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Published:
2011-04-06 08:52:11 -0400
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We have, courtesy of time passing and the lovely Elz who has magical powers over the AO3 database, some delicious statistics to share with you.

The short version: Commenting is increasing and kudos is popular. :D

The kudos feature was introduced in December 2010 (15th December to be precise) and we're delighted to see it being used with enthusiasm. In fact, 62,742 kudos were given over the course of March, and over 200,000 have been left since the feature was introduced. Hurrah!

There was some discussion of how kudos affected commenting (and if it did at all) so we've done some digging and here are our observations.

  • Works are being added at a steady rate. These works are from existing Users (steady growth) and also from new Users (erratic growth as new Users tend to upload their back catalogues when they create their accounts). Since we invite people at a steady rate the erratic growth gets 'smoothed' (at present this number is set to 50 per day and there are 97 requests in the queue).
  • Comments are being added at variable rates. The rate of commenting over the last year was reasonably steady until December 2010 where it rose sharply – we attribute this to Yuletide. Once the Yuletide MADNESS was over, the rate dropped back down to something resembling 'normal' levels.
  • Kudos is being added at a steady rate. The amount of kudos added is exciting! It's probably a bit early to be making assumptions about what 'normal' kudosifying looks like but look at that little yellow line shooting up!

Total Comments, Works and Kudos added starting from April 2010

Line graph showing the total number of comments, works and kudos on the AO3 between April 2010 and March 2011.  Works rise in a steady line, comments initially keep pace with works but begin to significantly outpace works from December 2010, and kudos rise in a sharp line from their introduction in December 2010 and rapidly overtake both works and comments.

*This is not the Total Works in the AO3; this is one year's data.

'Total' charts are great for looking at broad trends, but not so great for looking at more subtle differences so next we looked a little more closely at what happened month by month.

  • Commenting closely followed work posting for most of 2010 with a positive orgy of commenting in December and January. Yay! After January commenting did not quite return to previous 'normal' levels and there are now more comments being made.
  • Kudos per month started high and stayed high but with big swings. This probably reflects how easy it is to give kudos – at least we hope so! In this chart the kudos looks a little bit less like a rocket trying to reach escape velocity and we can't wait to run stats for April -will it zig or zag?

Comments, Works and Kudos added per month starting from April 2010

Line graph showing the number of works, comments and kudos added to the AO3 each month between April 2010 and March 2011. Works remain reasonably steady with a bump in September and January; comments spike significantly in December/January, and kudos (introduced in December) spike in January, dip in February and then spike again to January levels.

*I suspect the December figure should be higher, given Kudos was introduced in the middle of the month.

'Monthly' charts lets us see comparisons a bit more clearly but 'more comments are being made' can be refined even more if we look at ratios.

  • Comments per work has been steadily growing; in fact it appears to have more than doubled in the past year
    • April 2010 - 0.80 Comments per Work
    • March 2011 - 1.79 Comments per Work
  • Kudos per work has now reached 7.31 and almost 4 times as many kudos are given as comments.

Ratio of Comments, Works and Kudos added per month starting from April 2010

Line graph showing the number of comments per work and the number of kudos per work on the AO3 between April 2010 and March 2011. Number of comments per work remains roughly steady until December/January, when it spikes before falling to slightly more than the average before. Kudos per work exceeds kudos per comment and rises steadily from the introduction of the feature, with no dip.

It's interesting to observe that the 'Yuletide bump' in the Totals chart says more comments happened in January than December. The Ratios chart tells us that this may be true but the most comments per work happened in December. i.e.: Commenting in December was less prolific but more intense.

We're excited to see that both comments and kudos are continuing to rise on the AO3 - we hope this will continue!

This post written by the lovely Maia :D.