Everything 2 is an interesting site to say the least. It has ideas and definitions from different people all over the world. It's drive for excellent written word is commendable and its wealth of intelligent and outspoken users is astonishing. But it does have some notable short comings within its system of experience. Specifically that it promotes a form of intellectual elitism that I have tried to avoid in my academic experiences.
As I understand it, within the voting system on E2, one can have their write-ups up voted, down voted and "Cooled". Each of which has a different effect upon experience. Unfortunately, herein lies the problem. What are people casting these votes based on? Are they judging writing capability? Relevance of the write-up? How much they agree with the content?
A user can be up voting and down voting on whims. They could conceivably have a bias against a particular user. But, more likely, they are simply being human and have biases against certain ideas. Biases are natural, everyone has them whether they admit it or not. Unfortunately, biases effect how people make votes. And when someone is voting on an idea or concept, they will invariably vote according to how much they agree with the concept at hand.
Everything 2 is a compilation of factual and conceptual information. Facts are fairly easy to vote on based on their accuracy. It is opinions and ideas that make things difficult. If a user votes based on how much they agree with a write-up they are contributing to this intellectual elitism. No idea or concept is any better than any other.
Unfortunately, such a voting system leads to a bias against people with minority opinions and makes votes useless on controversial issues. For example, if I were to create a write-up about lesbianism that attributes it as young females inability to maintain stable emotional involvement with men, I would have a bunch of angry lesbians down voting me. The quality of my writing or support for my ideas would be irrelevant.
The elitism is created by encouraging people to think like other people. The voting system effectively rewards those who do write-ups that others agree with and penalizes those who don't conform. This makes it very difficult to spawn new ideas. Especially upon initial resistance. If I could (this is all theory here) defend my lesbianism concept with studies showing less than 1% of young females who claim to be lesbian remain lesbian later in life. Would that not support my view point in some way? Too my knowledge, no studies of that sort have been done. Does that make the idea any less valid? No. Ideas start somewhere, why not here?
The solution to this problem is to take experience and reward capabilities out of others hands and into your own. The point of the site is to encourage writing and thinking. It should not be discouraging it on any level. Therefore, people should be rewarded for interaction with the users of the site. To promote this, a criticism reply should be created. It would be just like any other write-up but is designed for users to respond to the things they like or don't like about another users posts. A criticism post may even add to the experience of the original poster as a reward for creating a topic that deserves discussion and feedback. Also, the voting system should not effect the target user's experience either way. Casting votes should still give the voter experience for spending time and effort on e2. If you want to approve of a user, you should C! their posts.
I suppose some users get a sense of self-validation from votes when they get an overwhelming approval rating. And as nice as that is, it encourages people to conform. And I don't like or want to do that. I want to be part of a community where all ideas are accepted. We should encourage thinking and writing, not elitism and conformity.
Having said all this, I'm still quite impressed with e2 as it is now. It is a wonderful source for both humorous and serious information.