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Encyclopedia > Soft links

Everything2, or E2 for short, is a large collaborative Internet community, currently at www.everything2.com. It describes itself as having "grown from being a very simple user-written encyclopedia to an online community with a focus to write, publish and edit a quality database of information, insight and humor." Brockhaus Konversations-Lexikon, 1902 An encyclopedia (alternatively encyclopaedia) is a written compendium of knowledge. ... A virtual community is a group whose members are connected by means of information technologies, typically the Internet. ...

Contents


Nodes and writeups

E2 users called noders create entries called nodes and add information in multiple writeups. Only logged-in users can create writeups, and only the author of a writeup or an editor appointed by the site administrators can edit a writeup. E2 categorizes writeups into four types: person, place, idea, and thing. Writeups are written in a simplified HTML dialect and do not contain images. As of 25 July 2005, 1,025,556 nodes and 444,183 writeups exist. In computing, HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is a markup language designed for the creation of web pages and other information viewable in a browser. ... July 25 is the 206th day (207th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 159 days remaining. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


There are other types of nodes that do not contain writeups; for instance, the administrators can create "superdoc" nodes (similar to Wikipedia's special pages) such as Everything New Nodes and Page of Cool that allow interaction, and each user has a "homenode" where they can add a short autobiography or other text (or a picture, if they are level six or above -- see Rewards, below). The Wikipedia logo. ... Special pages for all users Create account / log in Preferences My watchlist Recent changes Upload file File list Gallery of new files User list Admins list Statistics Random page Orphaned pages Uncategorized pages Uncategorized categories Unused files Wanted pages Short pages Long pages New pages Oldest pages Dead-end pages...


Links

Hard links in E2 are simply words or phrases surrounded by [square brackets]. Any words inside square brackets in a writeup will become a link to the E2 node of that title. If a node with that title does not yet exist, following the link will bring up the option to create it. Recently, partial support for external URLs has been implemented. A hardlinked URL will provide, in addition to the option to create a new node, a link to the URL. Heavy use of external URLs is discouraged, however, as E2 is supposed to stand on its own and contain a largely self-supportive infrastructure.


Pipe links are a variant form of hard links. While a hard link to the node Wikipedia would look like [Wikipedia], the pipe link allows the author a greater degree of freedom without restricting what nodes can be linked to. For example, one could write "[Wikipedia|Online encyclopedias] have started to become common sources in my students' research papers." The sentence looks like this to the reader, "Online encyclopedias have started to become common sources in my students' research papers." The Wikipedia logo. ...


Noders can link to a specific writeup within a node by appending (person), (place), (idea) or (thing) to a pipe link. For example, the pipe link [Wiki (thing)|Wiki] links directly to the writeup of the type thing within the Wiki node. If the node contains more than one writeup of the specified type, the pipe link returns a "Duplicates Found" page linking to every writeup of the specified type within the node.


Pipe links are comparable in function but not usage to Wikipedia's piped links. Unlike piped links, pipe links on E2 often add "easter egg" content, such as commentary, humor and hidden information.[1]. A virtual Easter egg is a hidden message or feature in an object such as a movie, book, CD, DVD, or computer program. ...


At the bottom of every node, the system displays up to 64 soft links, though each node can store an unlimited number thereof. ("Guest User" -- any viewer not logged in -- can see 24, a logged-in user can see up to 48, and the senior administrators ("gods") can see up to 64). These are two-way links intended to approximate "thought processes". Whenever a logged-in user moves from one node to another, be it through a hard link, another soft link, or through the title search box, the system creates (or strengthens) the bidirectional soft link between the two; however, some nodes -- namely the special pages and the user profiles -- will not display the soft links so created. By repeatedly moving from one node to another, users can and do deliberately create such soft links; some users will use these soft links to make anonymous comments on others' writing. The site's administrators have the ability to remove soft links at their discretion.


Firm links are special, editor-created links that serve to redirect between nodes. Firm links are typically used to link multiple forms of a single name or title to aid searching and ensure that readers find the content that they are seeking. A typical use of firm links would be to permanently link the empty node titled 'U.S.A' to a node titled 'United States of America' that contained writeups about the topic.


Copyright policy

The copyright for a writeup rests with the author, and no agreement to any kind of license is entered into by writing on E2 (except for giving the site permission to publish). Authors retain the right to place their work in the public domain, release it under a copyleft license such as GNU or Creative Commons or to request the removal of their work from the site at some later date. Copyright symbol. ... The reversed c is the copyleft symbol. ... GNU is a free software operating system. ... Version 2 of Some Rights Reserved logo Some Rights reserved logo No Rights reserved logo Listen to this article · (info) This audio file was created from the revision dated 2005-12-02, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ...


For a long time, the posting of copyrighted song lyrics and poetry to the site without approval from the copyright holders, while certainly frowned upon, was not actually prohibited. E2 chose to only passively enforce copyright law, in a manner similar to an ISP. This policy changed in August 2003 to a more active one where writeups containing copyrighted material had to either conform to fair use guidelines (length limits, proportion of quoted material to new text) or be posted with permission. The policy change provoked some users to leave the community. The fair use doctrine is an aspect of United States copyright law that provides for the licit, non-licensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another authors work under a four-factor balancing test. ...


Rewards

The administrators loosely based E2's reward system on role-playing games. Every time a user creates a writeup, they earn one experience point (XP). Users with at least 20 contributed writeups and 50 experience points can vote (up or down) on a writeup, which has a 1/3 chance of giving or taking an experience point from the author depending on the direction of the vote and a 1/5 chance of giving a point to the voter. After voting on a writeup, a noder can see the writeup's "reputation," or number of positive and negative votes (administrators do not need to vote to see a writeup's reputation). The site's editors delete writeups that do not meet editorial standards or those whose removal has been author-requested. The only effect writeup deletion has on the author's XPs is that the 1 XP the author got for creating the writeup is removed. A role-playing game (RPG) is a type of game in which players assume the roles of characters and collaboratively create narratives. ...


New levels are attained by reaching a predefined, but arbitrary total of XPs and writeups, which are given in the FAQ. An 'honor roll' further rewards users whose writeups have a 'reputation' that has achieved a high interquartile mean by lowering the writeups required to achieve any given level by up to a half.


The system grants special powers at other levels of writeups and experience, such as "cool" (reward author with three XPs and send the writeup to the front page), the ability to create basic chat rooms on the site, space for uploading a picture to a user's "homenode", and the ability to hide one's self in the list of logged-in users. A chat room is an online forum where people can chat online (talk by broadcasting messages to people on the same forum in real time). ...


Messaging

Everything2 provides two communication tools: the Chatterbox and the message system.


The Chatterbox is similar to a chat room. It appears as a panel on the right side of the page that logged-in users can use to read conversations and participate in them. The site's administrators used to have the ability to "borg" -- prevent from using the Chatterbox or message system -- those users whose behavior violated the unwritten standards of politeness and decorum. This was done through a bot called EDB (short for "Everything Death Borg"), which announced when it has "swallowed" a user. These silencings lasted for five minutes, though persistent trolls were silenced for a longer period -- sometimes permanently. As of 2003, the EDB was no longer much used, only making mostly token appearances for humorous effect. A chat room is an online forum where people can chat online (talk by broadcasting messages to people on the same forum in real time). ... Bot may refer to: Internet bot: a type of computer program Larval Bot Kill Bot Bot, Tarragona: a small municipality in the comarca (county) of Terra Alta, Tarragona province, Catalonia, Spain video game Bot, see Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, small, bloblike creatures that jump about and have no... The neutrality of this article is disputed. ...


The message system lets users send private messages to other users. The messages are stored in the user's mailbox to be read when they next log in. The main use for the message system is giving constructive criticism to the author of a writeup; however, it can be and is used like any medium of private communication.


History and society

The predecessor of E2 was a similar database called Everything (later labeled "Everything1" or "E1") which was started around March 1998 by Nate Oostendorp and was initially closely aligned with and promoted by Slashdot. The E2 software offered vastly more features, and the Everything1 data was twice incorporated into E2: once on November 13, 1999 and again in January of 2000. 1998 (MCMXCVIII) is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ... Slashdot (often abbreviated to /.) is a popular technology-related website, updated many times daily with articles that are short summaries of stories on other websites with links to the stories, and provisions for readers to comment on each story. ... November 13 is the 317th day of the year (318th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 48 days remaining. ... 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday, and was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. ... This article is about the year 2000. ...


The Everything2 server used to be physically located with the Slashdot servers. However, some time after OSDN acquired Slashdot, and moved the Slashdot servers, this hosting was terminated on short notice. This resulted in Everything2 being offline from roughly November 6 to December 9, 2003. Everything2 has since been hosted by the University of Michigan. The Open Source Technology Group (OSTG) describes itself as a news, collaboration and distribution community for IT and Open Source development, implementation and innovation. ... November 6 is the 310th day of the year (311th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 55 days remaining. ... December 9 is the 343rd day (344th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... University of Michigan, Ann Arbor The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (U-M or U of M) is a public coeducational university in Michigan, United States. ...


E2 is privately owned by the Blockstackers Intergalactic company, but does not make a profit and is viewed by its long-term users as a collaborative work-in-progress. Some of its administrators are affiliated with Blockstackers, some are not. Administrators are often criticized for making policy decisions without consulting Everything2's user base, and the site is not a democracy, but the degree to which users influence decisions depends on the nature of the decisions and the administrators making them.


Writeups in E1 were limited to 512 bytes in size. This, plus the predominantly "geek" membership back then and the lack of chat facilities, meant the early work was often of poor quality and was overburdened with self referential humor. As E2 has expanded, higher quality standards have developed, much of the old material has been removed, and the membership has become broader. Many noders prefer to write encyclopedic articles similar to those on Wikipedia. Some write fiction or poetry, some discuss issues, and some write daily journals, called "daylogs". Unlike Wikipedia, E2 does not have an enforced neutral point of view. An informal survey of noder political beliefs indicates that the userbase tends to lean left politically. There are conservative voices as well, however, and while debate nodes (of any kind, political or not) are rarely tolerated, well-formed points of view from any part of the political or cultural spectrum are welcome. Self-referential humor relies on making light of itself in some manner. ... The Wikipedia logo. ... shut up chris See also Wikipedia:Neutral point of view Wikipedias neutrality policy. ... The examples and perspective in this article do not represent a worldwide view. ...


Like other online communities, E2 has a social hierarchy and code of behavior, to which it is sometimes difficult for a newcomer to adjust. Moreover, some people complain that new users are held to a different standard from established contributors, and that their writeups are singled out for deletion regardless of content. Another complaint is that all too often, site administrators remove articles that they do not agree with or which they do not see explicit value in, thus biasing the content of the database. Others dismiss such complaints as unjustified; they observe that few communities treat newcomers exactly like long-time members, and they claim that those who learn and obey the rules are usually—though not always—treated fairly.


There is no consistent, written site policy on acceptable behavior. Bannings have occurred for antisocial behaviour, albeit very rarely and only after a more personal approach to change the individual's behavior. Though these decisions are broadly accepted, some current and ex-members of the site believe that this amounts to mismanagement, and point to accumulation of disgruntled ex-users as evidence of a problem.


Everything2 solicits donations and states that the accumulated funds are earmarked for bandwidth and colocation costs, but does not disclose the specific details of how these donations are spent. This policy has met criticism due to concerns that the donations may be mishandled.


The management regard Everything2 as a publication, to which authors submit content. Although Everything2 does not seek to become an encyclopedia (even though the contents of Webster's 1913 dictionary have been assimilated into the database), a substantial amount of factual content has been submitted to Everything2. Brockhaus Konversations-Lexikon, 1902 An encyclopedia (alternatively encyclopaedia) is a written compendium of knowledge. ... 1888 advertisement for Websters Dictionary Websters Dictionary is a common title given to English language dictionaries in the United States, deriving its name from American lexicographer Noah Webster. ...


Policy states that "Everything2 is not a bulletin board". Writeups which exist as replies to other writeups, or which add a minor point to them or which otherwise do not stand well alone are discouraged, not least because the deletion of the original writeup orphans any replies. This policy helps to moderate flame wars on controversial topics. This article is about the Internet meaning of the word flaming. For other meanings, and meanings of the word flame, see Flame. ...


Everything2 is not a wiki, and there is no direct way for non-content editors to make corrections or amendments to another author's article. Avenues for correction involve discussing the writeup with its author; petitioning a content editor; adding a note in a special "broken nodes" section; or superseding the original writeup with an original, stand-alone follow-up. Look up Wiki in Wiktionary, the free dictionary Wikibooks has more about this subject: Wiki Science A wiki (IPA: <wee-kee> or <wick-ey> (according to Ward Cunningham) is a type of website that allows users to add and edit content and is especially suited for constructive collaborative authoring. ...


Software

E2 is run by the open source Everything Engine, a Perl-based system; its data is stored in a MySQL database. Open source refers to projects that are open to the public and which draw on other projects that are freely available to the general public. ... The Everything Engine is an open source content management system written in Perl. ... Programming Republic of Perl logo Perl, also Practical Extraction and Report Language (a backronym, see below), is a programming language released by Larry Wall on December 18, 1987 that borrows features from C, sed, awk, shell scripting (sh), and (to a lesser extent) from many other programming languages. ... David Axmark (left) and Michael Monty Widenius, Founders of MySQL AB, at a conference MySQL is a multithreaded, multi-user, SQL (Structured Query Language) Database Management System (DBMS) with an estimated six million installations. ...


See also

Ekşi Sözlük is a collaborative hypertext dictionary that follows almost the same concept as Everything2 or H2G2. ... h2g2 is an online community engaged in the construction of a guide to life, the universe, and everything. ... The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy was first and foremost a 1978 radio comedy series written by Douglas Adams. ... The Wikipedia logo. ...

External links

  • Everything2.com home page
  • Voting/Experience System@Everything2.com
  • Who owns our writeups?@Everything2.com
  • Wikipedia@Everything2.com

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