I assume that E2 is failing because I hear so much about noders not noding. People are critical of noders who spend too much time in the catbox. This typically goes hand in hand with the assumption that they are chatting when they should be noding. I would like to point out that this is not always the case. This is my 60th writeup. I have several in node heaven and I have yet to break the six month user mark. That averages out to about ten writeups a month even if you exclude the things I’ve had nuked. I offer this as an example of people who are in the catbox and contributing to the nodegel. You may not like what I write which is fine. Go ahead and put something else out there. Be the change you want others to emulate.
I’m not around as much as I used to be so I don’t have the opportunity to chat like I used to but the catbox has to be one of my favorite things about this place. I love the opportunity to meet new people. Almost everyone I’ve met on E2 I’ve met from catboxing, to me the catbox is like a large role playing game. It’s a great opportunity to see what people are like outside of the things they write. I think E2 is unfriendly to new users. People are unfriendly to people who have been around for a while and I think that could be changed. I see people being criticized. I hear people being belittled. I read writeups that shred other users and one of the reasons I don’t read the archive or do vanity searches on ascorbic’s website is I don’t really want to know what people are saying about me when I’m not around.
Perhaps I’m the only person who feels this way. I could be the only one who feels the chill of disapproval when I go into the catbox. It’s possible that I’m paranoid and imagining things but I think not because I’ve received some private messages and feedback about it. I'm not asking people to change who they are, what I want to see changed is the behavior. I try to accept people for who and what they are. Everyone has personality defects. We’re all cursed with character flaws and some of my issues are related to being open, emotional and overly friendly to people in public chat rooms. In my opinion one of the reasons Everything2 is failing because people perceive it as cold and hostile. The high standards are fine. The animosity is not. The double standard is also not cool. Rules are bent for certain users. That’s life. It’s not supposed to be fair and I don’t expect it to be but it's still upsetting to see.
This site has some incredibly talented people but it’s also driving some very talented people away. I think it’s tragic that arcanamundi is gone. Everything2 lost someone special when kthejoker decided to take a hiatus and from what I understand both of these people left because of problems with other people on the site. I have a writeup in the Why I love Everything2 node. That writeup has the second highest reputation of any of my writeups. I find that interesting because almost none of the words in that writeup are mine. They're a collection of messages I've received from people in this community and if I put names in front of the quotes you might be surprised at who they came from. Everything2 has a softer side. It can be gentle, encouraging and sensitive. There are people who give a damn about others and what happens to them. I spend a lot of time chatting with people in public and private. I know there are people with hearts out there and I understand that your heart isn't an easy thing to expose to other people.
Why can't we respect the things that make us different and embrace the people that helped build this site into what it is today? A place where people wonder why nobody writes poetry about financial security and nodes like I am so fucking happy take a gentle poke at citizens of a foreign country with the assumption that people from that country can take a joke. People who do not learn from the mistakes of the past are condemned to repeat them. Insist on your cliques. Form your nuclear groups. Be hostile and critical but know that you reap what you sow and if at the end of the day you have a damaged and faltering website that is one of the consequences of your collective behavior.
Hearing different viewpoints is just one of the things that makes Everything2 dynamic and exciting but respect for others should be a fundamental part of this site. Raising the bar should also mean that the social aspects of Everything2 are held to a higher standard. No one is perfect. Your views may not be that of the community’s but if someone wants to do something and it isn't hurting you... DON'T BE A FUCKING DICK about it. In closing I'd like to thank everyone who has been helpful and supportive during the past six months. I would also like to personally thank all the people who have been and are my friends. I also want to recognize all the members of all the groups who spend their limited free time keeping this website up and running. I think a lot of their efforts are under-appreciated and you have to love this place if you’re spending any amount of time doing pro bono work because no one else will or wants to.
Sam512 feels that E2 needs a subtitle. I want to see: Read. Write. Create. because we are readers, we are writers and we have built something that no one else has. A nation divided against itself can not stand. Will the failure of Everything2 be a lesson learned too late? I don’t know but a forum hosting discussions on how to save the site is not very promising. I don’t want to see E2 go. I believe that there’s a place for everyone on this site and if you don’t have anything nice to say to other people in the catbox go read, write or create something new.
says re Read. Write. Create.: well done . . . I agree especially with the "unfriendly to new users" comment . . . I have an alias account I began several months ago, and it's been very interesting to see how differently I was treated when they didn't know who I was . . .
says Hey, good points, although I don't think that niceness is the most important thing we need to be working on, and I do believe that the catbox can be very detrimental to this site's health. You may be hanging out in the catbox but also writing, but not everyone is. A lot of energy gets wasted around here by people chatting and never producing a writeup. It draws people in, and there is also a lot of conflict in the catbox that just turns me off. If I log onto E2 one more time to find excalibur and WhiskeyDaemon squabbling like kids in junior high, I just might take another vacation. Likewise the constant attempts to make Donginger say something funny. I believe the catbox can be fun, but I also believe it encapsulates the worst of e2.
says re Read. Write. Create.: Right on! However, I think the problems go deeper than this. I've been here for over 7 years under one name or another, and I am sure you are perfectly right to criticise people for being obnoxious. It used to be the staff; now it's mere users. However, the difference today is that there is relatively little *inspiring* about the contributions. I've tried to put up five or six items a month for most of this year, and I'll be honest, most of mine are mediocre pieces of writing at best (I write professionally, as my full time job, so I know. I don't want platitudes). I'm not entirely convinced that E2 needs large amounts of content if that content is, like my own recent contributions, mediocre. It needs clever, inspiring writing by a wide variety of people. We used to have that. We don't any longer. When we had that, it encouraged more people to write inspiring stuff. Now that we get insipid stuff, it encourages authors to make insipid contributions. I'm not having a go at you or your writing. You've done as much as anyone these last few months to keep the place going. And believe me, I would very much like this place to succeed.
says re Read. Write. Create.: I disagree with a couple of things ...everything2 isn't failing (it is seriously bugging me that every time I log on I see someone else picking up that woeful mantra, self defeating verbiage) 2. everything2 isn't unfriendly to new users nor old users. It isn't unfriendly at all. people are people. What goes along with that is all of their insecurities and hangups and opinions and...etc etc. People are who they are. Some are bullies, some are sensitive. some are helpful, some are selfish. Behavior modification of a group is not an easy task. unless you want to bring back shunning? The only thing YOU can change is your own perception. The same way I can change my perception. Which, by the by, I did somewhere after my 12 mnth mark on e2. 3. Read. Write. Create. ...GOOD... also good the kudos you give to the volunteer staff... also well thought out point of view...
says re Read. Write. Create.: Bravo. Better articulated than I could do. I find it funny that one particular older user like to use the term "Push'n Niceness" as a pejorative term for the current administration. Frankly, I think Pushing Niceness is the best thing we could do on the site at this particular time. I try my best to be friendly and helpful to new users, not that I am all the time. I have my bad days like everyone else and it sometimes bleeds into my behavior in the 'box, but I try to keep anything obnoxious I might say out of the personal realm.
says re Read. Write. Create.: I wonder about this. We actually have a kindler, gentler E2 now compared to the way it used to be, in my opinion. Still, not nice enough, apparently. I have traditionally been all about pushing niceness, and I certainly try to be more or less polite. But I wonder. When I distill the general population's suggestions and demands to their bare essence, what I tend to hear most loudly is "hold my hand and blow sunshine up my ass." I'm probably becoming cynical. But the fact of the matter is that increasing the niceness isn't getting us more users or more good content, and the internet is simply not a sunshiney place. One cannot go expecting hugs from words on a screen; it's a delusion that only makes it all worse in the long run.
says re Read. Write. Create.: I checked on the catboxing but not noding idea and put the status into the catbox archive. Noding rate was surprisingly high from the top 10 or so in the Hall of Shame. Hard evidence against the 'catboxers don't node' assertion.
says re Read. Write. Create.: I can think of a couple solutions that might ease the unfriendliness to new noders problem, but I think the old guard is too stuck in their ways to do anything about it.
says re Read. Write. Create.: As the great neil young says... Don't let it bring you down... Get yer ass back in the catbox. We miss you there.
says I generally don't talk too much to people here or pay attention to the catbox. My goal isn't to socialize, but to read and write. So I don't really care about unfriendly users. My homenode doesn't really invite to get to know me either. That said, I like talking to you and reading your nodes-I really think it is nice stuff. You are even tempting me to start noding again.
says re Read. Write. Create.: Everything2 was great when it was three kinds of site rolled into one. Blog. Encyclopedia. Web Magazine. But then Wikipedia happened. And the Blog Revolution.... revolted. And dozens of really good webzines found their niches and powered on. So this site, which was never particularly good at any of those things (but a neat combo) lost its verve. People were assholes in 2002 when I joined. They're still assholes. That's just people. It's the site that no longer has a reason for existing that's the problem. It _could_ find a new "reason to live". But finding that entails admitting what this place _isn't_ as much as what it _is_. It entails admitting that, for example, all of our factuals are now obsolete. Painful? Sure. Required for growth? Absolutely. Thanks for writing what you wrote!
says re Read. Write. Create.: Having been here 8 years, and had my ups and downs with people, I'm inclined to agree. Now I'm writing again, and enjoying it, I might just stay another 8 years...
says re Read. Write. Create.: What we still have that no-one else has, is talent, Raw, maybe. Fragile, certainly. Obscured by some crap, sometimes. But it's there, and it's good, and no-one else allows what we have. The ability to write anything about anything.