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You can call me Hal.

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And the fic exchanges begin!
santa_smex begins today! Many, many thanks to reposoir for organizing the exchange and working so hard so that we'll have new Prince of Tennis fic all month. Read, comment, enjoy. And, as I see from my flist, any number of HP fic exchanges and probably ones for lots of other fandoms start today as well.

I've done anonymous fic exchanges before but they were all off of LJ, where the feedback was by email, not comments. And so, I find myself wondering about comment reply best practices. Please take this poll. It's for science.

Authors in anonymous LJ fic exchanges should reply to comments:

Immediately & anonymously.
After the reveal, even if it's a month later.
Reply to comments? I'm above all that.
Atobe is fabulous.

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It depends on the comment. If the comment is particularly glorious and nearly as well written as the fics I will sometimes step in anon and reply with a thank you for ... .

but usually I wait until the end of the exchange to reply.

I wouldn't want to reply to just one or two and leave the others; that can really put some people off because they feel like their comments are being ignored.

If the reveal was in a week, I'd be happy to wait, but if my fic gets posted early, I think I'll get itchy not replying for so long. Hmm.

I usually reply immediately to comments, but this time, I'm wondering whether or not to leave them be, in the spirit of anonymity. :D dunnow.

I'm trying to work out which the commenters would prefer: fast response or personal response, I guess.

I guess if that's my biggest dilemma all month, I'll be doing pretty well. :D

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Atobe is getting more votes than any other option. Curse his fabulousness!

Definitely, I will reply eventually. I'm leaning towards shikishi's idea of a short anon thank you and a longer reply after the reveal.

Heh. I'm finding the anonymous element of the fic exchange funny, considering that all the reactions are going to be positive.

Why not just do a "big reveal" at the end of it? The anonymity is only necessary while working on the fic; after you're done, why not simply say "yep, t'was I."

I just get twitchy not responding to feedback within a day or two. So I may do a short anon thank you right away.

Of course, if I'm the only one who does, everyone will know it's me anyhow now...

I had actually not thought of this at all. D: Now you made me anxious. DD:

But I think I might take shikishi's idea too, it sounds pretty good. :3

There's always something new to be anxious about in LJ Land. *g*

Heh, I asked just the same this morning and am *still* unsure :). I'm happy with both now/anonymous (so tempting) and later/after reveal (better to keep anonymity). I tend to answer after reveal unless I just *have* to say something to a particular comment, or it's a question or something.

What I have learned today is that there is no one right answer, except that Atobe is clearly fabulous. I guess I'll play it by ear, see what other people end up doing.

For all fic fests I've done, save the reversathon, I responded to comments after the fic reveal using my username. And I'd happily spend the whole month squeeing when someone left a comment and reading them and lurking.

This has never been an issue for me before, so I'm curious about what people usually do. Lurking and squeeing is always fun. :)

I'm very strongly in favor of responding immediately and anonymously. Partly because I just feel rude letting feedback sitting around without saying anything, and partly because as a reader I don't like getting 80 comment notifications a month later when the authors respond. Also, one of the nice things about responding to feedback is that it can generate a dialogue, and a month later, I rarely feel like chatting up the author for a story I might not remember.

Plus, as a lazy author... I know personally that I will just let comments slide, so it's better if there's an expectation that I will reply right away. (Which is why I hate that you can't reply to Yuletide comments anonymously, because, ahem, I do tend to forget by the time the reveal happens.)

This is how I feel as well. But I'll have to see if anyone else does it too, especially if my story is posted fairly late in the month.

And, you know, I don't think I ever *did* reply to my Yuletide feedback last year, because, yeah, by the reveal, it had slipped my mind.

I have done all of the above. :D I think the leaving things mostly anonymous keeps the mystery alive much longer, which I prefer. But really it doesn't matter.

Wow, that comment made no sense. I meant that not replying to comments right away keeps the mystery alive longer. Obviously you'd be replying anonymously before the reveal.

I'm going to do what the majority does. Being a lemming isn't so bad if it limits worry.

Good point. Plus, if nobody else does this and I do, everyone will know it's me, because of this post.

I'm still so confused! Plus, everyone keeps choosing the Atobe option on the poll.

I haven't taken part in santa_smex, but if I had, I'd wait and see what everyone else did.

In past exchanges I've always waited until the reveal though, just because everyone else did.

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