Young or old, if you're new here, start by reading Everything FAQ. All of it.

Everything 2 is a fun place, but it is different from anything else you may have seen on the World Wide Web.

It can be very confusing at first. I once mentioned E2 to someone I wrote about. The next day I talked to him on the phone. He said E2 was strange. Why? Because it was full of links that lead to nowhere.

Advice #1

Try not to confuse people. We really want E2 to be the ultimate place on the Internet, one that any and all Internet users will know about and come to whenever they want to find an answer to a question.

That will not happen with improper links. So, please create your links carefully. I am not saying you need to check and test every single word you link. Just note how many links I am creating in this write-up. If I were to check and test them all, I'd spend all day doing so.

The trick is I have been around here for a while and have a good idea about what links may work. Please note I am only linking to individual words, not to entire expressions or lengthy sentences. Also note I am only linking to verbs and nouns in their dictionary form.

Yes, you can create a link to just a part of a word. So, skip the -ing in words ending with it. And skip the -s at the end of plural words.

And, by the way, never ever use a link for emphasis. Use HTML tags for that purpose. If you don't know HTML, just read E2 HTML tags.

And, by all means, do link! You will upset a lot of people if you create a write-up with no links. You will also upset a lot of people if you create a write-up with totally meaningless links (as described above).

Advice #2

This is the Internet. You know what that means? It means you never know too much about the rest of us. Nor do we know much about you.

That is part of the beauty of the Internet. I am fifty, which to you may seem like I am old (I am not, I am a middle-aged man, but that's not my point here). And I get to talk to young people, even children, on an equal level. I love that (hey, believe it or not, I was young and even a child once). You will get a chance to talk to many people who have a lot of experience and are willing to share it.

Alas, it has a downside. The main problem is the use of the language. And I am not talking about being polite here (though, trust me, that does not hurt). What I am talking about is generational slang. The young people of every generation create their own slang, mostly because they don't want the older generation to know what they are talking about, or, sometimes, because it is cool.

The tricky part of it is that here you do want everyone to know what you are talking about. So, please, make sure everyone can understand what you are saying (or, actually, writing). And not just today. Also tomorrow, a year from now, even a hundred years from now. That may sound silly to you, but I continue to find things I wrote on this or that BBS fifteen years ago whenever I enter my name to a search engine.

Someone else suggested that you should never write anything you wouldn't want people to read when you run for Congress. Good advice! And don't think that using a handle makes you anonymous. Sooner or later you will feel comfortable enough to tell someone who you really are. Trust me, your political opponent will find out and use it against you. And if you think you'll never run for Congress, well, you're probably right, most people don't. But you never know. Besides, it may not be Congress, it may be a job you don't get (or, worse yet, get fired from years from now) because you said something without thinking on E2. For more advice on this, read Node for the Ages.

Advice #3

Don't be a smart alec. It is often tempting to post a smart remark as a write-up. I've done it myself. And I've been downvoted for it. So will you if you do that. Worse yet, your write-up will probably disappear. That means you wasted your time. You also wasted an editor's time.

Advice #4

Don't ever, ever, ever, create a write-up just to get enough of them to move to the next level! If you don't have something to say, don't say it. You'll get an idea sooner or later. It is better to create a few good write-ups than many bad ones.

As strange as it may sound, the noders who write a few quality write-ups move up faster than those who churn out many poor ones. See, there is this C! thingie you can see on many write-ups. When you write something really worth reading, chances are you'll get that C!. That's four experience points for you: One for writing it, three for the C!. So you move up about eleven times faster with each good write-up than with a poor one. Not to mention that really bad ones are deleted and you lose XP for that, so you're actually moving backwards.

A 19th Century philosopher claimed that quantity turns into quality. Don't believe him!

Advice #5

Write all you know about the subject. That is, don't create write-ups with just a few words. Don't ever leave us with the tell me more feeling. Because if you do, you'll probably be downvoted and keep wondering why anyone would downvote a factual write-up. Almost always the answer is because you did not tell me enough.

Advice #6

Don't make the first write-up of a definition-style node a joke. Yes, humor has its place on E2. And it is appreciated. But suppose someone wants to know what the word politician means. (Remember, not everyone here is fluent in English, so it is perfectly possible someone might want to look up politician).

If you happen to be the author of the first write-up of the politician node and say something like an evil bastard whose only aim in life is to control others, well, anyone who knows what the word politician means may find it humorous. Or maybe not. But some will. But if someone is genuinely trying to find out what the word politician means, you will either mislead him, or, worse yet, frustrate him and make him think E2 is not a reliable source of information. Is that what you want?

Advice #7

Actually, I think I'll stop here. Six pieces of advice should be enough. That's half a dozen. So, instead of giving you advice #7, I'll just repeat what I said at the beginning: Read Everything FAQ! Not just once. Re-read it in a week and every so often. It'll save you a lot of headache.