A new noder's initial instinct is often to node about his or her reactions to the site. After all, you gain experience by writing more writeups. Everything2 itself is a topic close at hand, and a passionate opinion about it has formed in your mind!
There are several reasons why this temptation may arise.
- People who are new to e2 quickly develop strong opinions about certain elements of the site, such as the voting system, the experience system, the chatterbox, softlinks and hardlinks, site stability, and the site layout itself.
- Some of these things may seem outdated or clunky or incomprehensible to a new user -- particularly to a user who has previously spent a lot of time on sites whose purpose overlaps somewhat with everything2's (like blogs and wikis) but whose interface and community dynamic differ from ours.
- Some of everything2's policies may seem downright unfair, especially to level-one users who can't vote and who might therefore feel frustrated by the anonymous downvotes their early writeups receive. This is especially the case if those users have read old writeups (dated 1999 or 2000) which are very short or which contain errors, but which remain in the database when the new user's own writeups are downvoted or deleted.
- All users, both new users and users who have been around a while, often have ideas for new policies or neat widgets that they want to share.
However, before noding about noding, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Everything2 has been around for a very long time, and longtime users have thought carefully about things that may strike a new user as quirky or problematic. Ask about them. The reasoning for these codes or policies is often perfectly logical, and may surprise you.
- Everything2 is a volunteer effort. Editors, coders, and longtime users often recognize the same problems that you do, but need time and resources to fix them.
- Many, many nodes about noding already exist, and some of them may already address the questions you have about why a particular policy is in place. Be creative with your searches (some of the relevant node titles are not completely intuitive), and see if your question has been discussed already.
- Discussion about the site can be healthy, of course, but noding about noding can also aggravate the problems of self-referentiality and irrelevance that bothered you in the first place.
- New content is always welcome. Noding about noding can sometimes feel like old content, even when it comes from a new user.
Nobody will stop you from writing a node about noding. Good ones spark discussion and bring about constructive changes. But think carefully before you do it, and ask yourself whether it would contribute as much as a node about something else would.
An experiment conducted by clampe to understand how new users react to the site and discussion about the experiment