First off let me start by saying that I was never a very good writer. In fact when I first found this place I was a terrible writer. But I found a place here on E2. A place where I could at least attempt to hone my skills. A place where I could contribute.
I am one of only 3 users who started writing on this website after it had standards and still managed to write 1000 nodes. I am one of our twelve m-noders. Some of you have been around long enough to remember back when people used to aspire to that. The term rarely gets used any more though, since writing 1000 nodes in the modern E2 seems like an almost impossible task.
I fell in love with E2 back in 2001. For a hundred years or more 2001 represented the future. Spaceships, flying cars, hoverboards and shiny clothes. Well it turns out we didn't get any of those, but what we did get in 2001 was an E2 that was vibrant, alive and seeing hundreds of new writeups a day. But then people started talking about quality. Now a little bit of quality is a great thing. I was completely supportive of the idea of some level of quality, so supportive in fact that I even wrote a writeup stating that the editors should support quality, and that they should clean their own houses first. You see back then much of the editorial staff had user searches filled with things that they themselves would never let survive in new writeups. Pointing out that little fact publically pretty much assured that I myself would never be allowed to join the staff. I would have to be content to try to shape the database and support the community as a normal noder.
A little bit of quality is a good thing. In the grand scheme of things it really doesn't take the author that much more time to at least give his readers an entire paragraph about the subject in which he felt compelled to comment on. But then someone had an idea to change the voting and experience system to further reward this quality. That was the first big mistake. That little voting and experience system that the administration doesn't take all that seriously was the single largest influence on the website. The proposed change essentially did two things, it encouraged people not to write nodes, and it further entrenched the old boy's network by favoring older users and older nodes over newer ones. When the userbase was asked for comments on the proposed changes I gave mine, and very clearly outlined what the results of those changes would be. My concerns were ignored, and then everything I said would happen came to pass.
I don't think I need to explain again why things turned out the way they did. It is simple enough to say that changes in editorial policy prompted changes in the website reward structure and the two just fed off of each other.
A few paragraphs ago I was talking about how I once fell in love with E2. I still love E2, I just can no longer say I am in love with E2. You see, we can't go anyplace anymore, we can't do anything together. But we can change that. I believe in the current E2 administration. The active administration today is people who really care about the website, not just the people who happened to log in back when the whole thing started.
You have the power to make E2 what you want it to be. It starts with you. Now I am not saying that you should go out there and write garbage, but go out there and write something. There used to be a time where people would fill in any hole in the database they found. Now they won't do that because they don't want to spend 5 hours crafting a node that only 9 people will read. You see, most people will read a paragraph or two on anything, but those giant 1000-3000 word nodes that have come into vogue on E2, I have a little feeling that much of the time the users just upvote them without even reading them.
Remember where I said that 2001 was the future? Perhaps it should be again.