos and Unicode problems. Noder not seen in a while.
  • Vampire bat by Tem42 – alerted noder to a couple of minor fixes.
  • G.R.O.S.S. by Kefabi – fixed a fair amount of typos. Noder not seen in a year.
  • Nukage

    • Nothing - death took a holiday over the month!
    • Auditage

      • None.
      • .........................................................

        I’m very pleased to see all the responses to Lord Brawl’s request for mini-bios, especially from those folks interested in joining the Content Editors group. I sent a few thoughts to 'Is Lordship regarding potential editors, but the list of folks who have applied is a distinguished one, and I think any of them would make fine editors.

        It's February already? Then I needs must put up my January Editor Log! It's where I keep a record of all the concrete stuff I do for the year. Yes, this means if you look at Jan. 2005, there's one there as well.

        In the mean time, I might as well list a few credentials since so many of the eds have done so. I have an MA in English Education and one in English Language and Lit both from NYU. I'm leaving my Ph.D. program as I realized it's not the right thing for me anymore. Too bad I didn't realize that 3 years ago! Still, I can do academic speak when required. My other areas of knowledge are all amateur, but I'm trying to make the knitting pay for itself these days. There's always something new to learn, though, and I don't pretend to know everything. And there's always someone out there whose skill and knowledge dwarfs one in some area or another. Which keeps me relatively humble.

        My favorite writeups can't be summed up in a short list. Here are some of them, though. They think I'm a god; No less a man; Green onion and ginger sauce; I glimpse the elephant; Dearest, I feel certain; So this one-legged man walks into a bar; and How do you know the fishes are enjoying themselves?. This list is only barely representative. It's like asking me to pick a favorite book.

        My own which I feel are the best? A Mighty Wind as an example of how to do a track list. A Chinese Christmas in New Jersey which fits here. I can think of no other place this would belong so well, including the class for which it was the final paper (with some differences). Möbius scarf which was my first foray into trying to write something about knitting here. The later pieces may be more polished, but I still like this one the best. It also kicked my ass. Have you ever tried to describe something which is conveyed very easily in pictures by words alone? It can be unbelievably difficult. Especially for something which doesn't have conventional sides!

        I point new users to all the usual suspects, but mostly recommend they read and ask questions. Your first writeup will be nuked: Don't give up is my default "I've nuked something of yours but only for your own good" follow-up for newbies. When teaching by example, I tend to direct users to good noders to read rather than specific writeups.

        Now, on to the record keeping.

        Jan: Understanding the female orgasm by Agthorr (blank wu); Stroker and Hoop by edgemonkey (newbie); wild boy of Aveyron and Broca's aphasia by dmd (copyright); Life's Citadel by skovlic (previous content replaced with rant); salad by GoBanana (newbie); China Beach by Zero7one (newbie); Are you a fish? by idlethumbs; Videovaganza by XWiz (per request); Xenosaga by Anotsu_Kagehisa (superseded, and wrong location); Uberman's Sleep Schedule by trustus (newbie); the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune by polyseeme (newbie); World Trade Center terrorism by eefje (newbie); Oh my god, what is wrong with that dictionary? by Humbuzz (newbie); Arte de la pintura by SCK (newbie); Why must girls squat to pee? by animegoth (newbie); Bare with me... satan is god & god is satan.. think about it. by Dark Vader (newbie); willy-nilly by Thea (no text); Iwo Jima by gunnyg (newbie); Great Battles of the Roman Republic by cherry gurl (newbie); If you think it only takes a big diamond to win her heart, think again. by meisjp (newbie); Boyd Rice by cantsin (superseded). Feb: Left Wing Fascists by turbolwf (newbie); Crochet by c. destruction (newbie); Sleeping with your flatmate by SeaWolf (newbie). March: high-amplitude sucking, good grammar, Specific Language Impairment, SLI: temporal processing disorder, SLI: linguistic accounts, SLI: nonlinguistic cognition, SLI: genetic factors, SLI: language environment, SLI: asynchrony, SLI: delay or deviance, SLI: developmental delay, allophone, closed-class words, CHILDES, genie by dmd (copyright), METHYLENEDIOXYAMPHETAMINE by LiamJoseph (newbie). April: it is not love, let's not tell by MCH7 (newbie).

        red pen: (serious only, and authors always get a msg when I correct a typo.)
        Jan: Agaani had an editing error, moved text to Town: a brief bit of writing and nuked other.

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