Update, 28/03/02: There used to be some other writeups in this node, but they're all gone. Which puts a lot more responsibility on me, now that I'm the only one left standing to give advice! Still, here goes.

Here are a few tangible tips about noding that will generally ensure your writeup gets positive responses, or at least stays out of hot water:

Note: Pretty much all of the first half of my list can be found in the various nodes linked from Everything University. You might want to give those a read, too.

  • Check your spelling, syntax and grammar. There are a lot of pedants out there that will vote you down because they're sick and tired of seeing "definitely" spelled "definately".
  • Format your node to be easy to read - don't ramble, use paragraph tags and list tags when appropriate, make things easy on the eye - reading off a monitor is hard work.
  • Make hardlinks in your writeup, preferably not at random and with some kind of thought behind them - which concepts in your writeup do you want highlighted by linking them to their respective nodes?
  • Use softlinks liberally - the more the better. This serves a double purpose - it gives your writeup added depth as well as exposure. The occasional softlink to a popular node can't do you no harm either - the more people look at your node, the more likely they are to vote for it.

Now for content:

  • Strive to have some. A one liner informing the masses that Courtney Love is a singer from the US who used to date a dead band leader isn't going to cut it. A single paragraph haphazardly crammed with factoids will probably go the way of oblivion too.
  • In a factual node, check your facts. Well. You'd be amazed at the internet's ability to throw up experts on the most obscure of subjects. People will vote you into the ground if what you wrote is plain wrong.
  • Be polite. Offensive language can make even the best researched node seem tripe, while a well expressed controversial opinion will earn you at least a couple of votes for sheer effort.
  • There is no need to create acrimony, even over the most emotive of subjects - I've managed to have a polite exchange about gun control on here, and with my temper, that surely means anyone can do it.
  • Refrain from preaching or laying down the law. Writeups that clamour for absolute truth status annoy people, and rightly so.

When creating a node:

  • Choose your title well - a provocative title might get you noticed, but it doesn't have to mean good attention. I will downvote anything that has "kill so and so" in it's title, for example, even if I might wish so and so dead myself.
  • Have a bit of a look around to see if there isn't already a node that deals with your issue (yes, I know, there are dozens of nodes that deal with the issue I'm attempting to deal with now, but that's the point, innit - when there's more than one, which one do you choose?)

A bit about general attitude:

Some E2 idiosyncrasies:

  • Emoticons (smilies etc.) are very unpopular on E2 for some reason. I find that infuriating and limiting, but there you go. Don't say we didn't warn you! :)
  • Nodevertising is announcing a node publically in the chatterbox for people to go and look at. Very bad manners.
  • What the editors say, goes. Having your writeup downvoted is nothing to getting into a major row with one of them and having the whole node nuked. Tough, but that's the reality of life here - E2 is a privately owned commercial venture, and the powers that be have their rights of tyranny. Er, I mean veto.


GrouchyOldMan says: I'm wondering if a short update mentioning that really short writeups (say under 250 words?) tend to get hammered these days. Also non-compliant use of copyrighted material is the road to ruin. Cheers.

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