As the autumn colours pass their peak, which here in Indiana tends to be just about mid-October, the weak spots in the insulation reveal themselves again after being forgotten for the summer months. The geranium that we forgot to water in summer finally produced one pretty but lonely pink flower two days before tonight's first freeze. So it goes. As for you, you are still expected to come to my house, eat my damned bird, and ravage my liquor cabinet (but leave my daughters alone) this Thanksgiving, US/Eastern. Oh, and read above for the quest to fix a slice of the site's front page. Also, take your last chance at the Horrorquest and this year's Secret Santa or it's coal and curtains for all. Then sharpen your keyboards for yet another IRON NODER. OK, I'm done plugging stuff.
The Gender Gap
[Contentious content removed post-retirement. While the new management has been sanguine about taking on my managerial baggage, it serves no purpose to ask them to defend my statements on the subject. Suffice it to say that this was a topic that rapidly escalated into an argument with no winners.]
A hostile environment?
Having mentioned one somewhat contentious quest, here's the deal with quests. Anyone can call a quest for a type of content that they think we should have more of. Administrative approval is not required. You only need an admin to hand out any rewards that you'd like to present to the participants. As far as the admins who approve these quest by agreeing to do this for you go, it is entirely at the discretion of each individual admin whether to do so. It's probably the only time you're welcome to shop for an admin until you find one to do your bidding.
After ten years, we will be retiring the mentoring system. These days virtually all new users in need of help are being intercepted and advised in a very timely way by a sharp and willing informal corps of editors and other experienced users.
Internal staff affairs generally don't get much space in these ed logs but there may be more shuffling and reshuffling in the near future. Among other ideas, I've decided to revive one of Lord Brawl's ideas from his time as Editor-in-Chief and require that staff members also be noders. As in, they node. Brawl was suggesting a quota of something like a writeup a month but, hell, I could not meet that one myself. I've announced that staffers with less than one writeup in a year should hand in their badge at the end of this year. This requirement will increase later. Coders will be exempt for now.
The idea is that folks who can't cough up as much as a day log (though I can't say a single day log would make me terribly happy either) should acknowledge that they've lost their drive to contribute to our number one mission: content. I realise that this may result in the retirement of some very, very good people but, while I value experience and wisdom greatly, right now we have no room for more staff and have a greater need for action, enthusiasm, and leadership by example.
This month saw the retirement of kthejoker from the coding department and anthropod from the admin department. We thank both for their services and have no immediate plans to fill those slots. Aerobe will replace anthropod as Queen of Canada and wertperch will take her place as Pollmaster.
I would like to add a few words about one of these retirements. Anthropod was one of the people most able to set me straight when I was wrong and I'll miss her wisdoms and sensible arguments. I'd like to go on the record saying that it was a privilege to serve on the staff with her. She was one of the longest-tenured staff members and was one of the few people left from a cohort that started out around the same time, had similar visions for the site, and ultimately rose through the ranks together. Man, this makes me feel old. I do hope that both she and kthejoker find some time to write again, even if it's another five years on.
Until next month...
"I see little glory in an Empire which can rule the waves but is unable to flush its sewers." --Winston Churchill