Tell General Nate I know his heart. What he
created for us I have in my heart. I am tired
of noding. Your gods are killed. EDB
is dead. The editors are all killed. It
is the new noder who say yes or no. He who led
the young noder is dead. It is cold and we have
no chings. The newbies are freezing to
death. My people, some of them, have run away
to slashdot and have no cools, no votes; no
one knows where they are, perhaps freezing to
death. I want time to look for my writeups and
see how many of them I can find. May be I
shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my
edevs, I am tired; my heart is sick and sad.
From where the sun now stands, I will node no
We all know what it was like, noding uphill both ways, in the snow, back in the day. Only 512 precious bytes to craft a writeup. Two write ups per node. Things changed, maybe even got better. Everything2 gives us huge writeups, a user list and all that other fancy jazz that I never use. Have you ever noticed that all of my new writeups read "person," "place," "idea" or "thing" and none of the new, more correct catergories? All these new features and yet the number of users is way down and the number of net writeups is negative some days. What the hell is happening to E2?
I've been coming to this site for many years; my username does not represent my true time here. I've never been to a noder meet and I disabled my catbox a while back. I usually respond to /msgs but time constraints and the amount of feedback some of my material generates makes responding to everyone difficult. Sorry guys, nothing personal.
Point is, even though I'm not a social butterfly of E2, I do feel like I have a rich E2 life. Some people always have kind words or C!s for my efforts. I archived every Cool Man Eddie message I ever got. I'm sewing pieces of myself into the E2 database--when you applaud my work, you're applauding what makes me me. Personally, that's much more substantial than the catbox. I have all I need through writeups and feedback.
And I know it is the same way for many of the other people here. I can't imagine having 500 writeups to my name--how much effort does that take? And what about the awe inspiring M-noders? They have put more into this trivial blip of cyberspace than I put into getting a four year degree. How much of them has been infused into E2? How different would E2 if any one of them had not graced the site?
Everything is a family, there's no denying that. We have our brothers and sisters keeping each other company across the world. We whisper our thoughts and dreams and successes and tragedies to each other. Everything2 is not just a communications medium. Wondrous things happen when E2 acts--what if it had been your life that E2 saved?
But what happens to our fellow noders that leave E2? What about the ones that left forever? Some amazing people graced these pages and left, never to return, despite their tremendous efforts put forth in content creation, guidance and friendship. What about the amazing sensei? He, among others, is part of the gone, growing in number. And what about stand/alone/bitch and wharfinger? Accipiter, deep thought or Cow of Doom? I know these people; they are my friends. They're yours too because they left themselves scattered across the nodespace for you to discover. Some have been taken from us and lost to the world. Some your Everything family members have simply walked away from E2. Does that not make you sad, that part of your family has wandered away?
In addition to the loss of Everythingarians, we're losing content. Remember the tidbit about having negative net writeups some days? Why is that happening, editors? Why are you deleting so much? Why the fuck did the huge delete happen in the first place, way back when? I'll even tell you guys a secret. I love the little pieces of Everything1 that I'm able to find. Writeups that are less than 512 characters are awesome. They explain so much with so little. Each morsel is delicious to me. In my homenode, I keep an ever growing list of nodeshells that I want to fill. Sometimes I find a node that only has an Everything1 writeup, but I do not record it on my list. I'll never add to it because as soon as my writeup is published, the axe will fall on the other guy's work. I've even found a node that contained one writeup and it was the only writeup left to that particular user on E2. I know it would still get thrown out in a heartbeat if I added a new writeup. Why? I cherish these things. Just like all the users I named for you that have left us. Stop deleting our old writeups, these are canon! Some of these are the last echoes left by great voices, silenced forever. Even those people who will go unremembered in the history of E2 contributed something and helped shape Everything. Why should I node for the ages if some editor is just going to delete my writeup when it doesn't conform to what the to the new features of E2, sometime in the immediate future? Preserve our history.
And why should we so drastically change Everything2? Everything is already what is should be. Everything is not a BBS nor a blog. Why should we embed pictures in a writeup? We're supposed to be writers and ASCII art rocks anyway. Most of the reason I started writing for E2 was the simple fact that I wanted a picture in my homenode. Now anyone can slap them in writeups? Or audio and video? And who cares about Facebook, we're our own social network and have been forever. And Digg? What corner of Hell was that marriage arranged in?
Don't try to change E2 into something different. Don't integrate us into social networks and don't start an ad campaign. The fact of the matter is that we are an elite. It's not something snobby, but we are a group of users that the overwhelming majority of the wired world does not want to be. We sit down with each other and write. We police ourselves so that only well written, well thought out and well delivered ideas find their way into our home. You don't want Joe User showing up from YouTube and posting whatever brain-diarrhea leaks out of his head.
User statistics are not the measure of our success (can anyone say Ubersite?). We are a success because we have lasted this long. We have cared for one another. We have laughed and cried with one another. We help those above and below us in the E2 foodchain. I would assert that the users make E2; Everything2 the website does not make E2. But you're asking to change something so fundamental to the website that you will change the userbase. Even things as amazing as stars burn out. I know the majority of people out there couldn't shiv a get when I leave, but what about the top tier noders? What about the pillars of our community? For that matter, why are you removing the god and editor symbols from the user list? Those are the only official honorifics E2 has! Even the ones that stay won't have a status symbol.
E2 isn't perfect and there are plenty of things I would change, given the power, but it's a damn fine system that has brought together more people on deeper levels than I think was ever originally imagined. But a major facelift isn't what will make this site great. The secret is just to keep going along. Honor those that have come before us by continuing their work not, not creating something new.
"E2 changed and so did I. I don't like it and it doesn't need me.
Luckily, this suits us both just fine."
- Cow of Doom