How to express this? I have been here for 2 months now and feel the need to say something about somehow take a snapshot of my "progress" so far in a form besides XP and number of writeups. As it stands now, I have 14 writeups. Some have been very well received, others have garnered a mixed reception. Such is the way of things.

The people that camp out on the top half of the "Other Users" list amaze me. I feel like a high school freshman trying to party with the cool kids, saying awkward things that I regret as soon as I say them.

I have been attempting to mine through the history of E2 so that I can understand such things as why so many noders have "/me misses Sensei" on their homenodes, and why Butterfinger McFlurry has become the phenomenon that it has.

I feel like I've missed so much, only having signed onto E2 two months ago. The people who have been here for two, three, and even four years have shared joys, sorrows, and jokes that I will never fully comprehend, not having been around at their inception.

Newbies have it rough here, not because E2 is unfriendly to new noders or anything like that, but because E2 is such an established, interwoven community of human beings. Being new here is much like walking into a crowd of people that you know you want to associate with, but that have no idea what kind of person you are, if you're going to actually contribute to the community or just goof off, and whether you're going to stick around or simply take off, leaving your user account to wither away in the nodegel.

Happily, the crowd here seems largely to be a forgiving one. My first few writeups were (rightfully) nuked, and I have been perhaps a bit of a nuisance in the catbox (too much talk, not enough noding), but 99% of the criticism I have received has been polite and has benefitted me. E2 is a community with the balls to enforce quality and good conduct, which is definitely refreshing to see on the Internet. You will not be spoon-fed praise here if you do not earn it.

I have seen many other newbies come here with what seems to be a persecution complex. It seems like every day in the chatbox someone says, "Why was I downvoted?" It makes me cringe to see that sort of behavior because I know that whining will most likely lead to even more downvotes. I know that the particular newbie who is doing the whining is going to get even more pissed off, then, and possibly leave in a huff and never come back. Perhaps this is a good thing. Perhaps E2 has a way of weeding out the chronic whiners, those people who can't take criticism in any form and who mistook E2 for a haven for those who wish to be stroked and petted for every little thing they write, no matter how crappy it is.

Though my experience here has been mostly positive, there is one aspect of E2 that disturbs me somewhat and that is individuals who think E2 should change to suit what they think it should be. For instance, there are people here who downvote every node that is not a completely factual, encyclopedia-entry-like node. There is so much creative material here, so many interesting and varied personal experiences set to literary form, that there is no chance of turning E2 into a bare-facts-only reference. People need to deal with that. While I agree that yes, this place needs more actual content, I admit that I enjoy reading about peoples' personal experiences and it is obvious that others do, too. E2 can be a great place to learn about the human condition. I think that E2, with its mixture of facts and anecdotes and jokes and poetry is just fine the way it is.

Wow I have received more attention from this daylog than I have for any of my other nodes...I expected this little ramble through the mind of a newbie to be ignored, at best. I thank everyone who /msg-ed me for your supportive's that sort of encouragement that makes me want to work even harder to write good nodes that will enrich the knowledge base of E2! This daylog was simply my attempt to express some notions of E2 that had kept me awake the night before.