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[personal profile] torachan
I posted this in my journal the other day and now realise I should have posted here instead/as well.

So [personal profile] cesare recently made a post talking about feedback, and she talks a bit about how she keeps a folder in her email for kudos so she can see the total for all ber stories. She had mentioned this before about a year ago and I thought it was an awesome idea. Now, her reasoning is totally different from mine, because she uses it as a way to help stop obsessing over story stats, which she in general doesn't want to see, whereas I use it as a stop-gap since AO3 doesn't offer any sort of stats page for authors (you have to look at each individual story, which is not practical if you have a lot of stories on there as I do).

But it is a thing that works for both of us, and so I have been saving kudos notifications ever since she first mentioned it, along with a handful of older notifications which I had deleted but were still in the trash. So I have a folder in gmail going back to March of last year, and out of curiosity I counted them all up (unfortunately I can't just look at the total number, because some notifications thread and it shows threaded convos as one email) and in one year I have gotten a total of about 470 kudos.

That is pretty amazing to me, especially considering in that time period I have only posted five new fics. Those five fics did, of course, get a good chunk of kudos just for being new fics and thus being more likely to be noticed, but all together they didn't even get a hundred, so that is almost 400 kudos on OLD FICS. Guys. I don't know what your fandom experience has been, but mine has been that feedback comes overwhelmingly from new fics, generally within the first few days, and then you are lucky if you get a comment or two the rest of the years its posted, maybe a bit more if someone recs it. And this has held true on AO3. I do get the occasional comment on older stuff, but it's rare. Really rare. I have over 200 fics and for the most part, while I assume people are still reading them, for the most part the only time I get comments is when they're first posted.

So those 400 kudos? Those are 400 comments from readers that I would otherwise never have heard. Maybe kudos take away from comments on newer fics, I don't know (and it's really hard to measure that, because there are so many other factors, too). But I know there is no way I would have gotten 400 comments on random old fics. Hell, I wouldn't have gotten even 100. Maybe 50 tops. But I have still been getting comments here and there, at a rate that doesn't really feel appreciably different to years when there were no kudos. So maybe I've lost 10 comments on older fics, or hell, let's say I've even lost 20. But I gained 400 in the form of kudos? I...I'm really not seeing the downside here.

I didn't mean this to be an experiment when I started saving the kudos notifications, but I'm really glad I now have solid proof to point to when people say kudos are only replacing comments, etc.

There has been a lot of talk recently about kudos and readers, but when I read the comments on posts like that, it often comes off as people saying "I'm a reader and I like kudos because" and "I'm a writer and I hate kudos because". I know some people are saying they like/hate them from both sides, but it still seems like when people make arguments for/against kudos they talk about it in those terms. I want to talk about how awesome kudos are as a writer. They are super awesome!

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