Visit any library book-sale and one will not only find long-outdated tomes
on medicine or sports or politics or whatever, one can find books which were
published more recently than perhaps 80% of the library's collection. The
reason? The books don't circulate and every single day there are more books
which, perhaps, will be more popular, more informative, more useful to the users
of the library. I can give examples of books which have earned many prizes, but
have never shown up on the New York Times' Best Seller List.
There's a pretty rough story I heard about marketing that applies to the
current topic. A store-monger put up for sale on his shelves ten-pound bags of
shit. They sat there for weeks. Nary a bag was sold. He then discounted them
50%. Still no sales. The discount went up to 80%. No sales. Which tells one that
no matter how cheap a product is, if it's shit it ain't gonna sell.
Now let's get to the point. Consider E2 a library. It is, really; a library
of articles, prose, poetry, biography and more. The overwhelming majority of the
content is quite good (else guest users wouldn't spend hours signed in, jumping
from hard-link to hard-link). However, sometimes the voting population of E2
contributors deem a piece less than viable — no, not a piece of shit — just for
one reason or another not right to have hanging around for a long time.
Of course, when a noder asks that his or her writeup be deleted from the
nodegel, the noder may or may not reap benefits in merit or mean XP or other
numbers. The finest noders on this site don't care about the numbers at all; in
fact, one long-time contributor recently had his XP set to zero; I'm not certain
of the reason why but I'd hazard a guess that "noding for numbers" was not that
I have deleted some of my own writeups. I've come to the conclusion that if a
writeup is a year old and hasn't been upvoted (or worse, voted on at all) very
much, it's best to make room on the servers for something of better quality. I
print the file out; stuff it in a folder in my desk, and delete the writeup.
There's a lot of marginal material on E2 from long-gone
writers that I, for one, would just love to get rid of. However, that's a
decision that the noders of the future will make. There's been much lamenting
the deletion of material that many folks around here feel has a great deal of
value to the nodegel. But that's the way it goes.
The voters of E2 are a lot more forgiving than the editor of a newspaper or
magazine for which someone may write an article for which they are compensated.
We have a great deal of freedom in that we needn't worry about the editor (and
Lord knows, we don't need to worry about the compensation, either). We have a
great deal of freedom in that votes come from literally hundreds of "editors."
Who knows, perhaps the editor at The Ladies Home Journal who rejected
your article on knitting kitty-cat finger puppets had a sour stomach that day.
Perhaps he or she awoke on the wrong side of the bed.
The suggestion that a writer can't do exactly what he or she wants at any
time they want with the product of their own creativity is contrary to
everything that E2 stands for. And to any person who would suggest that a
noder's right to change or delete a writeup be challenged, even by suggestion, I
say "write some shit and get out of everyone else's shit."