Comment on Upcoming changes to kudos

  1. ...why can’t you comment? 😐 if you TRULY enjoy a story as much as you’re describing, commenting “I like this story!” or “nice work!” or even just a thumbs up emoji with an anonymous account really shouldn’t be that hard. No one is asking you to write a full dissertation on a story in order to truly prove you enjoy it.

    Last Edited Thu 12 Mar 2020 02:34AM EDT

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    1. Yes I find this "I'm too shy to leave a comment" thing a bit puzzling. What are they expecting to happen - that the author will say "that comment wasn't good enough!!" It's a shame readers don't realise how much even the smallest comment fills an author's heart with joy!

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    2. Preach! I wish people would get (back) in the habit of leaving a comment, just saying "nice story" or "cool" or "I like it" means a lot more to the author than just a click on a button!

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      1. Green signpost saying Adopt-a-Highway: Butterflies & Rainbows

        I've seen so many people talking about how they appreciate that comments on AO3 are usually more substantive than the "I like this, please update" type comments on FFN that I hesitate to leave comments that are just "this is great!" Some authors like those but I've seen people post about how they feel disappointed when they open a comment notification and it's just that. There's no way to tell which type an author is unless they actually say in the AN so I usually refrain from commenting unless I have something more than "I love this!" to say.

        (That being said, I don't really want kudos per chapter because while it'd be nice as a reader, I think there's more negative effects than benefits. E.g. "if you just read through this multichap, make sure to go back and check that you kudosed every chapter!", authors getting caught up in/anxious if their kudos count for a chapter is lower than the one for the previous chapter, authors splitting up works into short chapters so they can farm more kudos, etc.)

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        1. Of course, as a writer, the pinacle of comments are the lengthy/detailed ones, but I'll still take "I like this story, please update" or "this is great" over a kudos any day of the week. At least the reader took the time and made the effort to engage with the author rather than just clicking on a button (which is, in my eyes, a lot more akin to an act of mass consumption than leaving a comment, no matter how short it is). Comments help identifying readers, and having the habit of commenting (even if it's just to say "nice, more please") usually leads readers to write longer comments as time goes by. And, which I noticed on on-going multichapters fic's, someone who comments "nice"/"I liked it" each chapter will get noticed by the author (especially if the fic doesn't have a lot of comments), and the author will end up waiting for that message, no matter how short it is.
          Tl;dr: leaving a comment, no matter its length, reassures the author on the fact there are people reading and enjoying the story, and engaging with it. Especially on stories that do not have a lot of comments, each one is treasured, even if it's just saying "this is great!" (even moreso, I would argue). And if you feel like saying "this is great!" is too short, you can always try something like "I had a great time reading this, thank you for sharing it!"?
          (Personally, but I'm probably a bit radical on that, I wish the kudos function would simply disappear, but I think a significant amount of people would probably riot at that. I would be very against the possibility of leaving multiple kudos per fics for the reasons you brought up.)

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          1. This is how I feel on it. A couple of my stories do have people that comment every chapter and if they don't comment, I'm sitting here like, "So...I hope you're okay. Where are you? T_T" I'm also more willing to engage/chat with those readers too since it's obvious they like my work.

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            1. 👆 This! Especially worrying about your regular readers who do not comment on a chapter, and you're even happier when it turns out they were 'just' late. And indeed, it's easier to engage/chat with those readers, because their comments show they like your work and are willing to engage with it.

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              1. Definitely agree with these- the regular commenters give me something to look forward to during the day since I usually update in the mornings, and it’s the best feeling to open a comment email and see that it’s them again, even if it’s just a simple comment. The regulars, and even one-off comment leavers, make it feel a lot more personal and even rewarding than kudos (even though kudos are great, and I don’t want to see them go anytime soon).

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                1. 👆 Exactly. The comments make it more personal in my opinion, and it's fun to engage with people over stories you're writing.

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          2. Green signpost saying Adopt-a-Highway: Butterflies & Rainbows

            I know that you and a number of other authors feel this way, but I also know that a number of authors feel annoyed by such comments. So my point is, if I'm going to comment, I want to know that the author is not going to be annoyed at me and I only am very certain of that if I'm leaving a comment that has more detail—or if the author actually says in the author note "I love all happy comments, no matter how short!" in the notes at the bottom. This is a line in the sand for me because I don't participate in fandom to feel self conscious every time I say something, unaware if I'm annoying someone or not.

            And it doesn't matter that people say that authors should appreciate every comment or something because not every person is the same. I have seen many people express that the "love this plz update" comments bother them, and I myself have some fanfiction I've written which I'll never post because I would find it awkward to get any comments on it. That's the tricky thing with comment norms in fandom spaces, not everyone agrees with them.

            (This is pretty much a digression, but I just wanted to explain where I'm coming from.)

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            1. Oh, I understand your reticence a lot better now, thank you for having taken the time to explain! I am quite sorry some authors made you feel like your comments were unwelcome or annoying, but I'm glad it didn't entirely kill down your drive to leave comments. I hope you're still having a good time in fandom nonetheless!
              The only kind of comment I disapprove of is the "update"/"please update" kind, which is very demanding and not in the exchange at all, at least to my eyes. Something along the lines of "love this plz update" at least doesn't treat the author like a writing machine, but I can understand why it annoys certain people. As you said, not everyone is the same, and writers don't react the same way at being asked to update (hell, the same person won't necessarily react the same way depending on how they're feeling, what's happening in their life, their mood, and so on).
              As for your fic, would you mind explaining me while you would find awkward to get comments on it? I myself wrote some fics that were very much for my own please/self-interest, and I've been very (happily) surprised to find people to appreciate them. Unless you deem them to be too personal?

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              1. Green signpost saying Adopt-a-Highway: Butterflies & Rainbows

                With the fic, it's mainly because I've had people remark before about things they like or how I've characterized [Person A] so well as [character trait], and none of it was intentional/some of that contradicted what I was trying to do with the story, and then I just feel very awkward. I wouldn't want to correct them, but just accepting what they said without clarifying that they're reading into something which I didn't intend/may not be there feels very rude and like a downer. I don't have a problem with people asking questions, or with discussing my fic with friends, but with random readers on the internet in the comments of the fic getting "the wrong"/an unintended interpretation, it can be absolutely awkward. I guess it's just, whenever you show a creative work that you're proud of to others there's to some degree death of the author, and for some fic, I'm not ready for conversations stemming from that which the open internet entails. :P

                So I'd rather there be an option to turn off people's ability to leave comments, so that people could read it however they wanted and I wouldn't have to think about it after putting it up, but since there isn't I keep it out of more public spaces like AO3.

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                1. Aw, okay! Well, there is always the option of moderating comments before they're published (basically you have to approve them for them to be published, or else you can choose to delete them and none will be the wiser), but I don't think it's possible to turn off the possibility to leave comments.
                  I know how it gets about unplanned/unintentional reading of the story. Sometimes you can play along and sometimes not, but saying "this isn't what I had in mind when I wrote it, but knowing that you read it that way was very interesting" can be helpful. Sometimes. Depending on the situation ^^". Posting a fic out in the open does require to take a leap of faith though, so I understand why you're hesitant about it!

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            2. Ladybug with a rainbow Pride background

              I won't say authors should appreciate all comments—like, some sorts of comments are flat out rude, and nobody ought to be expected to appreciate people being rude to them—but authors certainly shouldn't tell potential commenters they don't appreciate comments that simply aren't as effusively detailed as the author would like to see.

              Not least because if someone is discouraged from commenting generally, they are also discouraged from leaving the five-hundred-word book report comments that are apparently the only acceptable sort of comment to some people.

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      2. What I don’t understand is that these people are ‘too anxious’ to leave a positive comment on a story they like, but they can comment here. How does that make sense? I’m not trying to be insensitive as I also have anxiety, but... that just doesn’t add up.

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        1. I honestly don't understand it in the slightest but 1) I don't have anxiety 2) I started reading fanfics when I was like 12 and although I was a bit hesitant at leaving reviews in the first weeks, I soon got over myself and started leaving comments, even if it was just "I liked that chapter!" or "cool story!". Once you manage that first step, it gets easier to write longer and more detailed comments. And if you're reading fics that are not written in your native language and feel self-conscious leaving a comment (been there, done that), saying "[x language] isn't my native language, sorry for the mistakes, but I really liked your story" still goes a long way!
          No, honestly, I don't get the 'too anxious' angle. Is it a fear of not getting an answer? Being told to sod off? Could someone in that position explain? Besides, there are models on tumblr on how to write a comment, it might come in handy for those who are too anxious. Edit: ah, an explanation on the comment under! Food for thought, then.

          Last Edited Thu 12 Mar 2020 01:40PM EDT

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          1. It’s because some writers are jerks. I’ve commented “I like this story” before only to be told “be specific about what you like. If not; you’re taking up space”. So I think it’s perfectly understandable why people are afraid of commenting.

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            1. That was extremely rude of the writers who told you so. I never encountered it before, but I understand why that kind of attitude would make someone wary of commenting, to everyone's loss.

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      3. Roberta Bondar rose

        I wish people would leave more comments too, but I wouldn't say a kudos means anything less. As I see it, the kudos button has largely replaced the keysmashing and "nice story!" type comments I got back in the day on LJ.

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        1. Kudos mean less to me, which I probably should have made clearer, considering that many people seem to have misconstrued my words. They're better than silence, but I still take a "nice story!" kind of comment over them any day of the week. (I still get that type of comments from time to time, so I wouldn't say they got replaced, but I suppose it's different for everyone.)

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    3. Since apparently my comment absolutely blew up, and this is taking an extreme toll on me, I'm going to try and answer as best as I can in only one reply..

      The reason, I personally, struggle so incredibly much with commenting, is because I suffer from crippling anxiety. Writing this alone is making me sweat, shake and hyperventilate, but everyone deserves an explanation as to why I sounded so harsh originally, which never was my intention.
      But my anxiety manifests in a very peculiar way - I have trouble expressing myself with words. It's taking me approximately 5 tries to write each and every one of these sentences so they make sense. That also means that when my anxiety is high, I can't write a comment on a story I like, because the words just Won't Come. I can't explain well, and this is going to sound like an excuse. But it is what it is. I have gotten advice and comments on twitter about this as well, so if you, or anyone else need more clarification, I'm hoping you might find it there.

      I'm sorry.

      Last Edited Thu 12 Mar 2020 11:35AM EDT

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      1. purple flowers

        I’m so sorry for your difficulties. I appreciate you taking the time and trouble to expand here. If you can’t comment on fics, that’s okay—the authors put them out into the world for people to enjoy, so enjoy them. Lurkers have been a part of fandom long before AO3. I should know, I used to lurk for years. I’m better now (sometimes) but just know however much you can manage, those stories are there for you, you’re a part of fandom, and no matter how much authors like receiving love, it is never required payment. We give it for free. ❤️

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      2. Watercolour painting of a teacup on top of a stack of books.

        *virtual hugs*

        I appreciate how much work you put into expressing your feelings here. I think it's a valuable part of the community.

        💕💖💟

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      3. That is honestly too bad your anxiety is preventing from interacting with the other writers of the fandom(s) you're involved in. Have you ever tried making drafts of various kind of comments (ie. "I liked your story", "I liked your story, especially the part where [x] happened", "I really liked the way you wrote [x]") and then just... fill in the blank and copy/paste to comment? Maybe doing it on Anon could also help you? Baby steps?

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      4. Hey, I have anxiety too so I understand the strugle.

        Stay safe and hopefully things get better. 💞💕

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      5. Ladybug with a rainbow Pride background

        I think it's largely an effect of, your comment is the first one on the post.

        Take care of yourself. 🙂

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      6. Boo hoo.

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      7. So, in short, you're not too anxious to come here and whine at the mods for fixing a glitch, but when people so much as disagree with you, you start "shaking and crying." What a manipulative piece of work you are.

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        1. Agreed it comes across as manipulative. I feel for ppl dealing w/ anxiety. I deal with it to varying degrees too, but c'mon.
          They act like it's like pulling teeth to write someone a simple "I like this fic" or any emoji comment, but as per their first post, they clearly have no qualms berating and calling the admin of aO3 dumb. How does that make sense?
          And the interesting part is, these ppl complaining about comment anxiety and simultaneously berating ao3? Not one of them has posted in ao3's newest forum update of the extensive upgrades to thank them or write something positive in the comments. Seems like it's true the anxiety only crops up when they have to say something positive. Selective anxiety at its finest for real.

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    4. Yeah, nah. Some of us have really bad anxiety. Like, super bad.

      And it's stupid and illogical and whatever, but that's anxiety for you. 🤷♀️

      I can barely respond to the comments I receive, let alone leave original comments of my own. It sucks and I apologise to my fellow writers for it a bunch, but it takes an incalculable amount of balls for me to leave comments. It just does.

      I don't want it to, but it does. Been in therapy for longer than a lot of my readers have been alive. Am on medication. Still anxious. 👍

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      1. One has to wonder- you guys are too anxious to leave a simple “nice work!” yet you have no problem commenting to berate AO3 for fixing a glitch. The problem only comes when you have to leave... positive comments? 😂
        I also have anxiety and have been on medication since I was in middle school. Nowhere in my comment did I tell you all that you aren’t allowed to have anxiety, so that particular train of guilt-tripping won’t work with me. All I’m saying is that AO3 shouldn’t have to specifically keep a glitch on their site because you guys are unfortunately unable to type “👍🏼“. Sorry if that seems harsh to you, but as someone who is apparently so much older and wiser than I am, you should know even better than I do that the world can’t stop and cater to every anxiety everyone on earth has. Good luck with leaving non-negative comments in the future 💜

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        1. I'm not berating AO3. I am all for fixing glitches. I was simply pointing out why people may not feel comfortable commenting.

          You seem to have read a lot of subtext in my comment that simply does not exist.

          I appreciate your passion on this matter, however, I think you should really try to pay better attention to how you come off when speaking to people. I'm not sure if you meant to be harshly antagonistic and condescending in your reply, but you were. It was uncalled for and, frankly, quite rude. Which is not what AO3 is supposed to be about.

          You are also being unnecessarily dismissive of people with disabilities, which is also inappropriate and childish. Different people have different issues with their anxiety and it does not come with a convenient on/off switch, as you should know having it yourself. Having empathy doesn't cost a thing and a little goes a long way.

          I hope this is simply a one off for you & that if you are having a bad day or some sort of personal crisis that it improves so you no longer feel the need to lash out at strangers on the internet.

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          1. Add me to the count of users here who struggle with anxiety—but I didn’t think the comment was “harshly antagonistic” or “condescending” as you thought it to be. I didn’t even think it was “lashing out”. In fact, I thought your barb about “Having empathy doesn't cost a thing and a little goes a long way” and accusations about being “childish” and “unnecessarily dismissive about disabilities” were far more antagonistic. But that might be just me.

            The user above was asking a questions I thought of while reading this thread, and I’m sure many others have as well: how is it users in favor of extra kudos are too anxious to comment on stories they legitimately love but show up to argue against this change in kudos, sometimes repeatedly? I understand that anxiety manifests in illogical ways, but and yet I find myself continually thinking back to that question as I read comment after comment saying the same thing.

            I mentioned earlier that I struggle with anxiety, and I will admit that it often makes commenting difficult for me. So many times I’ve almost backed away from hitting the comment button because I feel like nothing I have to say could be worthwhile or could matter to the author. What possible use could my comment be?

            But then I remind myself how happy I am as a writer am to get comments, how anxious I feel about posting a new fic or a chapter to silence, and how bad I feel when it gets ignored. And I use that empathy to motivate myself to comment—I’ve loved this fic, and I want the author to know it. After all, if I were the author, I’d want to know if readers loved it.

            Not sure where I was going with this, maybe that will help another person out there who struggles with anxiety—to remember that writers are dealing with it as well. I try to think that if they can push through their anxiety for me, I can return the favor and push through for them.

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            1. As an author suffering from several types of untreated anxiety disorders, thank you! This sums up my feelings on the matter perfectly. I've gotten better with practice but it is still gut-wrenching at times to post, especially as a ""problematic"" writer who has gotten more than a few hate comments and threats. The ones who feel the same as me, who commiserate, are one of my primary reasons for pushing on.

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          2. Color me utterly unsurprised that someone with "Mama" in her fandom handle not only feels supremely entitled to the maintainers of a fic archive keeping a glitch just for her, but also supremely entitled to lecture other people on their attitudes — even though she herself began her comment snidely. We're not your kids, Mama. Wind your neck in.

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            1. ?

              Not complaining about the glitch.

              The attitude was unnecessary. My handle has been my handle since years before I was ever here. It's just who I am online.

              Did you forget to sign in or is this just deliberate anonymous trolling?

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        2. Some of us gather Up the courage to speak our own mind, which in terms of anxiety is tough. It's not easy to always read and reply to comments for some people, but when they do respond it means they have worked Up this courage and have gone past there fear. Which is a tough thing to do with bad anxiety. There is a huge difference between being scared and not, and some people are too afraid to respond to comments 24/7. Sorry if you don't like it, but some people like mulitpule kudos. That's just how it is.

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        3. Hicchan flower

          Kudos to this.

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    5. I speak only for myself, but there are a few reasons why I have trouble commenting.

      One, the chapter itself just didn't leave an impact, or otherwise gave me reason to leave a comment. (for me) It can be very hard for something to leave an impression aside from 'OK/meh/etc'...and leaving a comment reflecting that would not be helpful at all for the writer.
      Second, I'm one of those that dislike the 'this is nice', 'love it' comments myself, so I am not going to be one to leave such comments. That said, on my own work I tolerate them...as many of my works hardly get comments as is so I take what I can get...I just prefer the type of comments I can actually engage with.
      Third, what I wanted to say has been already been said by someone else (or multiple people) and I'd rather not add to the 'broken record' train.

      And as an aside...while Kudos have their place, to me they are a 'I like what I see so far' thing, they tell you nothing if the one that left it still likes the story later on.

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