My E2 membership tends to oscillate. The cycle begins thusly: I discover, or rediscover the site, and start monkeying about with it. Just a few times a week, reading over old favorites, checking on friends. This slides quickly into constant, uninterrupted use. I spend a good chunk of time each day reading, voting, sitting in the catbox trading witticisms, writing notes to other noders about grammar on nodes over five years old.

I am afraid I've been away so long, I don't know if this is the same E2 I left. I've noticed there is something quite obtrusive, and extraneous on top, but I won't bitch. I am far too self-aware to complain about modifications to a free service.

Plus I was never a bitchy/complainy noder.

When I last left, IWhoSawTheFace was in the catbox, any time of the day. Halspal was out, Amnesiac had been banned, or not, for racist comments. The old guard had almost completly fled, and the new guard (those who had joined after E1) were taking more leadership positions.

I spent most of my time trying to read everything about the history of E2 that I could, which was becoming increasingly difficult. Now that the new guard was in place, they started shaving off the excess. This included in-jokes, flame wars, opinion pieces, and any reference to Live Nude Lesbians. Now that they were in charge, they would call the shots about what was, and wasn't, approved content. This leaves some posts with only scant reference. Such is the way with regimes. See the new boss, same as the old boss. But through all of my readings, one question kept coming up:

Who were all of these beautiful people who danced here for a bit, then lit out for the hills?

From the PsuedoIntellectual's bizarre home node swan song, to the Write Ups left behind by Evil Catullus, all of the trolls, all of the hucksters, all of the strange, odd, wonderful things this place had. I proposed an E2 Mythos quest once, and I still think it is a good idea. Capture an oral history from those of us who were here in the beginning before everything just drifts off into space.

Enough about that. The reason why I left the first time is the reason why I left a second time: I had just leveled. I was putting a tremendous amount of time and energy into each write up, and it seemed like the merit system was designed to reward noders who only penned write ups that were wildly popular. Coming up with 50 something writeups on subjects that hadn't been covered well by someone else seemed a laborious task. Especially considering how long I would work on each writeup, taking an entire weekend to chisel out less than 2,000 words. It was just too much pressure, stress. The current system, it seemed to me, would reward me more for not noding.

Having said all of that, I'm back. For a while, anyway.