So I just finished reading mauler's Editor Log: December 2014 and I wanted to add my two cents. I don't believe that revamping the voting and experience system is going to do much to improve the new/lower level user experience. It's not a bad idea, but I don't think it addresses the root cause of the problem and since this is an opinion piece, feel free to disagree with what I'm about to say next. I don't believe that most people are that interested in accumulating XP or leveling up because the idea of a power structure where you get trinkets is not a great incentive to keep people coming back which I think is a far larger problem than attracting new users. If we can't keep the users we have, what's the point of bringing more people on who have less invested in this site and its perpetuity? When I joined I wanted to become a better writer. When you go back and read people's first posts, a lot of them probably have not aged well, however some of these people are considered very good, possibly even great writers today.
People like Lucy-S have published books, and others are doing very cool things outside of E2. I know this would be a lot of extra work, but I think we need to be proving more editorial feedback if we want to encourage people to keep contributing. Not long ago I wrote about wanting to work with an editor. I have gotten great feedback from people here that has been invaluable to me as an author. While there are still many areas where I need to improve, I would not be able to write the way that I can today without E2, and I feel a debt of gratitude for the people who encouraged me, explained what I was doing wrong, and helped guide and shape me as a novice here. I no longer log in and care if I have any votes. I now want more human connections and less artificial constructs like a voting system. This place used to be a lot of fun to come and hang out and chat and the catbox isn't that anymore. I don't think it's really anyone's fault, I don't come in and start chatting the way that I have in the past, and it's not because I don't have things to say. It's because I don't feel like anyone cares.
The talent here is stunning. There are people here that I respect, admire, and love. There are people that I've offended, upset, and alienated, and I feel badly about the interactions where my behavior was less than classy. I'm torn between wanting to stay here because it's familiar and breaking away entirely because this platform isn't working the way that I would like it to. I get more feedback on things I write from my Twitter friends, some of whom have followed me from here to there, and that's what I really crave. Possibly I am unique in wanting feedback, as I mentioned earlier, this is merely my opinion and everyone has differing views and ideas about what will work best for the site, and the unique way that they see E2 and envision its destiny. Over time I've stopped reaching out so perhaps I am part of the problem, and I accept my role in being quieter in the catbox, writing less, and not messaging people the way that was habitual in the past. Whoever you are, I wish you well and pray that you will do some soul searching of your own if you are moved and inspired to keep this place viable. It's a mad world here, and for many years I was happy to be a part of that.