One of the best and most lucid documents written about what we do or should do as editors is Jet-Poop's writeup called The Everything Editor's
Job. I visit it occasionally to remind myself what I'm doing here. At the top of the list, item number one, is a suggestion that should, perhaps, be
obvious but still needs saying: Node.
I compiled some statistics last month, after being induced to reflect upon my paltry noding activity of the preceding months. Being an editor takes
up a lot of time and, as an editor, I contribute something to the effort, but I still often feel like I'm losing perspective and not fulfilling what
is, ostensibly, everyone's mission here: writing, adding content. I know that other editors sometimes feel the same. It can be hard to drag oneself
away from a mess that needs tidying up. Almost everyone's output declines after taking an editorial position but I think it's part of our editorial
duty to try not to let it drop to zero.
I repeated the stats run for February. The crude statistics I compiled were not pretty (no, my own numbers weren't impressive either, this is not
meant to be a holier-than-thou piece but a wake up call to all, myself included). I don't want to go into too much detail (anyone wanting the painful
details can compile their own) but five-six people accounting for over half of the writeups produced by an editorial staff of over sixty is not an
encouraging figure--were I using sounder statistical methods, such as an interquartile mean, and not counting editor logs, root logs and the likes, it
would be downright depressing. About 30% of us had no activity at all in January and February, the figure being roughly the same for both the CE and
e2gods groups. While some of them can be excused for having Real Life interfere or spending their time performing vital work such as coding, overall
speaking, we're taking some really long breaks here.
In a month during which I add more writeups than I usually do, I feel like I've made a greater contribution to the database. Yes, it's very important that we support and encourage everyone else to do well and undoubtedly a lot of our time goes towards that effort. We are, however, also in a position where setting a visible example is a vital part of our mission. An example doesn't have to be fifty-ching noding brilliance that's better than everyone else's--these days the standard (yes, that damned bar) is pretty much the same for all experienced users. Being active noders sets an example for everyone--the new people we help, those who lounge in the catbox instead of writing, hell, even for each other. I think that, as editors, we are de facto (and whether we like it or not) in a position that entails leading by example and there's no better example than producing quality work.
We're all here because we enjoy writing. If we didn't enjoy writing, and were we not halfways decent at it, we'd probably not be noders, let alone
editors. Let's do just that. Get out those half-finished, mothballed pieces and wrap them up. I'm not suggesting quotas or specific target numbers
but, this month, let's all spend more time writing and have fun doing so. Let's node--it's what we're good at.