Why I'm Staying Here at E2
It took a lengthy server break to make me see it, but I've finally realized that all those other places out there on the Web will never be quite as cool as E2 is.
- Community, community, community. You guys rock. Even though places like LiveJournal and chat boards are specifically set up for feedback and conversation, I get far more thoughtful and insightful comments here.
- Content, content, content. This ain't no hushy-shushy library full of dry facts; it's like a super-duper Chinese Buffet of writing. Gritchka's Linguistini is always hearty, the Chop Suey Jet-Poop is always delicious, and the Fried Iceowl is amazing -- you should try it! Find a stale E1 eggroll? The wait staff is replacing them with fresh new treats wherever we find them. And if the Newbie Green Beans are a little wilted today -- they'll be crisp tomorrow. You can read yourself silly here, and there's always more.
- No silly limitations on content. I can write about any damn thing that pops into my weird little noggin and I'll get helpful feedback if I ask for it. I've ended up writing and selling articles that just plain wouldn't have existed if I hadn't found this place. E2 encourages me to try new things.
- By that same token, E2 doesn't force you to give up rights to your work. I'm all for the open source movement, but the real world of publishing doesn't work that way ... and isn't likely to. People seldom know or care who wrote their software, but once they get past the utilitarian level of an encyclopedia article or manual, readers crave the pleasure and insight found in individual voices; the generic novel was a spectacular failure. Just because both use alphanumeric characters does not mean that writing and software can be treated like the same thing.
- XP! Chings! New level privileges! Yes, it's not "real" like a cookie or a paycheck, but it's still encouragment, and we need that kind of stuff.
- Anonymity if you want it, identity if you don't. You can be yourself here, or be somebody else. It's all good, as long as you're good.
- We have standards and goals. Yes, we expect things from people joining our group -- we expect people to try to do better than they had to on LiveJournal or Usenet or their own personal website. If you stick with us, you can become a better writer, a better coder, heck, maybe even a better cook, crafter or thinker than you were when you first arrived. And we'll be happy to help you. All you gotta do is ask.
So, in short, although I might not be around as much as I was before because I finally got a full-time job, I'm here to stay. And now that the servers have the safe harbor of the University of Michigan, I think the odds are much better that E2 is here for the long haul as well.
Let's get back to work.
This party's only just started.