torachan: (Default)
[personal profile] torachan posting in [community profile] ao3some
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!

Date: 2012-04-06 09:11 pm (UTC)
qem_chibati: Coloured picture of Killua from hunter x hunter, with the symbol of Qem in the corner. (A cat made from Q, E, M) (Default)
From: [personal profile] qem_chibati
I do the same as a stop gap - I also cc all of my own comments to myself so I can see how much feedback I've left.

Gmail though only counts by conversation though if you have conversation turned on, which is good for my comments and awkward for kudos (and it's awkward turning on off again). But I have 142 kudos groupings, which is a lot more than I would expect comment wise for most repost/podfic/small fandom/old fandom stuff! This is awesome being able to get to those milestones.

I do a lot of short stories for small/older fandoms, so I never expect much feedback - but kudos certainly exceed my expectation and are a lot friendlier than the add to favourite notifications you get on ff.net - where they may take you down the week later when you go to check out their bookmarks. :3

Date: 2012-04-06 09:58 pm (UTC)
ruuger: (Writer)
From: [personal profile] ruuger
I do something similar in that I have filter in my Gmail which automatically adds labels to all the feedback I get on AO3, and on a quick look, I seem to have gotten 400+ kudos (in addition to comments) since kudos was introduced. No way would I have gotten 400 extra comments if the kudos hadn't existed, especially since my main writing fandom during that time has been The Mentalist, which is almost non-existent outside fanfiction.net.

Date: 2012-04-07 01:28 am (UTC)
amaresu: Sapphire and Steel from the opening (Default)
From: [personal profile] amaresu
I never thought of keeping all my Kudos. That is a fun idea and I may have to start doing that. I wish AO3 had a way to sort by Kudos count though. (I sent a support request and they said it's on the wish list but no one's picked it up as a project yet.)

I've seen multiple people talking about how it's a lot less anxiety-making to hit the Kudos button on older fic than it is to comment. Especially because we don't really have a culture of commenting on older fics.

Date: 2012-04-07 10:16 am (UTC)
amaresu: Sapphire and Steel from the opening (Default)
From: [personal profile] amaresu
It'd be so nice to have a stats page. Especially if it showed things like bookmarks too. Sometimes I contemplate learning Ruby on Rails just so I can make the things I want at AO3. Then I remember I suck at programming.

I think once you get past 2-3 pages of fic it gets hard to just look at.

Date: 2012-04-08 01:51 am (UTC)
amaresu: Sapphire and Steel from the opening (Default)
From: [personal profile] amaresu
One of the problems with a completely volunteer workforce is if people aren't interested in doing something it won't get done. Or maybe it's one of those weird back-end issues like why the search only pulls from the first 1000 stories.

Date: 2012-04-07 01:29 am (UTC)
unjapanologist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] unjapanologist
Those are 400 comments from readers that I would otherwise never have heard.

Exactly. I suspect that equating kudos with "lost comments" is a fallacy that's kind of similar to the one the music industry uses when they say that every P2P download of a song is the same as a "lost sale". People who download a song for free wouldn't necessarily have paid money to buy it, and people who kudos wouldn't necessarily have gone through the extra trouble of commenting. Not a perfect analogy by any means, of course, but the thinking error is similar.

I have a kudos label in gmail too, since someone else mentioned it somewhere about half a year ago. It's awesome! And now that you mention it, I do get a lot of kudos but very few new comments for older fic as well.

Date: 2012-04-07 08:27 pm (UTC)
night_reveals: (Default)
From: [personal profile] night_reveals
I definitely think that for older fics, kudos are almost entirely feedback that would not have otherwise been left at all, because people just aren't as likely to comment on older stuff.

Completely agree. I used to have fic posted on AO3 and DW/LJ. Over the span of a few months I got 10 comments tops from DW/LJ on ~old fics (3+ months old)...and probably three or four times that in kudos from AO3 (and a few comments as well). It's really helpful, because I know then that people are still reading and enjoying. That's a great feeling for a writer to have. :)

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