We're all out to get you
This seems to be the prevailing thought amongst the folks who are just joining the E2 family. They see folks high up on the Other Users nodelet and those folks with a $ or @ by their names as people who are very standoffish, mean and to be avoided.
I get the occasional newbie /msg asking for some node advice or because they were referred to me by other users, and the newbie acts as though I have three kegs of gunpowder in my shorts while I'm smoking cigars. You can almost hear them tiptoe-ing around, apologizing profusely for disturbing the sleeping giant.
I had two folks tell me today via /msg that they were afraid of Dem Bones and jessicapierce. Well, OK, 'Bones scares the hell outta me too, but sweet JayPea? (*grin*) But seriously, sometimes the only interaction the newer folks have with the Gods, Content Editors and denizens of the Everything's Best Users list (even though the EBU folks have no special powers) are when they're performing their additional duties, such as cleaning up bad nodes or feeding folks to the EDB for being obnoxious or disruptive in the Chatterbox nodelet.
Part of becoming an established member of E2 is helping others when you're able, and I'd guess that 99% of the folks who are Level 6 and above do their best to help newcomers. E2 is made of people, and there are some folks who are grumpy or who may be having a bad day, but it is rare that someone who is on the EBU list or has God/Editor powers will be mean to you for no reason at all. If you get borged and you think that you did nothing wrong, it is possible that it was done accidently (thefez borged me when I was Level 2 because he mis-read a comment I made in the chatterbox, and he did apologize when he realized it). It happens. I fully expect to get borged again someday because I'm either being an imbecile at that time or there was a communication error. Gods have even borged other God-level folks because it was needed.
For the new folks here to E2:
Don't be afraid of other users. Having a metric tonne of XP just means that that person appears higher up in the Other Users nodelet. That is the only benefit. They're still the same folks who joined E2 a while ago at Level 1, just like you are. They have high XP values because they had a knack for writing that others enjoyed. Ask their advice, you're almost certain to get help in improving your writeups.
Don't be afraid of the Gods and Editors, for they are your friends. Sometimes the only time you hear about them are when others are complaining about getting borged or someone killed a writeup of theirs. That is the job that Gods and Editors volunteered to do! Our job is to weed out the worthless, insulting one-line nodes so the writeup you just spent two hours on can have its time in the sun. There is no need to act as if you're bugging us, for another part of our job is to help you. Be respectful, and you will be treated the same. That old "do unto others" saying applies to Everything2.
In my inbox, from an anonymous user: Here's another of E2 Public Relations Issues: nodes that imply gods are good and great get to stick around, nodes critical that might imply they make mistakes don't
My reply: There are a few critical nodes still living in the nodegel. IMHO, 97% of the time critical nodes are written after someone was borged or they had a writeup nuked. It's a way of blowing off steam. Gods and Editors are far from perfect (except for MoJoe and Jet-Poop). In general, it is mass-lumped under whining (whether it belongs there or not). Just today, someone got multi-borged and started posting the same node several times in a row complaining. It was nuked each time, then he got multi-borged again. If you feel someone is being unreasonable with you, you can take it to a higher authority, which is usually Dem Bones. If someone is being a jerk for no reason, a pattern will emerge and the establishment will correct this. This is far from a perfect system, but for the most part it works well. Also, remember you (the user) are a guest here on E2. If Nate decides he hates the letter "R" and kills every user account with that letter, that's his perogative.
In conclusion: We like you (the user), we want you to stick around and add to the nodegel. The vast majority here will do their best to help you.
wertperch says: I have to say I felt a little the same until my mentoring proved that there should be no fear. Thanks a lot!