N.B.: Clampe now has his thoughts on the draft ToS posted elsewhere, so I've moved his section to this node to the footer.

In the last newsletter, I outlined a set of features we're working towards implementing here. Now that we've all had time to discuss what we're up to and laugh about the schedule, it's time for another update. I'm posting this update in a writeup to make it easier to organize such in-depth reviews1 as my last note to the site brought.

What is Everything Two?

According to our frontpage lede, Everything2 is a collection of user-submitted writings about, well, pretty much everything. You can write about what you know, and you can write about what you don't know but can figure out. You can write poetry, prose, paragraphs or tomes: whatever moves you, whatever makes you tick. We'll lend you our words. Lend us yours?

Everything2 is owned by Blockstackers Intergalactic (BSI), which consists of Nathan Oostendorp, Jeff Bates, Kurt DeMaagd, and Rob Malda. Our hosting provider is Michigan State University's College of Communication Arts and Science, which is coordinated by Cliff Lampe. Dann Stayskal directs the operations, overall vision, and administrative staff of Everything2. Jack Thompson is the Editor-in-Chief, in charge of the Content Editors, and all editorial decisions. Kyle Hale is the new Lead Developer, in charge of e2coders, edev, and our software development.

Administrative News

Retired gods: I recently swept through the senior staff and retired those who have been inactive for more than a year, and those who no longer needed their powers. This smaller, more flexible staff allows us to more effectively coordinate policy and direction decisions through admin-led focus groups rather than twenty page discussions. We've also had three members of our senior staff offer their retirement in the past six months: Lord Brawl, paraclete and borgo, our heartfelt thanks to you for your help on staff while you were able to participate! We will miss having you around.

Promotions: I've also had the chance to promote four noders to senior staff: in10se, Oolong, RoguePoet, and The Debutante. RoguePoet and in10se are joining the coder-side of the senior staff to help with our software updates, while The Debutante is becoming part of our senior editorial staff. Working both sides of the senior staff is Oolong, helping us both write the code that keeps us running and decide editorial policy. Likewise, kthejoker is now our Lead Developer, coordinating all concerns of our site's software.

Copyright questions: We still get a number of questions about this, so I'll reiterate from my last note: users who submit content to the site retain full copyright to their material. We're working on branching out our options to make open licenses available, such as Creative Commons and Public Domain. We have a group set up here to answer questions about fair use of materials in your writeups as well: The CST_Group has reviewed over 1600 writeups for copyright issues and we're still offering the CST Approved tag for compliant writeups. Message Content_Salvage with questions.

Terms of Service: Our site policy group has been working hard over the past six months drawing up a Terms of Service document which accurately reflects the practices we currently have in place. Its posted for your review at Draft Everything2 Terms of Service. Please let me know if you have any comments about it. It will be going into effect as soon as we've all had a chance to look it over and have our comments answered and suggestions addressed. Our policy group is still writing the first draft of our behavioral standards, which will be posted for similar review when they're ready.

Advertising campaign: We're still planning for our advertising campaign to launch with the new theme. As soon as we get the last bugs worked out of our Zen theme and integrate those themes which won the contest, we'll make PDFs available to download from the frontpage. If you're willing to print off and distribute these, or if you have an idea for a system of rewards for doing so, talk with Jack.

Technical News

New Features: First and foremost, my apologies for the lack of news on our feature developments. There hasn't been much to report, because we didn't have our act together very well. We spent months figuring out if we could pay our developers2, more time architecting and discussing the various features, and yet more time on more pressing matters. Now that Kyle has agreed to take on the position of Lead Developer, we're getting started. These new features should be showing up here as soon as our new team of coders can have them ready. Thanks also to the e2docs group for keeping up with all of this.

New Servers: We've got our new hardware in place, and we've managed to address many of the stability and speed problems. Last week, though, one of our servers threw a drive. This has caused a slight slowdown under peak loads, but we're doing everything we can to address it in short order. HTTP errors will never be a thing of the past, but we can minimize the effects they have on the end user. Many thanks to our hardware support group for keeping things in good working order on our modest budget.

"How can I help?"

If you can volunteer some help, we'd love to speak with you:

  • If you have input on the Terms of Service, behavioral standards, or any administrative development, contact me.
  • If you can help edit or moderate, or will be available to help with the advertising campaign, contact Jack.
  • If you can help code in Perl, JavaScript, XHTML, and CSS, or if you're wiling to help out as a beta tester, talk with Kyle.
  • If you can help maintain our documentation, let wiccanpiper know.

-- Dann Stayskal

1 - I'll respond to these if I need to.

2 - We determined we don't have the money for this.

Hi all-

This is clampe, your friendly neighborhood bandwidth provider. I happened to pop in when there was a high level of consternation about the Terms of Service mentioned below. Part of the document makes it seem like the owners (BSI) claim perpetual license rights to your content. I want to clarify that everyone involved with e2 is 100% and completely devoted to the idea that authors own their content. The purpose of that passage was to indicate that *you* give *us* the right to display the content while it's on the site, but obviously the phrasing isn't clear enough to this point.

So let me say it again. Writers on E2 have full ownership of their content, and can keep it here or remove as YOU SEE FIT. We're privileged to host it here for however long you want, but if you get a book deal and want to remove it, do so. We'll work on the DRAFT of the ToS to make sure that's clear for everyone.

OK, thanks. I don't want to steal thunder from Jack or dann, it just seems like rumors were running rampant and I want to make sure that as far as MSU and BSI are concerned, your content belongs to you.