• Member Since 8th Oct, 2016
  • offline last seen Last Friday

Dave Bryant

Please consider buying me a Ko-fi • I have a vocabulary and I’m not afraid to use it.

More Blog Posts123

  • 24 weeks
    No idea

    Three-act Play and Rose Brass took a lot out of me, to the point I’m not sure what if anything is left. That’s not to say I’m leaving or anything like that; I still pop on Fimfiction frequently, I still read stories, I still participate through comments or notes or the occasional journal post. I still want to finish the stories in progress or planned—but it seems I’m wrung

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    4 comments · 83 views
  • 30 weeks
    Choice cuts 0: the original story notes

    Before Scampy and I even started on Three-act Play, we sat down for a marathon five-hour initial story conference. I boiled down the Discord transcript to a ten-page Adobe InDesign document—yes, I use that instead of a word processor, sue me—and generated a PDF file. In turn, I pulled the text from that PDF file, pasted it here, and cleaned it up a little. I abbreviated the three primary

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    0 comments · 70 views
  • 30 weeks
    Finishing up Lectern’s: Fall Semester

    I really do need to finish the Ogres & Oubliettes game. As usual, the trouble I’m having is finding a narrative line. The only practicable thing to do is to string together a succession of vignettes, similar to the first installment, which means coming up with those vignettes. Spoilers ahoy!

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    0 comments · 56 views
  • 33 weeks
    Pointless ruminations on Sunset’s flat, because I am an architecture nerd

    While reconstructing Sunset’s idiosyncratic living space, I realized it actually is laid out quite poorly. In no way, however, should that be considered a negative criticism of the art and animation staff! I have seen equally or more awkward arrangements in the real world, especially in older constructions.

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    8 comments · 123 views
  • 34 weeks
    Sunset’s loft flat

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    5 comments · 137 views

More numerical analysis and musings thereon · 6:50pm March 31st

At time of writing Fimfiction hosts 143,967 stories. From a story’s Statistics page one can glean a fair amount of information, though context for that information is not presented in full—which admittedly is a significant coding challenge that may not be worth the effort, since most people probably don’t care much. However, I do, partly because fiddling around with raw data simply tickles my fancy, so I decided to check where my stories stand in ratings relative to the site’s whole corpus. Following is a list ordered from highest rating to lowest, as well as where it falls by percentage.

  1. Diplomatic Overtures 16,284 (11.3%)
  2. Foreign Nationals of Unusual Importance 19,832 (13.8%)
  3. “The Farmer in the Dell” 20,988 (14.6%)
  4. Lectern’s: Summer Break 21,628 (15.0%)
  5. Mister Cook Goes to Canterlot 22,231 (15.4%)
  6. Virga 22,652 (15.7%)
  7. Amphorae 23,379 (16.2%)
  8. “Conference” 23,989 (16.7%)
  9. Talking Heads 29,673 (20.6%)
  10. “Pig in a Poke” 34,710 (24.1%)
  11. “Oops.” 38,754 (26.9%)
  12. Lectern’s: Fall Semester 49,291 (34.2%)
  13. Three-act Play 61,120 (42.5%)
  14. The Campus 63,050 (43.8%)
  15. Inspired by . . . 66,279 (46.0%)
  16. Rose Brass 88,871 (61.7%)
  17. “Courtesy Call” 133,853 (93.0%)

The percentages range from roughly 11.3% to 93.0%, which is very broad, but the overall average is around 30%. That’s quite a bit lower than I would prefer—or would consider the quality of my work to be relative to the site’s contributer base; my unscientific guess would place it in the top ten or maybe twenty percent instead. None of my stories break the first and only about half break the second.

Of course, ratings are a notoriously unreliable measure of quality for a host of reasons. Discoverability is, of course, a difficulty on any site. The reader base may and probably does have strong biases in their preferences, and frankly, many if not most people’s taste is all in their mouths. Personal politics play a particularly pernicious part; to be honest, I think downvotes are, as a concept, a mistake to implement anywhere precisely because they are so easy to weaponize.

I’d bet all those factors play their part here. My work has appeared only briefly and sporadically in the top box or the Popular Stories sidebar. What I write definitely does not seem to appeal to the bulk of the readership here. Moreover, I suspect a small but apparently devoted coterie of serial downvoters hits that red button on whatever I post out of personal or political animosity if and when they see it. Three-act Play in particular I am convinced has so many downvotes simply because Scampy is credited as coauthor; she is but should not be a real lightning rod for controversy. My disgusted response to the latter—I am very fond of Scampy and consider her a wonderful person and writer—I shall not repeat, since I generally try to keep my utterances here free of profanity and obscenity.

I am reminded of a probably apocryphal anecdote involving Adlai Stevenson II during one of his campaigns for the US presidency. Supposedly someone said to him, “Governor, you have the vote of every thinking person!” to which he is said to have replied, “That's not enough, madam; we need a majority!”

Not that any of this is going to change what I write and how I write it.

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Comments ( 5 )

Yeah, any crowd-determined ranking system is going to be unreliable at minimum. I admit, this does sound interesting, but I'd rather not do it for all 131 of my published stories at the moment. :twilightsheepish:

Sounds like a job for a script, if you or anyone you know can whip one up. :derpytongue2:

I was just looking yesterday at the list by overall popularity, and made me think, what would the list by bandwidth be like? Multiply number of views by size of story. Im pretty sure DOAM tops the overall list, but its incomplete. Not sure which the highest Complete is?

The last two, especially the last one, are certainly big outliers. If you remove them, its more like a 24% average instead of 30%.

I also notice the top stories either stand on their own, or are entry points into their series, and sequels make up most of the the lower stories, which makes sense to me.

I certainly agree about downvotes. Most stories I see don't have many downvotes at all (but I suppose thats at least in part because higher rated stories are move visible in general), but I've seen plenty of stories with lots of downvotes, and something they all just so happen to have in common is featuring transgender characters and/or themes (I'm sure there are similar topics that get massively downvoted too).

All good points. Also, most of the higher-rated stories tend to be older, with more time to build up a positive ratio of votes.

A large number of downvotes, in my experience, generally stems either from a genuine lack of quality or a political element—portraying something in a positive light others perceive as negative. Bombarding stories with downvotes, however, isn’t limited to disapproval of transgender themes, though that certainly is prominent. It works both ways: nasty fetish-porn, such as incest and nonconsensuality, and fascistic politics also tend to get a lot of downvote-bombing, but at least they deserve it.

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