Following is my reply to an e-mail I received from a Level 1 noder. His concerns were with my original proposal of changing the Level Advancement system. The noder feared that his writeups on a less-popular topic would hurt him more than it would do him good. As a result, he would possibly not post these writeups, and it would alter his noding behavior. I am sharing my reply in the hope to remove some of the questions and doubts that some noders may have.
Hi [Name witheld]:
Thank you for your comments. I understand that I have stirred up quite a
bit of commotion with the initial proposal. On the other hand, this
has given me a lot of feedback: suggestions and comments on what
people want to see, and how to arrive to a fair and relatively
simple Level Advancement system.
In Everything Statistics - September 29, 2001 (2) I have implemented
some changes, to address several serious issues that were brought up.
Unfortunately, it is more difficult to get feedback from lower-level
noders... I understand the fear of "repercussion": like almost
everyone on E2, I was facing these challenges when I started noding.
But I do encourage you to give me your feedback on the Level
Advancement system, especially after the modifications that I have
My goal has never been to change "noding behavior". I became motivated
to bring some positive changes to the Level Advancement system after
looking at all the XP/reputation statistics. Like you said: you reach
"XP-Nirvana"; it becomes a pointless criterion to use for leveling up.
As a result: after reaching Level 2, the only thing holding you back
from leveling up is writeups. This is where some noders will begin to
wonder: do I spend 5 hours on writing a great factual node on, for instance
The Fall of the Roman Empire, or do I spent that time on 20 writeups with
the lyrics of Favorite Rock Band? The former will receive 10+
upvotes, one or more C!s; the latter perhaps 3 upvotes, and certainly
a few downvotes. But gaining XP is never the issue...
I am NOT judging either type of contributions. I believe there is
place for a huge diversity of writeups. There is a place for a huge
variety of writers; archivers, novelists, factual content writers,
poets... you name it. But the current Level-Up system does not treat
everyone equally; if the barrier to level up is ONLY the number of
writeups, it does not encourage quality factual writing.
It is not fair to those who DO put in the extra effort, and do so
consistently. Take a look at riverrun's writeups, or junkpile,
sneff... take a look at your mentor's writeups. I ALWAYS read these
people's work, since I know that it will be worth the time. They spent
the extra time making a thoughtful writeup, and they should be
rewarded for it.
I understand that implementing a punishment/reward system would
severely alter the rules of the "game". Based on the many comments, I
decided to move away from that proposal. What I propose now is a
reward-only system. The BASIC rules of the game don't change. You
still level up with the same number of writeups and XP as in the
present system. But there is a reward system (what I called the Honor
Roll). People who continuously write well will be rewarded. They have
to write fewer writeups in order to level up.
In the current proposal, NO ONE will drop a level; NO ONE is forced to
change their noding habits in order to level up at the same rate they
do now. Voting on nodes is still encouraged, because the XP
requirements remain in place.
Bottom line: feel free to add those [topic name witheld] nodes you had planned. In fact, being a chemical engineer, I'll be looking forward reading them! It will not damage your progress on E2 in any way; on the other
hand, you're highly encouraged to turn those nodes into masterpieces
of craftmanship, and have the chance to level up sooner.
Feel free to e-mail me with any comments or questions.