Questions about Comments

The OTW maintains a variety of social media outlets. Some of these are for the organization as a whole, such as our Facebook page, and the blog on the website. Others are for specific projects, such as the fanlore_news Twitter, or the Twitter account for our tag wrangling committee. You can find a listing of the various accounts on our website.

Readership has been growing at some of our newer accounts, such as at Tumblr, and shrinking at others, such as at LiveJournal. The Communications Committee monitors activity at the various outlets to give us a better idea of where our audience is coming from.

For example, the following shows our subscribers to each OTW News site as of last month:

  • LiveJournal 1851 Subscribers
  • Twitter 1196 Followers
  • Dreamwidth 763 Subscribers
  • Tumblr 716 Followers
  • Facebook 417 unique Likes
  • Yahoo posting board 65 Subscribers
  • Pinboard 36 subscribers
  • Insane Journal 3 subscribers (feed only)

These numbers can be misleading, however, in indicating where people are actually reading the posts. For example, many people use RSS feeds from one of the above sites or from our organization’s website blog. A lot of our Twitter readers are actually reading from Tumblr, and comparatively few of our LJ subscribers are actually reading our news at that site.

Where people engage with us also varies. We receive comments from the majority of our sites and maintain them so that people can reach us at the fannish locations that they are already using. On occasion we have received questions about what our commenting policy is, or where we prefer to receive comments, given the variety of places where our news appears.

Our policy for commenting at OTW outlets is as follows:

“Comments can be made at any of our posting sites and questions can be sent to us through these outlets.

However we ask that users do not include confidential information in these public posts (for example, questions about problems with a specific account on the AO3), but instead use email messages directed to the particular committees who can help them, such as Support for the AO3 or the Wiki Committee for Fanlore. Questions can always be sent to Communications who will redirect them to the appropriate venues.

In some cases when the OTW is attempting to gather feedback from users on particular issues we may request that users respond only on one particular site (such as an AO3 News post, or one made to the OTW News blog). This both encourages discussion among users rather than having scattered comments across our many locations, and also facilitates responses from OTW staff, who may not have user accounts at all of our mirror locations.”

We encourage discussions at any of our sites. We also hope to make more OTW project users aware of our news outlets so that they can locate information and find a place for their questions to be answered.

  1. Punk commented:

    When I read the news posts for the AO3, I sometimes have questions about new features — features specifically mentioned in that news post — so I ask that question on the news post, usually here at the OTW blog, but I never receive any official kind of answer. I realize you guys are super busy and don’t have time to monitor sixteen different social platforms in the case of questions, but if I’m supposed to direct that question towards the appropriate committee, I’m not necessarily going to know who that is or how to contact them. So it would be helpful at the end of every post to include a link to Communications and/or the appropriate committee in the case of further questions. Thanks!

    • Claudia Rebaza commented:

      I’m very sorry to hear that you haven’t been getting answers to your questions. If you’ll point some out to me I’ll try to get someone who’d know the answers to reply.

      One problem we began to have last year is that comment notification has been disabled on the website here. That’s because we continue to have such a high spam barrage that people tracking a post were getting multiple messages a day from each one. So it’s possible if comments were made to a post written over 10 days ago that no one saw it.

      We hope to find a better solution for the spam issue in the near future but as our Web committee has been busy with issues related to the recent site upgrade, I’m not sure how soon that will be addressed.

  2. Alysa H. commented:

    You mention people using RSS feeds – I was just wondering if you have any way of tracking how many people subscribe via Google Reader, for example. I am one of those people and I read pretty much every post :)

    • Claudia Rebaza commented:

      We don’t, unfortunately, but we know there must be a number of you! We did get some statistics from LJ on people setting up RSS feeds from the community there and 2011 seemed to be a high point for that.