Literate Union
Sometimes our posts just like to pull a Houdini.
New Follow Forum Follow Topic
« Prev Page 1 2 3 Next »
Lord Kelvin

Even if it's made by Germans, that doesn't mean it's correct.

5/31/2011 #31

This is kinda weird.

... Should I worry I'm from the same country?

6/1/2011 #32
Lord Kelvin

Nope. Surveys just don't work.

6/1/2011 #33

Lucky me :)

I guess they'd only work if including enough people (and these people have to actually represent the whole what is the actual problem with surveys). The more complicated the subject, the harder it gets. Most surveys on elections are relatively close to the actual outcome, because there are few choices to make. Few variables. A survey on general fanfiction is much more detailed and that's its problem, I guess. A survey on author's favorite colors might have a representative outcome if you give them five or six things to choose from. Ask about their reading habits and there's thousands of possible answers. Talking of surveys: Have you heard anything from Unknownlight's Sonic fanfic survey?

6/1/2011 #34
Lord Kelvin

Surveys are fine if you're asking just one question. If you arrange a system with, say, 500 people, you can ask them a question and vouch for a 5% error margin. Now, if you ask more questions and attempt to drill down, connect groups of 100 or 300, that error margin starts growing up. In fan fiction, you need a ridiculous number of people to consider at the start because a part of them won't participate, another part won't fill in the survey right, yet another part will be profoundly different from the rest and so on. That's why FFN Research had a whooping 90k+ data points. It all drilled down to a reasonable 2k to 5k when it came to rich information.

Have you heard anything fromUnknownlight's Sonic fanfic survey?

Yup. Not much success and he was part surprised by the findings. Such as, older writers have OCs despite rarely using any in a story.

6/1/2011 #35

I'd guess that multiple choice works best, or questions that give a relative limited amount of possible answers. Asking opinions is hard I guess as it can differ quite a lot between people.

How was that again you found out? The average reader is between thirdteen and seventeen? Then with my twentyone I guess I'm already one of the older writers? I use OCs as minor/additional side character to make stories more lively by giving the canon characters more people to interact with. From own experience with fanfiction reading I think young teenaged writers more often have the 'myself in hedgehog/fox/*insert animal here*-form that take the part of the story's main character. Technically they're all OCs, but there's a difference between my taxi drivers and chili dog sellers that appear in a chapter or two and the often overpowered superheroes.

6/1/2011 #36
Lord Kelvin

How was that again you found out?

Data mining.

The average reader is between thirdteen and seventeen?

Something like that. And yes, you are way older than average.

Technically they're all OCs

I have stories without OCs of any description...

6/1/2011 #37

I have stories without OCs of any description...

Me too. I got 15 stories online and only 3 have other than official characters. Never used any in oneshots and don't see a point why I should. No need. Also my currently updating multi-chapter story gets along without any OCs. No need again. The characters just don't go to public places or something like that.

Data mining.I haven't forgotten; I was kinda trying to say 'What did you say about age again?'. Trying, y'know. ;)

6/1/2011 . Edited 6/1/2011 #38
Lord Kelvin

In case you have more than one question.

6/1/2011 #39

Thanks, that answers them all. :) Wasn't it in your research article as well? I've seen it before, I guess.

6/1/2011 #40
Lord Kelvin

Wasn't it in your research article as well?

In part, yes. It's strange that a field with so many people eager to give you the firmest opinions has so little information. Sure, I haven't done much on LiveJournal, where the "real fans" seem to be located, but it should be a piece of cake to gather data from there once you've located the fannish pockets.

Edit: Or a free blog wouldn't have gotten to the top of Google when you search for "fanfiction statistics".

8/6/2011 . Edited 8/6/2011 #41
Lord Kelvin

Xing's index

Something weird is going on with FFN's search engine. I know it was hounded by glitches in the past way too often, but what I see now just doesn't add up. No earlier than six months ago, I could easily look up swear words in story titles and forums. Some time ago they've clearly done something about that because f*ck & co get the following error message:

'Invalid Search. This error can happen when your keywords are too generic: the, we, are, you, us, etc. Search also ignore keywords shorter than 3 letters. Please use more specific keywords or use alternate wording.'

The word 'boobs' is also banned, by the way. You can still look up 'gay' and 'cock', though.

While the above is easy to explain with a swear word filter, things get more interesting when you try looking up the word 'you'.

The first one is a forum search and the second one is a story search. Look up at the error message received when the keyword was 'boobs'. However, when the word is 'you', the example in the invalid search message, the result is nothing. In forum search. For stories, apparently, it's no biggie.

For gags, I wrote 'generic' in the search engine along with 'noun', 'pie' 'and' 'here'. No problems. These keywords got me from zero results to over 2000, but the search was error-free. Neither the 'invalid search' nor a blank screen appeared.

My astonishment rose when I tried looking up words present in forums, notably 'literate', 'critic', 'order'. If it's a glitch in the system, I thought, it's certainly picky about critic forums. You can't use forum search at the moment to find Critics United via any word in the title. For the LU, you must use the full forum name (or my pen name). Same for Jimmy's concritter order. I thought, fine, these forums must be generating a lot of search traffic despite being on the front page, so the admins are rerouteing the searchers. Critics United, however, is nowhere near the top. Some other large general forums, found via 'domain' and 'longest' seem to have no issue showing results.

Curious, I looked up words present in forums that caused or keep causing waves on FFN's radio. Notably, 'anonymous' for Writers Anonymous, 'alliance' for Author's Alliance and 'flame' for flamers and Flame Rising. Notably, both 'flame' and 'rising' cause errors as separate words. A pretty coincidence, considering 'critic' and 'troll' cause the site to bounce your search as well. And it applies to the forum search only.

Before anyone gets paranoid, there's more, an amusing side at that. If you could not look up 'flame', 'flamer' still brought results. This does not apply to a 'roleplay'. Words like 'roleplayer' and 'roleplayers' are an error for the search. Same with 'twilight' and 'harry potter'.

The problem with this glitch or whatever word filter FFN brought up is that it does not follow any particular rule. The number of search results doesn't matter and there is no uniform result when you type a word that includes a shorter error-giving word. Likewise, the explanation that 'generic' words cause this does not hold water because you can't call all the searches above generic. Forum size and its residents are by no means the final factor.

My current guess is that someone made a list of forbidden words, an index of sorts. On assumption that this is all hand-picked, it should be possible to note some of the more curious queries for forum search that cause errors.

What words cause an error in your forum searches?

9/11/2011 #42
Sextuple Covalent Mo2 Bond

Phrases that carry the error in forum search:

"Constructive criticism"



"League" (However, 'critic league' works)



"Fanfiction" is banned, for God's sake.

Might add some more later on, as I find them.

9/11/2011 #43

"United" is out.

"Critics United", too, which I'm pretty sure is a forum in of itself...

9/11/2011 #44
Lord Kelvin

They're on top of page three.

9/11/2011 #45

Huh, searching for them in any capacity gives the error message on the forum search tab. Odd, no?

9/11/2011 #46
Lord Kelvin

The filter is off, by the way. Very curious it happened after I posted the findings in this thread~

9/13/2011 #47
Bitter Sea Light

There are 731 pages in the general forums directory that have zero posts. 122 pages have at least one.

3043 forums have a post, 18,260 don't have any.

This is...depressing. :/

9/25/2011 #48
Sextuple Covalent Mo2 Bond

So far on FFN, 98,600 forums have been created. 100k is fast approaching.

9/30/2011 #49
Sextuple Covalent Mo2 Bond

The troll thread (Pub thread) is the most successful thread on the forum (excluding chats and spams, of course). It has more posts than Ask LU and even more posts than the Introductions thread.

10/17/2011 #50
Sextuple Covalent Mo2 Bond

I was bored for half an hour, so... :3

901,905 accounts were created on FanFiction.Net in 2011. Here's some numbers for you:


2011: UID 2681415-3583320 (gain: 901905)

2010: UID 2198730-2681414 (gain: 482684)

2009: UID 1788261-2198729 (gain: 410468)

2008: UID 1458883-1788260 (gain: 329377)

2007: UID 1188253-1458882 (gain: 270629)

2006: UID 960910-1188252 (gain: 227342)

2005: UID 731105-960909 (gain: 229804)

2004: UID 512977-731104 (gain: 218127)

2003: UID 318812-512976 (gain: 194164)

2002: UID 147139-318811 (gain: 171672)

2001: UID 33164-147138 (gain: 113974)

2000: UID 6472-33163 (gain: 26691)

1999 and prior: impossible to determine.


For those more picture-inclined, here's a pie graph of FFN's growth throughout the years:

For an additional visual item, here's a line graph showing FFN's growth from 2000-2011:

2011 was FFN's best year by this standard, with account creation being nearly double that of any year prior. However, note that these numbers do not count accounts deleted for infringement or otherwise.

1/11/2012 . Edited 1/11/2012 #51
Lord Kelvin

This is pretty cool. Xing filed for a trademark and that didn't seem to go well. It was registered under:

Electronic publishing services, namely, publication of text and graphic works of others on on-line featuring fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and other literary works

Which is curious because it includes 'graphic works' and 'non-fiction'.

4/27/2012 . Edited 4/27/2012 #52
Lord Kelvin

This should be useful for research: you can now find all the movie/book/game/etc categories that were ever made by the admins using directory links.

These links have actual page ID numbers in them instead of words such as 'anime'. By comparing them with the actual pages, you can see which/how many categories were deleted/created by the admins. The above link also has a directory of all fanfic writers. This is a directory of all user accounts, alive or dead. By looking on the alphabetical list here: and clicking 'jatherine', you will see the account was deleted.

I've just found out there are a lot of accounts named 'jasper'. No idea why.

Here's what the 'book' directory link look like:

And here is the numeric link to the 'book' category:

Note that by clicking the last link, you will be redirected to:

Edit: Another thing I've noticed. Even though the pen names are arranged alphabetically, the list is not 100% alphabetical. If you look at a page, the pen names are also arranged by user ID. The oldest members are in the beginning of the page and the newest - at the end. No idea why it works like that, but you can tell which version of the name was taken first by looking at the top left corner of the screen. This applies to what you see on one screen; as you move along, the pages are alphabetical.

5/26/2012 . Edited 5/26/2012 #53
Lord Kelvin

Some stats related to the purge:

Some 3% of stories in FFN's top categories were removed.

Which means over 50,000 stories were removed in a day. What the...

Edit: Apparently, you need to divide this number by 3 to get the real purge weight. It's the last time I use secondary sources for my stats.

6/2/2012 . Edited 6/4/2012 #54
Lord Kelvin

1800 images were submitted since FFN started offering the image services.

6/3/2012 #55
Lord Kelvin

For anyone needing info on FFN's costs. The site may be paying as little as $0.01 per gigabyte of US/EU traffic.

6/20/2012 #56
Lord Kelvin

There are over 1200 pages of HP fanfics that have no reviews at all.

7/14/2012 #57
Lord Kelvin

FFN's forum posts per day in July grew from 60k to 80k YoY. Assuming a person makes 8 posts per day on average, that's 10k people making posts.

Where are these posts being made, the little forums or the large one? More importantly, how many of these are dedicated to roleplaying. Will find out when I have the time.

Edit: Will find out next week.

8/16/2012 . Edited 8/19/2012 #58
Lord Kelvin

Do not delete or edit this post. Thank you.

It is here for science. Expect a few more.

8/19/2012 #59
Lord Kelvin

Same as above. Science. Expect five more.

8/20/2012 #60
« Prev Page 1 2 3 Next »
Forum Moderators: Georgasaurus Ten ways to spoil dinner, Bitter Sea Light
  • Forums are not to be used to post stories.
  • All forum posts must be suitable for teens.
  • The owner and moderators of this forum are solely responsible for the content posted within this area.
  • All forum abuse must be reported to the moderators.
Membership Length: 2+ years 1 year 6+ months 1 month 2+ weeks new member