Forgive me, Father. It has been two years since my last Editor Log
. Having re-read it, I am delighted to see that little has changed. A recent intake of new editors raised few eyebrows, and the newcomers seem to be settling nicely into their expanded roles. One question which was raised, however, was "What should I put into an Editor Log"? and I must admit that I could not easily answer the question. Suffice to say that each individual has their own ideas, and each doubtless will continue to bring different things to the party.
Time rolls on and little changes. Newbies come and go, and we hope that the better ones stay to enrich the wonder that is E2. Some noders pass along and leave their footprints in the sands of time (oh, I hate that cliche, but it'll have to do), others decide to throw their teddies out of the pram or decide not to share their writings further. The saddest thing to me is when someone decides to have their contributions nuked, and I cannot think of anyone here who would handle such a request without some small pang, and yet this is the way it has always been, will always be.
Editors have taken on the role of gardeners, watching over the plot, weeding out anything harmful to the garden, and feeding and nurturing the plants. Some prefer vegetable garden, others flowers, yet others houseplants, but all contribute to the greater whole. E2 is a permaculture, with room for every type of plant, each having its own purpose. Keeping the balance right is tricky, and yet all wish to see a happy, healthy, attractive and productive plot of land develop.
On the Raising of the bar
In maintaining the beauty of the place, sometimes drastic measures need to be taken. Some of these changes have sparked comment from many, most notable of which was the decision to eradicate copyright works, notably lyrics. The E2 Copyright Changes were almost inevitable though, and have to do with *gasp* raising the bar (a phrase much bandied about and possibly, misunderstood). For myself, I was pleased to see it. I have long held the belief that Everything2 is a place for writers, and an oft-used phrase in my Klaproth messages is "This is a place for writers, and I would rather see your writing than someone else's". I see that being here, one is part of a community, where one can develop, if only one listens to the comments of others.
The raising of standards has had some interesting side-effects. One is the feeling that somehow, short write-ups are a Bad Thing, to be downvoted and/or nuked away. There is value in conciseness, however, and many are the topics for which there is little to be said, and yet to say nothing would be a crime. I am all in favour of short writeups, provided they are well-written, and if they reflect all that can be said about a subject, then so be it. I'd rather see a concise piece than one full of excess verbiage†.
There is much to be said for simplicity. The excellent Writing for a wider audience says everything for me, as it reflects a need raised by many readers - that information should be informative and accessible. I recently had a discussion with cakedamber on the subject of mathematics, and I made mention of the fact that I simply don't understand many of the concepts in some of the maths nodes (and physics too, come to that). Now I would love to understand some of these concepts, and always welcome any writing which throws light onto a concept I'd otherwise struggle to deal with. The noder has promised to help with some of that.
There is a lot to be said for using simple language, and I am all in favour of an intrductory paragraph in any write-up which serves to explain in layman's terms some of the simpler aspects of the topic under discussion. If I could have just one wish granted, it would be that highly technical topics could have at least a partial explanation which could be understood by the average noder (a category I place myself firmly in).
E2 is Down, Long Live E2
Other developments show how important this place is for so many people. During the recent semi-planned downtime, there were many who were at a complete loss for what to do, where to go. I managed to find something to do for myself, and did note a big jump in visitors to my own website, and allow myself a small preen when I note that my suggestion for a 100-word writing challenge was taken up by so many (thanks, iDeath, for prompting that). On my return, I was delighted to note that my feelings for the place were stronger than ever. Like many others, I had been to places such as Wikipedia, and while I found some comfort there, it was but small comfort. The wiki was dry, and I had missed the creative beat, the wit and humour and personality that is to be found here.
On my return, I found others felt the same way. We all quickly found our accustomed places and carried on. In short, I am still happy to be here. I will have been here three years soon, and you know, I don't regret a minute of it. You aren't perfect, E2, but then what mistress is?
† An unncessary tautology, I know ;)