I became a CE in September 2001, after having had an E2 account for about five months. That made my ascent to the Power Structure (uh-huh, huh-huh-huh, he said "power") a rapid one compared to that of most editors.
At the time I was a sworn adherent and evangelist of the raised-bar factual noding doctrine. I'd been given much encouragement and praise by the Powers That Be. I was held up as a model of the Modern Factnoder. Yeah, me, a poster boy (cue raucous laugh from audience). My "personal" nodes were far and few and laced with tasty facts. I had, and still have, no part in GTKYs. Apart from a literature translation project, my writeup list largely looked like the
cross-section of an encyclopaedia. Then I was asked to serve as an editor and accepted the call.
I was unprepared.
There were older and wiser people around, and I'd been entrusted with reviewing their work. While I was not totally inexperienced as an editor for
common wordmongers, I lacked appreciation for some styles of noding that were in decline but were far from being without merit. You need to understand
what you're editing, and Nuke What You Know. That was a lesson to be learned.
It's also easily said when you're a chief with a lot of scalps hanging around your teepee. We're not all born with that wisdom and usually acquire
it only with experience. Since those early days I've changed, as has E2. My editorial style has become more mellow and forgiving, my noding style more direct and personal. Some of the editors will have noticed that my kill count is staggering by most peoples standards. This is largely due to my past work, when I was a very active hunter of junk, which we did, objectively, have lots of. My numbers are not something a new editor should aspire towards reaching.
Soon after I started out as an editor I realised that I needed to understand E2 content better, and especially that which did not conform to my dogmatic encyclopaedist ideal. And, friends, there's only one way to do it and that's to node it. On a whim, I wrote a piece of fiction and posted it. I think it's rated +6 now and took over a year to get a C!. It's pretty far from brilliant but I'm keeping it--there is more to E2 writing than riverrun and Demeter. Then I filled a junkpile nodeshell--another thing that should be on one's to-do list but that was also spontaneous. By writing and posting them--and some more thought-out stuff later--I gained the experience and understanding of noding original fiction on E2.
I used to boast that I'd never be caught noding lyrics. Of course one day I had to turn around and eat my words. While I'm still really ambivalent about the worth in noding bare lyrics, I have discovered that you can take someone else's words and turn them into something of your own. Others use them as a backdrop to stories, I normally use the lyric as the centrepiece. Both ways work. A level 1 newbie showed me how to node lyrics--by noding a lyric in true style. I had to follow so that I could understand.
Then there are the much maligned day logs, another thing that I scornfully dismissed on multiple occasions. They're not really subject to editorial quality control and many debates have been held on the subject of their value to the database. One day I had something to say that, by its nature, belonged in a day log, so I climbed off my high horse, ate my serving of corvine flesh, and noded a humble day log. I have written, to date, seven more and, while daylogs are generally over-voted on, their average reputation is more than double my average writeup rep. This I take to mean that I'm a passable daylogger. Were I not, I'd personally blast 'em into a fine radioactive powder. So there it is... If you don't like day logs as they are, do what we did with everything else: raise the bar. By writing day logs I gained an understanding of their value and role on E2.
I continue to expand my horizons as a noder. I continue to learn as an editor.
As content editors it's appropriate and useful to have a thorough understanding of the content we've been put in charge of and be careful when
evaluating that content whose nature and creative process we don't grok. Even if it sticks out as tripe in your eyes, think twice before doing anything with it.
I suppose a lot of this is overexplicating the concept of don't knock it before you've tried it.