Ha, the title sounds mighty enough. Noone dare to say anything else ;o)
I feel I need to write this page - if you don't like it, just skip it - it's another one of those boring meta discussions while staring at ones own belly button.
SnotNose: Question/thought for Arno re: his 12/14 entry (below): I feel similarly to you and am puzzled by strong reactions to the addition of content here. I'm even more puzzled as to why people bother to propose to add something rather than just add it. I'm further puzzled when I find myself doing that too! If I don't need approval then I should not seek it. Doing so gives power where none is deserved.
But what about deletion? That happens too and it is often good (IMHO). Perhaps one issue is that the ideas of "master edit" and "librarian" are not entirely consistent with the "build your own sandcastle" idea. How can they be reconciled? Related: who are the librarians and what are their roles? A page providing names and roles might be helpful.
TimBrent--The main problem with the content part that what one may consider improper, others may consider as proper (having started the Aesthetics and Ukiyo-E pages,I can say I consider them proper),and views change (at first, I didn't understand why all the pages for Hikaru no Go.) We deshi should understand that taste is subjective.
Charles I would echo what Arno says about the evolution - even though the early days here were before I had broadband and could contribute freely. What I would like to say is that SL operates a quite 'pure' wiki model (low security and easy access, and no Editor figures); with success. It means content is added quickly. Nothing explicit is done, though, about identifying 'core' material'; and if it were, there might be less peace, rather than more. I regard that as an ongoing problem for SL as a teaching resource: which is certainly not all it is or will be.
If you have a look about what SL is today, you will find it is a very rich and vibrating place. We have about 2500 visitors/day viewing close to half a million pages per month. With about 8000 pages (17MB pure text) SL caters to every taste. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the success that is SL. What made SL so successful?
The short answer is: the go community. Without our regular and occasional contributors we would be nowhere near where we stand today. But there is a longer answer to it as well: SL could grow so rapidly and be home to so many deshis, because everyone was welcome and every new idea was embraced. Never mind that SL was not designed to play ongoing games, never mind that we did not envision blogs nor pages like KGS wishlist: every of those ideas found its way into SL.
With more users and contributors came more ideas, but also more opinions were brought into SL. Every now and then this lead to some discussion and exchanges which were (in hindsight) aji-keshi or mochikomi, some left cold feelings behind.
What also changed is that contributors started to feel about SL in terms of ownership. After all, they have been investing many hours of time into SL. This sense of ownership and identification lead to more responsibility. It is out of this responsibility that people try to protect SL from harm, be it from vandals or otherwise.
While this is a noble intention, there is also the downside that people try to protect SL from content they deem improper. Which goes right against the very nature that attracted so many contributors in the first place: the warm atmosphere where every new idea was welcome. The discussions (or reciting of arguments) you see on SL on many places today is the direct consequence of this. Even worse, as people have started to identify themselves with SL an attack on SL is an attack on them and vice versa. Fights occur.
I don't understand what people are fighting about. SL is a large sandbox, in fact, it is so large some people mistake it for a beach. What I'm trying to say is that everyone can build his own sandcastle here. I don't understand why certain pages are a threat. Let them have their sandcastle, and you can have yours. And where your pages intersect be respectful and share alike (e.g. like on the liberty page which gives room to both meanings of the term). I don't see an issue that can not be sorted out.
I'm happy about each person who brings their unique gift to SL. But don't assume that you can steer SL in one specific direction - it won't happen. And if someone has a bad day and needs to vent his anger, then accept that and take it for what it is: an otherwise nice and respectful person just having a bad day.
Now, give a hug to each other, enjoy each new contribution that is shared with you, rejoice about every new person you meet on SL, and find new insight in every opinion that is not yours. At least, this is what I do.