Noding about noding so I thought I'd stick it here. There are also some trolls about, so I thought I would share.
A brief noder autobiography
Metaphorically, I used to take a noodle from the pot and fling it at the wall. Sometimes it would stick, sometimes it would not, and sometimes it would fall behind the stove and get covered with brown gack. When I first started cooking noodles and flinging them against the wall, and this seemingly random behavior occurred, I would curse the wall, curse the brown gack, curse gravity. None of this got me anywhere. It made me hoarse, and it annoyed the noodles, brown gack, and gravity.
In time I learned that all this was wasted effort. So now I have learned to just fling the noodles and be content. True, some still fall and some still get covered with brown gack, but I take no notice. I just fling.
This is like my relationship over the years with E2. At first I noded (flung noodles), and while some did well, some were downvoted (fell off the wall) and others got nuked (covered with brown gack). I thought all this was horribly unfair and elitist. It was obvious to me that I was getting punished for what others were getting away with. Eventually I realized that, while this was a valid observation, there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. Just like gravity, the ways of E2 are an inescapable fact of life. Noders are the way they are, and I am not going to change them. So now, I do the stealth noder thing. Or I don't; I read. Or sometimes I /msg people when I think their writeups are good. Or I tell them the misspelled something or have a dead link. Or I refer a nodeshell or a questionable node to an editor. Or I don't visit E2 at all. Maybe I'll become an editor someday, and remembering my experience, set a better example.
It's only a website. I can always do something else.
How to quit E2 and how not to
I have quit E2 so many times it is not funny. I have done it quietly and I have done it noisily. Other noders' quitting is the stuff of legend -- see anything having to do with the Azamoth affair for an example.
Here is the thing. No one cares. This was the hardest lesson for me to learn. It's still hard to swallow. Whenever dannye or somebody sends me a /msg that he/she has nuked my node for some reason, the first thoughts to run through my head are "But everyone else writes smart ass nodes like that," "I just saw a node you wrote that was worse than mine," "You're just doing this because I am not in the clique," and so on and so on. Earlier in my E2 career, I raised a big stink about double standards and how earning your bullshit is a euphemism for elitism, blah blah blah.
What I have learned to do is to step back and cool off. Some times I don't come to Everything2 for weeks. Look at when I first signed on, and then do a user search on me and check out the dates on my nodes. You'll notice that there are obvious clumps where I would node a lot of stuff. Then the power structure would take notice of some of it and take a flyswatter to some of it. That would piss me off, and I would take my ball and go home. For a while.
My point is if you are going to quit, quit. Take your righteous anger, go, and do it quietly. Don't be a prick about it like I have from time to time. You aren't going to change anything by making a scene no matter how right you are. Do you think that people who have been here since Everything was an Etch-a-sketch, people with 20 zillion nodes and 40 bazillion XP are going to hear your little newbie tirade and suddenly have a Saul/Paul-like revelation? If you honestly think so, put the bong down for a second, and think again.
Everything is not for everyone. Everything is not a democracy. Everything is not a socialist/anarchist utopia. Everything doesn't belong to everyone; it belongs to the EDC, the people who maintain the boxes it resides on, the people who maintain the code, and, only by slimmest of margins, the people who have contributed the most content. That last population is open for debtate.