elf: AO3: So awesome, even the logo is celebrating (with logo with party hat) (Celebrating AO3)
[personal profile] elf posting in [community profile] ao3some
Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who really loves the Kudos feature at AO3. I don't mean, "wow, it's great that there's this option for people too busy or overwhelmed to leave a comment, so authors can know someone liked their story," because sometimes that comes with the unspoken (or not unspoken) followup of, "but of course people should be leaving comments, so if it causes people to not leave comments, maybe it's not so good." I love kudos. Unreservedly, with no caveats. I maybe like them more than comments.

I love comments. Pretty much everyone loves comments, and I write little enough fic that I treasure every single one of them. Comments tell me what worked, tell me when I've managed just the *perfect* way to get across what I was thinking, tell me if I've failed to cover the (obviously brilliant and compelling) backstory & other bits in my head. Comments tell me that someone else loves not just my favorite characters, but loves them the same way I do. Comments tell me I've succeeded in intriguing or disturbing or arousing the reader, or maybe all three at once.

Comments help me grow as a writer, and I feel horribly guilty for everyone one of them I don't reply to. I know lack of replies means it's just a bit less likely that person will leave comments in the future. :( Bad elf. No cookie.

Kudos don't do any of that. Kudos just tell me someone is glad I wrote the story. And I don't have to reply. That's the best part, for me... I don't have to shove my antisocial, moody and sometimes creepy self back into its little cage and bring up my I'm-Going-To-Be-Cheeful face (and I *am* cheerful when I get comments; I just don't always feel like expressing it directly). Kudos are no-pressure appreciation.

One kudos, two kudoi? Kudoses? Kudea? (Yes, I know they're technically singular and should be kudoses. I think I like kudea better.) A cluster of kudos? A kiss of kudoi? No, that's silly. (And besides, it's "a kiss of vampires.") A sparkle of kudoses?

I think of them as something like tribbles, only with little sparkly-bits in their fur so when they wobble around (they can't go very far on their own; they have to be carried), they shed a trail of little gold and silver stars. And their fur is very warm and silky so you can skin them and make a nice comfy blanket to keep you warm instead of the money you're not making because fanfic is mostly unmarketable cuddle them close and enjoy them either individually or in big swarms.

As a reader, I like seeing kudos. Kudos counts are simple and honest... there's no question whether half of them are the author herself, or a back-and-forth exchange between the author and a friend or two. 25 Kudos? 25 people enjoyed this. 25 comments? Maybe 4 people enjoyed this, and just *love* talking with the author. (And good on them; yay for actual conversations in comments. But that doesn't tell me how widely-liked the story is.)

Kudos don't, specifically, help me grow as a writer. They don't tell me what amazing insights readers had about a story, neither mine nor anyone else's. Kudos give me that warm fuzzy feeling that makes the dark days worth putting up with, and without any anxiety about how I'm supposed to react. Kudos are someone telling me "you did good," without caveats, without reservations.

I don't care if they're kudosing me for one good line and they think the rest of the story is junk, or if I've written their new favorite fic that they'll re-read every three weeks and love it forever but they don't want to tell a total stranger that I've pegged their deepest id-infected kinks exactly. With kudos, they don't have to feel obligated to explain, and I don't have to drag on my game face to thank them. I ♥ all the kudos.
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Date: 2012-03-17 10:04 pm (UTC)
jelazakazone: man wearing tesla coil hat (tesla coil hat boy)
From: [personal profile] jelazakazone
Interesting. I like kudos too, especially as a writer. But I don't like how they are conversation stoppers. One of the reasons I like writing fic is that I few it as a way of having a conversation or connecting with people. Kudos don't allow me to do that.

I have other thoughts about kudos (and hit counts, for that matter), but they are not surfacing. Maybe after I've eaten dinner and my brain comes back on line.

Interesting post though!

Date: 2012-03-17 11:30 pm (UTC)
amaresu: Sapphire and Steel from the opening (Default)
From: [personal profile] amaresu
I think kudos do allow connections, just not the traditional kind. There are a couple of people that I know from following their kudos trail through my fic. I've never talked to these people, but I know that they like some of my more obscure fandoms. It's a more distant connection, a lurker connection if you will.

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Date: 2012-03-17 10:08 pm (UTC)
princessofgeeks: (Default)
From: [personal profile] princessofgeeks
Thanks for the post!

I am neutral about the kudos myself, but I am always happy to receive notice that someone is reading my stories, whether it comes in the form of kudos, comments or a hit count. So it's all good.

I took note of how people who are shy about leaving comments or don't know what to say REALLY LOVE the kudos function, and for that reason alone I'm all for it!

And your sentiment that it's difficult to find the right words or the energy to reply to comments, so kudos helps you as a writer.... that seems to make it valuable as well.

I've never been the kind of writer who receives so much feedback that it becomes oppressive to reply to all of it, so I have no idea how that would be, LOL.

But clearly kudos serve an important function for many people.

Interestingly, I always saw them as something you could do in place of comments, but lately I've been getting BOTH a kudo and a comment from some readers.

Basically I am all about anything that helps fandom feel like a communicating bunch of like minded folks. Like a community. :)
Edited Date: 2012-03-17 10:09 pm (UTC)

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Date: 2012-03-17 10:46 pm (UTC)
accioslash: made for me (Default)
From: [personal profile] accioslash
I love kudos full-stop. I don't have to feel guilty about not leaving a comment that isn't appreciative enough or sincere-sounding enough or that can be taken the wrong way. And since I still have the option to comment when I really feel like I'll burst if I don't, it is my idea of the ultimate win-win.

Date: 2012-03-17 10:57 pm (UTC)
dharma_slut: They call me Mister CottonTail (Default)
From: [personal profile] dharma_slut
I LOVE getting kudos! Especially since I KNOW that I wouldn't have gotten any other form of feedback from that person.

Date: 2012-03-17 10:58 pm (UTC)
amalthia: (Legend of the Seeker Richard end of the )
From: [personal profile] amalthia
I love Kudos as a reader and author. I love leaving feedback on stories but sometimes for shorter fics there are only so many ways to say "Yay loved your story." Kudos pretty much gives the same message and it saves me time from trying to come up with new ways to say, "I liked your story." I sort of suck at leaving long feedback. As an author, I love the no pressure to respond part of kudos.

Date: 2012-03-17 11:16 pm (UTC)
heartequals: natasha from the avengers against an orange and yellow background (Default)
From: [personal profile] heartequals
like tribbles, only with little sparkly-bits in their fur so when they wobble around (they can't go very far on their own; they have to be carried), they shed a trail of little gold and silver stars.

Dear AO3, this. merch. now. Love, me.

I like kudos all around! Especially on older fics -- I know as a reader, I'm not likely to comment on something that's, say, been posted on lj and is eight years old and hasn't seen comment action in like three years. But on AO3, kudos button! Then I feel less like I'm late to the party. As an author, it's awesome to know that people are still reading my old gross fic after such a long time.

And then, on a terrible-commenter level, it saves me from having think up ways to say "I didn't SUPER love this, but I had an enjoyable time reading it!" On an author level, it's just nice to receive notifications. Yay someone read it and liked it! How lovely! Makes my day.

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Date: 2012-03-17 11:19 pm (UTC)
sprat: an illustration of a girl posed in front of a cartoon alien  (Default)
From: [personal profile] sprat
I love kudos for exactly those reasons! If this post had a kudos button, I would be clicking it right now.

Date: 2012-03-18 05:15 am (UTC)
malnpudl: (Default)
From: [personal profile] malnpudl
Ditto, me too, and likewise!

Date: 2012-03-17 11:25 pm (UTC)
amaresu: sign that says internet with an arrow pointing to the right under it (internet thisaway)
From: [personal profile] amaresu
You just described all the reasons I love kudos. It's like a little sparkle of joy in my inbox whenever I get one. And I totally vote for a sparkle of kudoses.

Now I just wish that AO3 had a way to sort by kudos count.

Date: 2012-03-17 11:36 pm (UTC)
jelazakazone: black squid on a variegated red background (Default)
From: [personal profile] jelazakazone
Now I just wish that AO3 had a way to sort by kudos count.

THIS! I was just thinking that the other day. I feel, for my fics, that the higher the kudo count, the better the fic is, in general. Some of my "rarepair" fics that I like a lot have gotten very little attention because of who they are about, but yes, in general, I'd love to see a sort by kudos too:)

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Date: 2012-03-17 11:34 pm (UTC)
eldriwolf: (Default)
From: [personal profile] eldriwolf
Kudu ,(Tragelaphus strepsiceros Greater Kudu(*) )come in herds, same as other Antelope--
so I would call them that-

--which would still allow your sparkle-furred vision of them

(*) there is also a lesser Kudu, but I don't think your comments should be That

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Date: 2012-03-17 11:36 pm (UTC)
amaresu: Sapphire and Steel from the opening (Default)
From: [personal profile] amaresu
I need to buy that paid time so I can edit my comments again...

Another thing I love about kudos is that it allows the lurkers to be seen and counted. There are people who've left kudoses on a dozen of my fic, but never a comment. The only reason I know they've read my fic at all is the kudos feature. And I don't for a second believe that without kudos they would've left a comment.

But with the kudos there they are. If they have an account I get to see their name and follow them through my fic and see what else they liked. I haven't written anything specifically for a frequent kudoser, but it's fun to know where our fannish interests line up. Especially when it's Big Fandom X and Tiny Fandom Y.

Date: 2012-03-17 11:38 pm (UTC)
glinda: dw sheep dreams of crochet (crochet sheep)
From: [personal profile] glinda
If dreamwidth had kudos I would be pressing that button right now, but instead I say THIS. I ♥ kudos for all of those reasons you gave above. I love being able to leave them and I love getting them.

Date: 2012-03-17 11:49 pm (UTC)
musyc: Stock photo of typewriter and coffee cup (Stock: Typewriter)
From: [personal profile] musyc
I love the kudos feature. I've used it so often, especially on shorter fics. For things like drabbles and flashfics, there's rarely more that I can say in a comment except "Nice, thanks". The kudos feature lets me do that without having to think of a unique way to say it for the hundredth time. I've found myself reading more short works now that I feel like I can leave a response without having to come up with words. (Or, on the writing side, that I can get a response without having to come up with words. There's only so many ways I can say "glad you enjoyed" without it looking like a cut/paste job.)

Date: 2012-03-17 11:50 pm (UTC)
lucifuge5: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lucifuge5
I have to admit that I didn't get the idea of kudos when they first rolled out. To me, they reminded me of the FB "like" button. As someone who dislikes FB, kudos didn't rank too high. I also thought that using kudos would lead to less people leaving comments.

FTR, I'm one of those people who will comment on fanworks I like. Even if it's a "I liked this fic/vid/fanart/podfic/what-have-you" or a larger comment on what aspects of the fanwork pinged me. Ever since I first got into fandom, I've seen many fen say that they don't comment as often as they could for XYZ reason. IIRC, the average when it comes to comments is that for every one person leaving a comment, there are about 10 others who didn't for whatever reason (not enough time, social anxiety, etc.) Somehow, this tied up into why I felt pretty skeptical about kudos.

BUT THEN, I read an AO3 newsletter where they had actual proof that kudos prompted more commenting than less. I'm one of those people who really like solid data and so, it wasn't until I read that, that my mind went click and I finally understood the kudos feature. While it is true that kudos won't tell you what the person liked about your fanwork, I have indeed seen more people leaving comments.

I myself have gotten into the habit of leaving kudos (or kudos AND a comment).

It's a bit frustrating that you can't comment back to someone leaving kudos, but that's OK. For some people, kudos will always be the only way to let an author and/or artist know that they enjoyed their fanwork. And that's fine. It's a connection.

In the end, kudos are somewhere in between an actual comment and the hit count. After all, all that hit counts tell you is that someone has clicked on your fanwork and has possibly read/listened/watched it. But you can't tell if that person liked it or not.
Edited Date: 2012-03-17 11:53 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-03-18 01:26 am (UTC)
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
From: [personal profile] melannen
Kudos definitely has led to me commenting more in general! If I've left a trail of kudos behind me, I feel a lot less awkward about jumping in to comment on the one story that I actually have something substantive to say about and enough time to sit down and comment - I don't get all stressed about "what if they think I hate all their other stories because I only commented on this one?" and things like that, which lead to me never commenting at all.

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Date: 2012-03-18 01:14 am (UTC)
lunabee34: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lunabee34
Very cool subject. Thanks for writing this essay.

Date: 2012-03-18 01:25 am (UTC)
haruka: (zz - words: if i don't write i'll go mad)
From: [personal profile] haruka
I was really happy when Kudos came out because I've had people tell me that they like my fics, but admit to being bad at commenting, and hitting Kudos is easy for them. :)

The only thing I've worried about is that one of my fics in particular (a long-running one with 80+ chapters) gets a lot of Kudos from Guests rather than signed-in members, and I fear it might look like I'm logging out and doing it myself. -_-;

Date: 2012-03-18 01:33 am (UTC)
amaresu: Sapphire and Steel from the opening (Default)
From: [personal profile] amaresu
If it helps you'd have to log into different computers to get all those guest hits. Or at least I've been on my work computer and attempted to leave guest kudu on the same fic more than once and it wouldn't let me.

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Date: 2012-03-18 05:23 am (UTC)
harpers_child: melaka fray reading from "Tales of the Slayers". (Default)
From: [personal profile] harpers_child
i like kudoses because it means i don't have to spend spoons on interaction unless i really really want to. i always feel awkward leaving "i read this" as a comment. a little button to hit makes life easier.

Date: 2012-03-18 12:51 pm (UTC)
anatsuno: Calvin (without Hobbes) explains that "verbing weirds language" (verbose & cunning)
From: [personal profile] anatsuno
From what I remember reading, Kudos IS a plural already, and it's the singular that doesn't exist (not that we don't know / use it, but it doesn't exist). What we get when pressing the button is a piece of kudos, a singular expression of a plural concept. Kinda like 'congratulations!' which we rarely say in the singular (though it does exist). But all this is very [citation needed], I know.

Date: 2012-03-19 07:41 pm (UTC)
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)
From: [personal profile] cesy
Yeah, that's pretty much the conclusion I saw, though most of the AO3 notifications try to rephrase to avoid the problem.

Date: 2012-03-18 02:12 pm (UTC)
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
From: [personal profile] twistedchick
I like 'kudosea' as a plural form.

I love kudos for many reasons that have already been said, but also because it makes it easier for me to find stories to read, particularly in fandoms that I'm not as familiar with. I can look at who left kudos, and tell if some of them are people whose taste I already know, which tells me whether this is something I'm likely to enjoy or not.

Also, honestly, not everyone writes a comment on every story read. I certainly don't any more, just as I am not able to read every SF short story and novel published within a year (which I could do in the late 60s and early 70s because there were very few.) If I did write comments on every story, some of them would be distressingly like "You need to work more on your verb tenses and become deeply and intimately acquainted with the Subjunctive; allow me to introduce you."

Kudos can provides a more accurate sense of readership, especially when compared to the hit count -- think of it as a proportion, rather than actual numbers, but if you look at the hit count and it's high and the kudos are high, also, this is probably a well-written story with good characterization and plot. This is not to say that there aren't some dingoes in there instead of the usual pets -- there will always be a few wild dingoes that are simply outstandingly different (or differ from the fandom expectations, or differ from canon but it doesn't matter, or an AU of an AU of an AU) as well as excellent -- and often enough this can be discerned from the story description, or the tag list. It is still not a bad way to find new fiction when AOOO answers a search with a list. Also, if the hit count is low but there are almost as many kudos as there were hits, it is likely to be a very small fandom and everyone in the fandom may have read the story.

Anyway -- Yay kudosea!

Regarding the kind of feedback on stories

Date: 2012-03-19 03:13 am (UTC)
jelazakazone: man wearing tesla coil hat (tesla coil hat boy)
From: [personal profile] jelazakazone
If I did write comments on every story, some of them would be distressingly like "You need to work more on your verb tenses and become deeply and intimately acquainted with the Subjunctive; allow me to introduce you."

Oh. This. So much this! I am probably not perfect when it comes to grammar, but oh man, some of the stories people write I can't read because I can't get past the first paragraph due to grammar issues. I always wince when people get the subjunctive wrong. I thought it was me.

Re: Regarding the kind of feedback on stories

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Re: Regarding the kind of feedback on stories

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Date: 2012-03-18 02:43 pm (UTC)
sophinisba: Gwen looking sexy from Merlin season 2 promo pics (gwen by infinitesunrise)
From: [personal profile] sophinisba
Yes, I love kudos for these reasons as well! Thanks for writing this out and sharing.

Date: 2012-03-18 03:56 pm (UTC)
paraka: A baby wearing headphones and holding a mic (Default)
From: [personal profile] paraka
So much *this*.

I suck so bad at leaving comments, both for things I like, or in response to people liking my stuff. If I read something I like, there's a 90% chance I'll leave kudos and a 0.00000000001% chance I'll leave a comment, so kudos are allowing me to leave feedback I never would have before.

On the side of a creator... I love kudos more than comments too. Because I always feel like a horrible person when I don't respond to comments, but there's no way to respond to kudos!

I think part of the reason why I love kudos more is that I'm a podficcer, not a writer. The majority of the comments I get as a podficcer are along the lines of "yay! downloading." So all those things you mentioned comments give you, like the ability to grow as a creator? I don't normally get. And my standard response of "I hope you enjoy it" is, 1. super repetitive and I feel dumb typing it over and over again, and 2. feels a bit like I'm grasping for more feedback.

So, in conclusion, I ♥ kudos.

Date: 2012-03-19 03:09 am (UTC)
jelazakazone: black squid on a variegated red background (Default)
From: [personal profile] jelazakazone
I've not listened to anything you've recorded (that I know of), but I like to let people know when I'm dl'ing and then I try to go back and give feedback about what I liked. I could probably be better at the feedback I give podficcers, but it's a learning curve for me. I'm still really new at the whole fan thing (less than a year) and I've gotten much better about leaving comments on almost everything I read or listen to. I've gotten much better with practice.

For the most part, I'm ok with not responding with kudos, but there is one person who has given me kudos on a few pieces that I've done and I'd love to just even have a short convo with her (pretty sure the person is female based on the username:)).

I also get that for a lot of people, it's kudos or nothing. I definitely prefer kudos to nothing and if it allows someone to leave positive feedback where they otherwise wouldn't, that's awesome.

Date: 2012-03-18 05:08 pm (UTC)
livrelibre: DW barcode (Default)
From: [personal profile] livrelibre
I adore kudos as a reader and a writer. By nature, I'm a often tongue-tied lurker and a voracious reader, so it's sometimes kudos or nothing for me. Now I'll often choose what to read from my extensive to-read bokmarks by whether I can kudos it or not. As a writer, I love that burst of happiness seeing the notification gives me.

Date: 2012-03-18 05:56 pm (UTC)
torachan: (Default)
From: [personal profile] torachan
I love kudos SO MUCH.

The thing is, I haven't written anything new in almost a year, so without kudos I would hardly be getting any feedback at all these days, even though I have written hundreds of fics over the years and I know people are still reading them. People just don't tend to comment on older fics. So pre-kudos maybe I'd hear once a month or even less that someone has enjoyed one of my older fics. Now with kudos I hear every day, often multiple times.

Date: 2012-03-19 01:38 am (UTC)
yourlibrarian: VotingSPN-morgentau (SPN-VotingSPN-morgentau)
From: [personal profile] yourlibrarian
I so agree with your enjoyment of the kudos button, particularly for short works. It's going to be even better when there are a multiplicity of mediums at the AO3 and I can also use it for many artworks, vids, or podfics when I otherwise can't think of anything particularly helpful to say in a comment. (Obviously some of these works already exist there but it's really going to boom when they offer hosting as well as linking).

Date: 2012-03-19 03:07 am (UTC)
airawyn: (Default)
From: [personal profile] airawyn
I love them, too! Every time I get one in my inbox, I get a little happy moment of "someone read and liked my fic"! It's especially fun if it's an older fic.

Date: 2012-03-19 02:58 pm (UTC)
manaie: Sky Dolls girl; making an mmmm face (Default)
From: [personal profile] manaie
Someone had this great discussion of social-engagement theory that really changes the way you think of kudos and things like that. So many ppl don't comment b/c commenting is too much effort, so people who do comment have quite a high engagement threshold. People, for whom that threshold is too high, have that lower threshold of kudos instead. So then they also engage in way they otherwise wouldnt'. Therefore- kudos? Awesome. They're not stopping commenting- they're enabling more ways to engage with the author.
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