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You can call me Hal.

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Does fanfic turn into a pumpkin at midnight?
bethbethbeth has a great post on feedback. Not one of those tedious ones where people seriously disucss whether or not feedback is a responsiblity, blah, blah, blah, but rather, one where everybody posts about their feedback neuroses and just how pitiful and needy we all are, refreshing the comments again and again, just in case one person out there loves us.

Anyhow. Something people keep mentioning is trying not to post "at night" or "in the middle of the night" (which I assume means "in the middle of the night in North America") because then people won't read the story. This puzzles me. When I read my flist, if something interests me and I don't have time to read it right away, I open it in a tab and read it later; I don't just skip it. And I go through my whole list every day. If someone posts in the middle of the night, I'll see it.

I can see not bothering to read somebody's post about their aspidistra or how they really hate that new barrista at Starbucks because you have too many posts to go through in the morning and not enough time. But do people really do that with fic? Do you do that with fic?

If I don't get many comments on a story, I just assume that people didn't like it, not that there were time-zone difficulties. Have I been wrong all these years?

Please tell me so I can have one more thing to stress over. Unless, of course, you don't ever see this post because it's the middle of the night where you live.

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I hadn't really thought about the size of fandoms; the one I'm in now is relatively small. I can see how it would be a bit of a muddle with so much stuff going on.

I've noticed that. The later at night it's posted, the fewer comments given. I guess it also depends on the story's appeal. But in general, early evening seems to get the most traffic. I personally look through my whole f-list at one point anyway, so if there's something up I want to read it gets read most of the time. Hmmm. It's interesting. :D

I guess then the question is: early evening where? I'm in the Pacific time zone, so if I want to hit evening for most of NA I guess I'd have to start mid-afternoon. Hmm. I wish I could do a study to test this, but there are too many different factors that affect the fb level in a story. Plus I'd have to write too much fic. *g*

Nah, I post late at night all the time. It's Fridays and Saturdays I avoid, because nobody's actually *around*. Early weekday evenings/nights seem to be best for getting comments fairly quickly, but I've had good luck with late Sunday nights as well - lots of people looking for fic to go with their Monday morning coffee etc.

I do what harriet_spy does sometimes - post right away to my own LJ and then the next afternoon to a comm.

Here's my question though: do you do that with fic you read? That is, skip over the stuff that was posted while you were asleep? (Or, really, be more likely to skip over it.)

I'm like you, I open it in a tab and read it later. I have a firefox window open 24/7 (although I only started this once I got installed a minimize to system tray extension: windows on the taskbar I'm not using really bug me), it's like having temporary bookmarks. I don't want to miss any of the good stuff just because of what time it is. That's ridiculous, I think.

Tabs have improved my life so much, I can't even say. Hmm, maybe the problem really is that too many people are still using IE. If we could get them all onto Firefox or Opera, they would put the stories in tabs and send us sweet, lifegiving feedback, instead of passing it by because they don't like to have too many windows open.

This isn't about fanfic, because I haven't read any in a long time, but I reply to more *posts* when they appear on my friends list while I'm actually online.

When I wake up, I might have to skip back=60 or so, and I'll just read through all of that in one 15 minute stint, and only comment when it's important. Because by then I've usually missed the discussion boat anyway, or I simply cannot be bothered.

And I've noticed that with my regular posts - if I post something about my breakfast/pet fish/whatever, if I post it during the night, i'll get a lot of my US friends commenting, but if I post it while my aussie friends are on , then i'll get their comments. But never both. Unless it was a scandalous pet fish story.

You know what else is horrible too, I'm more likely to open up a piece of fic in a new tab if it's already got some comments on it. So I have no idea how that fits into your timeline.

But yeah, I wouldn't post a piece of fic on a weekend.

Yeah, I'm probably like that with regular posts too. Sometimes it seems like the moment has passed by the time I get to them. Or if I'm pressed for time, I won't bother to comment.

You know what else is horrible too, I'm more likely to open up a piece of fic in a new tab if it's already got some comments on it.

I foresee sock puppets in my future. *g*

I think the worst fic posting decision I ever saw was when somebody posted a story the same day as the Yuletide reveal.

When I'm pressed for time I can't keep up with my flist. Even when I have time to skim everything and save stuff I want to read in detail in tabs (yay for 'bookmark all in tabs'!), I now have a backlog of bookmark folders going irregularly back months.

It never crosses my mind what time of day anything is, because my flist is global and I am sometimes very nocturnal and sometimes very not.

Fandom is infinite and shiny and individual fans are finite and never have enough time to bask in the shiny. Such is life.

Dust. Wind. Dude.


So true -- I get swamped a lot too. Maybe if I could figure out a way to put one of those floating windows on everybody's flist and it wouldn't go away until they clicked through to the story.

I bet I'd get LOTS of feedback!

Long comment and whoo I'm tired so I ramble.

I used to be pathetically hungry for comments... on my first fic in the GW fandom. I got told off. XD Which I am very happy that someone did because I would still be pathetically hungry. I mean... it's not wrong to love comments. But personally, I don't like to beg for them. Not after so many years of writing first in the GW fandom and now the Tenipuri fandom. I have my little thing on commenting on my user info. That's what I've stuck by for a long time. I'm a comment giving person. I don't expect people to do the same. *shrug*

I always post at night before I go to bed. Because my "awake hours" are always hectic and I know I'll forget to do something or whatnot. And I love/worship Mozilla for its tabs. I religiously go through my flist, especially when I wake up or after class/work (after a length of time away from the computer) and open all the posts I find interesting in tabs. My tabs go so small since I have so many open. XD;; Then I actually read through them and comment on nearly 90% on them. I don't care that people post all hours of the night or whatever, I don't usually notice the times on the posts anyway?

I go through any and all posts the same. If it's a post on someone's day, if I can find a relevant thing to comment on, I will. On fics, I ususally save until after I comment on the daily posts, since those take a while to read through.

As for comments on fics, I don't particularly care about mine. I mean... not that I DON'T CARE about my fics, but just because they don't comment, doesn't mean they don't like it. At least that's what I've been telling myself all these years. *shrugs* Maybe they didn't like it and I've been deluding myself! Ah well. XD;; I sometimes hate to say that I write for myself and my own satisfaction because... it sounds so egotistical... and "omg so you don't care about anyone else's opinion" type thing. But really, if you like it then great. If you don't, it's not a bother to me.

If there is a correlation between time of posted fic and comments receive... will I change the time I post? Probably not.

Yeah, me = tired. Did that make sense? I am so sorry. XD;;

Re: Long comment and whoo I'm tired so I ramble.

I always think, haha, I don't care that much about the comments...until I post something that gets way less than I was expecting. Then my true personality comes through. :)

I sometimes consider the day I post on, but not usually the hour. Maybe I should think about that more.

You make perfect sense! *hugs* I'm glad you're so sensible about this.

Well, there is something weird about nighttime on LJ (defining nighttime as American, east-coastish nighttime). Maybe it's just me, but I've noticed that my flist is utterly dead between the hours of 2 and 6 a.m. EST -- America being largely asleep, the Brits having not yet had their elevensies, and the Australians being in the waning hours of school/work, or just getting home. (My flist, in case you were wondering, is mostly HP people, and a mix of nationalities, although once I put a stat counter in a fic post and most, say 90%ish, of the people who clicked the cut had North American ISPs).

The thing about posting at night is that the post can then get buried in the onslaught of morning/midday posts, making it quite possible that people, especially those with large friendslists, might give up at skip=100something, and thus miss it. Though that doesn't really account for it, because people who really want to read your stuff will read it, one way or another.

I think in the end it's not that they're less likely to read so much as that they're less likely to comment -- if your post is buried like that, and people are coming to it after lots of reading and commenting, maybe they will bookmark yours and save it for later, or they will read it and think "I will comment later" (and I know from personal experience that I almost never remember to "comment later"), &c. And in general, I've heard a lot of people say that they feel weird commenting on older fics, and fandom is a pretty fast-moving place so "old" is relative.

Someone, xylodemon I think, posited once that the life expectancy of a fic on LJ is about 24 hours. Someone else, I forget who, mentioned the possibility of gathering statistics on that, e.g. comments vs time-from-posting, and if they ever did it, I want to see. In any case, I interpret that more as a comment-life than a reading-life, especially after my experience with the stat counter (lots of people still clicking, even a week or two later; comments falling off sharply around the 1 - 2 day mark).

I have noticed that a good fic posted at night will get a respectable number of comments no matter what, whereas a not-so-good fic will do better if timed well (when the people watching your journal are bored at work, say). These might just be impressions (starting from the subjectivity of good and bad, for one), but I do tend to let it all influence my posting habits, depending on how many comments I'm in the mood to receive -- in the beginning I was eager for fandom acclaim, and had a theory that fics should be posted between four and five p.m. EST, and then crossposted to no more than two relevant communities, with the space of a day between each crossposting. Now, however, I tend to be ambivalent on the subject of fandom acclaim and the weird publicness of LJ life, and so I don't crosspost anymore and I post a fic whenever it's finished, leaving feedback up to the fates. And sometimes I get in a funk where I don't want to hear people say nice things to me (but I just have to post a fic so I can stop tinkering with it)and that's when I post at 2 a.m. on the nose. It doesn't always work according to plan, but I like to overthink things, so at least pondering when to post will occupy my mind for a good long while.

Oh, and now I'm rambling :"> Anyway, I had a poll once about people's posting habits, including the times they tended to post. Very interesting answers :)

I think you're right about the comment-life of fic (to distinguish it from the reading-life).

The exception to this rule is if a particular story, for whatever reason, starts getting recced everywhere. A rec - or a number of them - seems to be a spur to leaving comments, as if people feel it's important to tell the author exactly why they're reading the story in the first place.

I suspect it's for when you have a large/post heavy friends list, and you don't always scroll all the way back over all the night posts, you might miss it. I don't always catch up. I'm sure I miss a lot of fic.

I suppose that happens when you're a friending whore like myself.

I think your list is about the same size as mine. I do skim, though. But I'm one of those people who HAS to catch up. I mean, what if I *missed* somebody's new kitten?

Whenever I post a story, the people who really want to read it will (they're the same 5-6 people), but if I post in Australian daytime, no-one else does. If I post at midnight, random Europeans and US people read it, too.

This all makes me miss the mailing list days. At least then your story sat in someone's inbox until they read it or deleted it!

I don't post stories, and I rarely post comments, unfortunately, but I go through my flist everyday... or every time I'm able. And I go back through the entries, until I find one that I know I saw the last time I was on... so I don't think what time a person posts has anything to do with the amount of people commenting. Some people comment whether they like the story or not, some people don't, unless it's something that's really grabbed them (ex. nekokatechan's 'One Glance'; Tarma's 'Changechildren'; sp_katherine's 'Into the Indefinite Sky', et. al.) So, in essence, you're not wrong. It's probably that some people don't go back on their flists, or through the post, which means they're just missing a lot.

er.... I dunnow.
I assume that it's because the fic isn't 1)funny 2)painfully ornate (thus calling forth of "omg gorgeous")
*mean today*

IMHO you're right. If I find a fanfiction on my flist, I'll most definitely read it. It may take me weeks to get to this, if I'm in a hectic phase in my life but I will. I usually say what I liked about it, sometimes, when I know the person can bear critique, I leave comments about the parts that didn't work for my and I try to say why.

And I live in Eastern Europe.

So no, time zones are excuses for weak.

Well, *I* do exactly what you do: open stories in new tabs to be read when I'm really awake. But even I miss things all the time - and I'm more likely to miss it if it's posted when I'm asleep (few hours though those might be) or teaching or in transit.

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