I've now been an editor for nearly two months.

Some of you may have noticed that I don't seem to be around as much now. This is true: I don't hang out in the catbox for several hours a day anymore, and I may take a few days to answer /msgs. This does not mean I've somehow gone to the dark side -- it means I've been very, very busy. It also means that rather than engaging in a lot of action, I've been doing a lot of observing.

Every True Believer knows that superpowers are not something to be taken lightly. I may be able to walk through walls, but not without leaving a finger behind once in a while.

This side of the fence lends a very different feel to the E2 experience. Now when I log on, I feel much more accountable for my actions, and for the example I set. When I first got here I remember looking very carefully at what the editors and gods were doing -- not to be a kissass or a copycat, but to get an idea of what was acceptable, and what exactly was involved in keeping E2 vital (besides noding, of course). I wanted to know what sorts of people had both the desire and the ability to help maintain Everything2 as well as add new content.

I learned that the administration here is just as diverse as the user base itself. Writing style, editorial philosophy, pet subjects, and frequency of noding vary widely -- yet those who persist in their positions tend to share one very general characteristic: they care about E2, and they want to make it better somehow. Even the really cynical ones care -- otherwise they wouldn't be here at all.

How do I plan to make E2 better?

Well, I am still developing an editorial philosophy, but the bare bones of it are as follows:

  • Assist new noders in understanding E2, and make them feel welcome here.
  • Correct typographical errors in writeups from fled users (especially incorrect use of "it's"!), as well as minor errors in writeups by current users (such as unclosed hardlinks).
  • Continue to add new content of my own to the database. Make sure that the content I post is a good example to others (in terms of appropriate subject matter, spelling, punctuation, and formatting).
  • Delete writeups that do not fit my vision of what belongs on E2. "Nuking" is hands-down the most controversial editorial power, because deciding what stays and what goes is subjective to some degree.

Because writeup deletion is such a hot button issue for so many, I think it merits further discussion here. How do I, as a newbie editor, decide what to delete? Well, sometimes it's obvious. "Empty" writeups (meaning the user removed the writeup's text but did not properly submit a nuke request) need to go. Copyrighted material posted without the permission of the original author will be deleted unless it can be made to conform to copyright guidelines. If I find copyrighted material posted by a user that hasn't been here in several months, the writeup will be immediately deleted. Non-punctuated response writeups will be deleted -- this is not Slashdot, and nodes are not meant to be used like the threaded discussions on many message boards. I will also nuke really angsty poetry -- this is probably the most controversial thing I do, because some might argue that I shouldn't judge people's "art" in this manner. I like poetry -- good poetry. If you write something like,

my life's blood drips down the dark drain
of despair:
i call out to death with
dream-tinged breath
the raven cries
as i count the scars
that mark each day
you've been away

it's gonna die. Think of it as a mercy killing.

So overall, I'm still adjusting to this new way of interacting with E2. Work has been keeping me extremely busy recently, and I've also felt the need lately to spend less time in front of a monitor and more time in the real world. I'm in something of a grok period at the moment regarding my role here. I may be a bit quieter than before, but I'm certainly not going anywhere.