Comment on Upcoming changes to kudos

  1. One thing you (and others who share your point of view on kudos) don't seem to understand is that kudos aren't the reason why people aren't commenting on fanworks, and kudos aren't replacing comments in any way or form.

    Someone who is inclined to leave a comment on a fanwork, will do so regardless of whether kudos are an available feature or not.

    What kudos are doing, is giving a voice to a wider audience who might not have the spoons/time/etc. to leave feedback, giving them the chance to tell a creator that they are reading/seeing/hearing them, and they are appreciating them. They are giving these people (the so-called lurkers, who have been here since day one) an opportunity to be part of things.

    And they are giving us, the creators, the chance to know these people are out there, and want us to know they enjoyed what we created.

    This might not be meaningful to you, but I can assure you thousands of people disagree.

    Personally, I've been in fandom for over fifteen years already, and I can say that a) I receive more feedback in the form of comments here than I've ever received in any other platform I've been in (ff.net, LJ, forums, other archives), and b) despite being lucky enough to have various works with thousands of kudos, my daily kudos email makes me smile every time, and I scroll down it and take note of the users in there.

    They aren't numbers. They are people out there, living their lives, letting me know I was a part of their day, telling me 'I liked this!', or 'good job!'.

    And what can I say? It makes me happy, every single time. And I know I'm not the only one.

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

      🖖🏼

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    2. Ladybug with a rainbow Pride background

      THIS

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    3. It's great that you have a better engagement on AO3 compared to other sites. It's not the case for me, and I don't think I'm the only one in that situation.

      I don't see how leaving a "nice story" kind of comment requires more time/spoon that clicking on the kudos button, but to each their own.

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      1. Ladybug with a rainbow Pride background

        Click Reply. Figure out what to say. Type however many keystrokes. Click Comment.

        Vs: Click Kudos.

        It's not necessarily much more time or effort to comment than to kudos. And people who find it easy to put their thoughts and feelings into words will certainly find a smaller difference between leaving a comment reading "nice story" and leaving a kudos, as will people who find it easy to type and to click, full stop; the kudos function thus proves its importance as disability accessibility for people with social anxiety, people with any of a number of language issues, and for people with any of a number of movement and/or pain problems, as well as accessibility to people who can competently read the language the fic is written in but are far from certain of their ability to write even a couple of words in that language, and probably a bunch of groups I've forgotten. But it is more time and effort to comment than to kudos. Always.

        That's why the kudos function exists. So that people who otherwise wouldn't feel able to give the author any feedback can at least convey to the author that, hey, I read this, and I appreciated it.

        And no, you are not the only person who gets less engagement on AO3. I'm thinking in particular of a friend who writes a lot of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fic; the fandom as a whole is apparently centered on fimfiction dot net, such that pretty much the only creators who get more engagement on AO3 in that fandom are people who don't post to fimfiction at all. I suspect whatever reasons mean you get better engagement off AO3 than on AO3 are similarly unrelated to AO3's kudos button.

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        1. Of course there is some basis as to why the kudos function has been implemented, the team behind AO3 didn't do that just for kicks. I did notice that people have been using that function as a good enough equivalent to leaving comments, and as a writer, I'm not a fan of it, but there is nothing I can do about it.

          The reasons behind engagement on AO3 and the drop I noticed compared to other sites are multiple: size of the fandom, topic of the fic, pairing, comment culture, state of the fandom itself (still active or not), and so on. It's of course not entirely down to the kudos function.

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        2. Jesus. Go outside and touch grass.

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          1. Ladybug with a rainbow Pride background

            Why yes, I will absolutely go aggravate at least three of my disabilities because Anon knows more about how disability and ableism work than I do. That is the best idea, and the most educated and trustworthy source of advice, I have heard all week.

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            1. Oh, so you're hyperliteral as well. It figures. And pointing that out is probably "ableist," too. As everything apparently is with you.

              Let me try to spell it out for you: Get some perspective.

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              1. Ladybug with a rainbow Pride background

                Oh no, it's not ableist imo to observe I'm hyperliteral. I'm not sure if that's the only not-ableist thing you've said in this thread, though. Depends whether I'm correct to infer that the perspective you want me to get is one that assumes nobody important is disabled and nobody disabled could possibly be important.

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      2. And I don't see why seeing written "nice story" is any different than seeing a kudos. They're fundamentally the same. If every kudos came with a message of "nice story" or "loved it!", would that satisfy you?

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        1. "nice story" and "loved it!" don't evoke the same feeling of appreciation, and a comment is more personal than a kudos, due to the simple fact that the reader took the time to do something more than just clicking on the kudos button (even if it's just copy-paste a message that's already in a note application). Leaving a kudos is a very anonymous, mechanical action that leaves no place for further exchange between reader and writer, contrary to a comment.

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          1. You're talking out of both sides. Because your very reasoning applies to most comments that aren't detailed. You can't say comments are better because they start an exchange then in the same breath say certain comments aren't any good.

            "nice story", "loved it!", and all the simple responses ARE comments. Have been since FFN and LJ. And someone saying "nice story" or giving an emoji isn't starting an exchange. They post and that's it. It's the same as kudos; a quick heads-up of appreciation and going about their business. And that's what most readers are going to do.

            So, when you say "comments" it sounds like you're talking about reviews (which are different) or praise (and/or concrit?) and trying to conflate all of that in "comments". And that doesn't help your case.

            Because it now becomes a "what kind of comment this writer wants from me?" and reader just stops bothering until it became a habit to not say anything or worse, just say praise (oh how I miss concrit). Even worse, writers can't even agree on telling readers what they want out of them. (9 times out of 10, its asspats, let's be honest.)

            tl;dr You're devaluing kudos for not being something they were never meant to be. All while adding justifications that are nonsensical to comments to do so.

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            1. Where did I say that certain comments aren't any good? Is it because I said that "nice story" and "loved it!" don't evoke the same thing? One is more enthusiastic than the other, and one is more personal (to the reader, because of the use of "loved", contrary to the use of "nice"), but it's not a judgement on whether the comment is good or not. And when did I say those simple responses weren't comments? It feels to me that you are putting words in my mouth.

              Someone saying "nice story" or giving an emoji starts an exchange simply by posting something that the author can react to, contrary to a kudos, that can only be noticed. When I talk about exchange, I don't mind a back-and-forth of ten comments. Someone commenting "nice story" and me answering "thank you" count as an exchange for me.

              When I say "comments", I talk about everything you mention: reviews (although I do not see the difference you make between reviews and comments; they're called reviews on ffnet and comments here, but it's the same), praise, concrit, all of that constitutes comments for me. A comment is literally a feedback (from a single emoji to a ten paragraphs analysis, and everything in between one might think) from a reader to a writer. What is written in the comment box of AO3 is a comment, whatever its length or content might be.

              "What kind of comment this writer wants from me?" The answer is: a reaction, usually. Be it a single word (or an emoji) or a thousand words.

              "tl;dr You're devaluing kudos for not being something they were never meant to be. All while adding justifications that are nonsensical to comments to do so." I find you quite unfair in your assessment of my words. Me wanting interactions with the readers does not mean I'm adding nonsensical justifications to comments, whatever you might mean by that.

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              1. You should have said so in the first place. You made it sound like both comments don't evoke any feelings which is why I said that. It sounded like you were dismissing both of them as "lesser" on the evoking scale.

                Okay, I see your viewpoint now. Really, you should have said all of this earlier because that's very subjective. I don't see that as an exchange, merely as a confirmation. Thus, it's the same as kudos in my view.

                Reviews are detailed and tend to have concrit. Reviews are comments, but comments aren't reviews. In the same way sneakers are shoes, but high heels aren't sneakers. Yes, I know that, but there are plenty of writers who say they want comments but they want specific comments aka reviews. I'd say kudos is feedback too; all of it is to show someone is reading.

                So you say, but others wouldn't disagree. That's what you want and what you should make note of in your fanfics, but that doesn't speak for all writers.

                That's because you were vague. When you're vague, your arguments made no sense. Now that you've explained yourself better, I can see your side to it. And my response isn't about you wanting interactions, I don't care about that. It was about comments vs kudos. I'm trying to understand why you didn't care for kudos and frankly, you didn't make it easy.

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                1. You could have asked me to be more precise or to detail my thoughts on the topic instead of putting words in my mouth.

                  I take note of your suggestion of clearly spelling out what kind of comments I would like to have in my fics notes. As the various conversations on this post showed, it's best to spell out everything.

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                  1. I thought those were your thoughts. You weren't that vague. If you don't to be misunderstood, be clear instead of assuming others follow can your train of thought.

                    Okays.

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                    1. Either my words were clear, or they were vague. They couldn't possibly be both at the same time.

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          2. Kudos aren't impersonal just because they don't allow you an interaction you feel you are entitled to. I refuse to believe that the interest, time, and appreciation of people who leave kudos is less worthy/important than that of those who leave comments (which can be as simple as '♥'), simply because (some) creators feel entitled to engagement.

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            1. Just because you put kudos and comments on the same level and I don't doesn't mean I feel I'm entitled to engagement. Were I entitled, I would send my fics to people I'm sure would give me lengthy concrit, not post them on a public website where everyone can read them without having to do anything in return.

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            2. Funny that writers are “entitled” for wanting comments from readers but readers who seem to think they should be able to read all kinds of fics without ever leaving so much as a word of encouragement somehow aren’t. Especially since when it comes right down to it, it’s the author who’s doing more work.

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              1. Thank you.

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        2. For me, personally, I prefer comments because it actually lets me engage with the commenter. I usually have a lot of thoughts and feelings on characters that I want to share and squee about, and there’s no way to do that with kudos. Replying to comments and continuing the conversation lets me feel connected with readers, and I really enjoy that feeling and possibly getting more discussion with them. Kudos simply don’t allow that option.

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          1. I understand that; I feel the same way. But I also know that comments that allow us to do that are rare. And even then that's no guarantee they'll continue the conversation. Many don't want to take that kind of risk (nor may they be that interested) or they may be introverts and/or shy. I see kudos as the option for those who don't want converse; those who just want to read. If posting a comment opens one up to a conversation, I can see why many would rather not.

            That's why they are just as important, to me, as both a reader and writer. I love them both and am trying to understand the dislike for them.

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            1. But I also know that comments that allow us to do that are rare.

              I think it depends what kind of fandoms/characters you're writing for--as someone who tends to write for a lot of rarer fandoms and characters, I very frequently get conversation in the comments about different aspects of the fic, characterization, and the canon itself. I certainly feel very lucky for it, because I've had some wonderful conversations and gained some new fic ideas through it.

              Regardless, of it the conversation continues, though, I do feel much more of a connection to a reader who comments than one who just kudos. Even the smallest comment is going above and beyond in my eyes, and I'm sincerely grateful for it. Kudos are fun, but I feel like with commenting, you know you've really left an impression on your reader.

              Many don't want to take that kind of risk (nor may they be that interested) or they may be introverts and/or shy. I see kudos as the option for those who don't want converse; those who just want to read. If posting a comment opens one up to a conversation, I can see why many would rather not.

              There's been a lot of reasons listed in this section as explanations why readers prefer to kudos, and I agree, it seems as though the main one is that many readers simply prefer not to engage directly with the author. It does make me a little bit sad to think that it's considered a risk to leave a comment, though--for me, fandom is about being enthusiastic about a canon or characters, and it's a bit of a blow to think my enthusiasm is driving readers away rather than encouraging or inspiring them. But I guess we can't win them all.

              I love them both and am trying to understand the dislike for them.

              I think for many, kudos are nice, but not particularly meaningful? I like kudos as well, and I look forward to my kudos emails. It makes me smile when I see particular names pop up. But I think actual comments are what really let writers know that readers enjoyed their work. I don't think kudos are robbing authors of comments, but I also think that a reader taking the comment to write a comment, even just an emoji, is going the extra mile.

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            2. (2 more comments in this thread)

      3. "I don't see how leaving a "nice story" kind of comment requires more time/spoon that clicking on the kudos button, but to each their own."

        You answered your own question downthread.

        "a comment is more personal than a kudos, due to the simple fact that the reader took the time to do something more than just clicking on the kudos button (even if it's just copy-paste a message that's already in a note application). Leaving a kudos is a very anonymous, mechanical action that leaves no place for further exchange between reader and writer, contrary to a comment."

        That is how it takes more spoons.

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        1. THIS! :thumbs up:

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    4. "i will kiss every inch of your baby"

      I agree with this, thank you.

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    5. *Zidy leaves kudos on A's comment* :)

      But thanks, this is it. Right here. I've been in fandom over 20 years now and I've probably left more kudos since AO3 started by an order of magnitude than the number of comments I've ever left.

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