melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
melannen ([personal profile] melannen) wrote2013-10-20 05:06 pm

Yuletide + SCIENCE OTP

...I realized only after re-reading my letter multiple times that my yuletide requests this year basically come down to SCIENCE!!! (or arm joe). Ooops?

So, speaking of SCIENCE!!, four years ago, when Dreamwidth was less that a year old, I sampled the list of Yuletide letters to see where fandom-as-represented-by-Yuletide was living at the time.

I thought it'd be fun to do it again this year, especially with all the talk about DW and LJ being dead and fandom moving to Tumblr.

Procedure
I randomly chose 11 pages of the 41 pages of comments that then existed on the 2013 yuletide letters post and tallied up how many links to letters linked to various sites. Skipping over reposts with corrections, this gave me 256 samples, which This Thing I Found On Google tells me is something like a 95% chance of being with 5% of the correct totals if I'd looked at all the letters. (Being four more years out of college, I am four years less resentful of the thought of attempting to do Real Statistics. ...I think my procedure four years ago was actually more rigorous but the Proper Science way was faster. :P)

I sorted them into Livejournal, Dreamwidth, Tumblr, Other, and Multiple, which is slightly different categories from four years ago - four years ago, Other LJ-Like Sites had a category, and Tumblr didn't. In 2009 I had a category for "none", which included placeholders and letters posted directly as comments; these were folde into "Other" in this year's count. Also, I counted crossposts only by the first site linked, whereas this year I totalled every link, recording which ones were crossposts.

Results
LJ: 151/256, or 59%, +/- 5%
DW: 101/256, or 39%, +/- 5%
Tumblr: 16/256, or 6%, +/- 2%
Other: 2/256, or .7%, +/- 1%

These totals are greater than 100% because 15 people crossposted to both LJ and DW.
If you count the crossposts separately, than LJ is at 53%, DW is a 33%, and LJ/DW crosspost is at 6%
If you count each crosspost as 1/2 LJ and 1/2 DW, then LJ is at 56% and DW is at 36% Since I counted crossposts as either lj or dw in 2009, I will use these numbers for my comparisons.

There were no linked crossposts other than LJ/DW.

link to download data spreadsheet



Comparison to 2009:

bar graph showing 2009-2013 comparison

LJ has dropped from 80% of all YT letters to 56%, which is about a 30% drop.
DW has gone from 18% to 36%, a 100% increase.
92% of fans still link to their yuletide letters on a LJ-type site, which is only a 6% drop from four years ago.
Tumblr went from <3 (which was the total for all non-lj based bloglike sites) to 16, which is at least an eightfold increase, but still smaller than I was expecting.
Other: the 2 "other" sites in this year's sample were all 'upload a text file for display'-type sites, which don't correspond to any of the extra categories from 2009. If you total all non-LJ/DW posts from each year, it's 21 in 2009 vs. 18 in 2013, which is within the margin of error.

There are 1900 participants this year, opposed to 2100 in 2009, which is a significant but less than 10% drop and within the range of normal yearly variation.

What is this experiment actually testing?

It's testing where yuletide participants a) choose to post their yuletide letters, and b) which post they choose to link to in the yuletide community post. I am doing this experiment on the assumption that this correlates to which sites fans consider best for important text posts, although it most likely does not correspond.

Likely heavy biasing factors
1. This only includes Yuletide participants. While this is likely to get a broader swath of fandom-as-a-whole than most other fests - including people who consider themselves 'primarily' in a wide variety of parts of fandoms, and people who mostly lurk the rest of the year and are unlikely to be caught by other samples - it is still going to be biased toward the sides of fandom that do yuletide.
2. The yuletide mods and community continues to host much of its primary content - including the post these links were taken from - which is likely a strong biasing factor toward people linking to Livejournals even they no longer consider them a primary home.
3. There is some perception that you need a journal to take part in yuletide, or that dear author letters have to be posted to a journal (and that tumblrs don't count as journals) which is completely untrue but seems to linger every year, so people with no existing LJ/DW journal may either disproportionately avoid yuletide, or use an LJ/DW only for their letter. This is likely to bias the results away from tumblr and toward LJ/DW. On the other hand, this does speak to a continuing perception in fandom that an lj-type site is still where parts of fandom like yuletide 'belong', even if people are spending more time on other sites.


In 2009 I included a rant about people linking to their letters with a link text of "here" or "my letter" and how annoying that was. There was considerably less of that this year, and considerably more of people linking with the bare URL. I'm not sure if that's due to a greater awareness of accessible link text, something in the instructions biasing people toward a bare URL, or fandom's greater comfort with that format due to anon communities where most links are bare URLs due to spamblocking on anon comment. Whatever, I appreciate it!

(also, random helpful people who were going through the post reply to comments with non-linked URL with linked versions: do your browsers not have a built-in right click-go to URL option for those? What chintzy kind of browsers are you using??)

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