While I doubt anyone reading this will understand this post, I am putting it here for posterity because within 10 seconds of submitting it to E2 it was downvoted, and within 30 seconds (count ’em) it was killed. Sigh. Not sure what I was trying to prove, but I thought it was good, consolidated advice, and obviously TPTB didn’t. (Because I’ve removed the E2 hard links, some things don’t make as much sense)
It is an old adage of the internet — before contributing to a place, you must lurk, learn, and understand. This is called learning by example, and it is not something you should do here.
As Everything has developed, it has become much more complex, and, possibly, more hostile. There are many things that you, the newbie noder will see so often that you will take it as evidence that it is allowed, but it is not. Here are a few pointers (yes there are more and many, but here are the ones I didn’t find in time):
- Don’t node about noding
This node for an example. I, as a current level one, have no business, in the eyes of the e2 community, noding about what one should be noding about. Therefore, I will receive many downvotes. This is an example of what not to do. Ever. In the FAQ it might say you generally should avoid this. That is not true. You must always avoid this.
- Don’t capitalize titles
This node for example. You learn through school and life that A Title Is Capitalized. Not on Everything it ain’t! Capitalize the first word, capitalize nothing else. Don’t use a period, don’t use all caps. Yes, people do it. Those are people who are allowed to do it. If you do it, you get bitchslapped.
- Never, ever, ever mention one of your nodes in the chatterbox
This node for example. Even if a dozen people have /msged you asking for clarification, even if the chatterbox is filled with discussion of your node, don’t you dare link to it or even mention its title. This is called nodevertising and it is bad. Even though the FAQ and the writeup say that it is alright on occasion, they are wrong. It is not.
- Don’t ever link to non-existant nodeshells
This link for example. It doesn’t take you anywhere, therefore it is not useful. You won’t know this when writing your writeup, so you have to go back and fix these things immediately when you find them out.
- Never complain or even mention downvotes
You might be angry, you might be legitimately interested, you might be curious or want to learn. Doesn’t matter. People vote, they don’t explain why, and you just have to deal with it.
- Never give up
I might sound like I hate e2, or I am frustrated. I’m not. Don’t give up. Any meaningful community has a high barrier to entry, that is what makes it so powerful. Communities are always suspicious, wary, even outright hostile towards newcomers and outsiders. Tough it out, give it time, and eventually they will come to accept you as one of their own.
One final word of advice: People are much more vicious in public than in person. Often times /msging someone with a non-confrontational question or reply means the difference between anger and simple disagreement. The content editors and gods got to where they are for a reason. You may disagree with them, but try not to aggrevate them. They can be your best friends and allies.
If I were ever allowed to post this again (which I never will be), I would probably change the ending.