At the time of this writing, I'm a content editor. This means that I am not the administration and don't pretend to speak authoritatively on subjects where it matters whether one is an administrator. I'm a user with a broom. Dig it? My HTML is perfect and I never node about noding. Ever.

I'd like to put it plainly for all those who have concerns which they consider PR issues. You've been mortally offended. Klaproth is being a right gluttonous old bastard and EDB thinks you're one of the food groups. Whatever. Of course I'm not always in total agreement with my editorial colleagues as regards the proper use of those tools; there is no requirement that I be and I'm far from perfect myself. But where there's smoke, there's fire. Examine your own situation before blaming others for your predicament. Put introspection before accusation. Then complain.

Life ain't fair, you know. I hear people gripe about someone who acts semi-anonymously but can be held accountable for being less than stellar in attitude or judgement and will respond when challenged. You don't hear editors whine about getting mass-downvoted by unaccountable hit-and-run assassins because they signed the wrong Klaproth message. I deal, even when you softlink my latest and greatest to Butterfinger McFlurry. Not because I'm a soulless killing machine immune to annoyance but because I'm in a position of trust, new users are expressly encouraged to look up to me, and I feel obliged to lead by example. Did you know that some editors node their editor logs as "definitions" or quit noding them altogether because they're sick of people downvoting the fact that they publicly explain their actions for all to see? You want to gripe? Gripe about that. As an old-time IRC administrator said before getting booted off EFnet, "life sucks, buy a helmet." Sure, I'd love it if we all got along like a big Roman lovebird orgy but we have to accept the fact that so many personalities in one place make that unlikely. But it doesn't hurt to try and make it work the best we can.

Whatever problem you have, TALK to someone. T-A-L-K. Clearly, if you're reading this node and considering adding your two cents, you have something to say. You have several options. You can play the sympathy card with the oppressed masses, node your issues, and consequently engage in what, however well you present it, will still be the epitome of unoriginality. Your radical ideas etc. that have already been noded and nuked umpteen times in the last two years. Or you can take it up with any one of the editorial staff and more likely than not get a VERY reasonable answer to all your questions and perhaps gain some of the respect you think you're not being afforded and come out of it a better noder with a clearer perception of how those charged with the task keep this ark of insanity afloat. Or you can use your allotted homenode space to host a perpetual rant about the evil that's people with any semblance of authority. In which case you've chosen a path of confrontation and the best I can do is pretend that your lack of understanding doesn't bother me. Whatever you do, it's not public relations as long as it concerns only you and other people on this site.

Let's examine the overall issue of "public relations." What its contributing members think of E2 and what differences they have with its established practices is not a public relations issue unless they take it outside the site or put it into writing for the whole world to see. The casual visitor sees no dichotomy between the noding userbase and the administration, and we'd be better off if we quit inventing one on the inside. We're all just names occupying a few pixels above what the visitor came to see. Public relations are between E2 and the outside world that comes into contact with the site and peruses our work. A stranger comes and the first writeup he sees could be yours. When that's the case, you're representing E2. When the first thing he sees is your complaining about how you've been wronged, you've created a PR problem.

I'm not going to give you any E2 is a Community lecture. Hell, I'm still not sure I buy it myself. It is merely my opinion that what issues we have among us should be kept among us, particularly when having a word with an experienced user of a certain standing can turn a mountain back into the molehill that it really is. There's nothing that can't be solved with, in the absolutely worst case, shutting up and accepting that being part of this big, well, thing, is not all roses and we'll be served the odd lemon and be asked to bite into it. Strangely enough, the facts of life apply to E2 as well, even more so as it develops into a community, and every one of us, from the top of the hierarchy to the newbie who signed up five minutes ago, is subject to them. Believe it or not, lemons are just as sour at the top of the totem pole.

E2 is not just the administration nor is it just the editors. E2 is all its people. YOU are E2, YOU make it what it is as much as everyone else does. What you create here--the good work, the bad work, the sparks of brilliance and the GTKYs--reflects upon all of us. Show some pride in what we're all doing here, realise that we have a pretty amazing thing going, and act like you really care.

Addendum, 2003-06-07: I've been an admin for a pretty long time now. My views on this subject have not changed.