First Results: Fandom History & Interaction Survey

Yesterday on kind of a whim after a discussion about fandom and our own experiences within it, a couple of friends and I ended up throwing together a survey to ask other people about how they’ve been involved with fandom and fandom discourse/wank/drama. Initially I didn’t think there would be very many responses, but the fact that there has been (a little over 325 in under 24 hours!) suggests to me that people are interested in sharing their fandom experiences, and the response that I’ve gotten to the survey on Twitter tells me that other people are interested in the results.

I do want to offer a disclaimer before showing any of the results: everything is anonymous, and while I could have asked Google to make people sign in to complete the survey and ensure that they only did it once, I decided against it in fairness to people who don’t want their results associated with the Google account, people who don’t have Google accounts, and in the event that Google would show me people’s emails. I don’t want that information. The demographic info I asked for was to see trends in who was responding, not identification purposes. Additionally, the data that we decided to collect isn’t for an intricate study on human behavior–I came up with in an afternoon (literally yesterday), and so the questions haven’t been run through IRB approval. If I were doing things totally right, they would have had to have been. That said, the survey is voluntary. I’ve been really pleasantly surprised by the amount of people who’ve responded, and the depth in the open-ended question responses tells me that fans care about this sort of thing.

The questions were as unbiased as we could make them–there are a few instances where I left off “non-applicable” instructions, and while one person has said it’s biased not to include it, the reason is honestly because by that point I figured most people would know to put it if it didn’t apply to them (and most people did). Because I have no way of knowing who answered what, I have asked questions about sending and receiving hate messages. The point of the survey is not to judge people who have sent them, but to understand why they were sent in the first place, and to talk about trends in discourse. It was my first attempt at making a survey of this kind of scale, and now going through and looking at the first round of data collection.

If you’re interested in taking the survey, you can do so here.

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Does Superboy Have a Soul

It’s a question that he asks, too. It could become a real question for test tube babies to ask themselves should we ever get to that point in cloning, creating a potential existential crisis in future generations. Right now, it acts as a hypothetical, something that doesn’t need to be answered (do we have souls, either? There’s no way of actually knowing, but depending on our upbringing, we’re asked to believe that yes, we do), or if it does, it’s something that we can approach from the relatively safety of thinking about literature. Does Superboy have a soul? Does Frankenstein’s monster?

It can provide a lot of comfort to only have to think about things in abstract.

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I Wish I Could Watch The Lego Batman Movie Every Moment of My Life

I am convinced that we keep doing the same things over and over again not because we don’t learn any lessons from doing so, but because to do anything else would take too much effort.

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How Do You Make Death Appealing? [Review: ‘The Anatomical Venus’]

Here is a fun fact: I used to work at haunted houses. This stems not necessarily from my desire to scare other people (though that is fun), but because, like all proto-goths and many Neoromantics, I have a fondness for the macabre. There’s something breathtaking in death (literally, ha ha ha), and there’s been a long human tradition extending even beyond the black and white film female victims in Hammer Horror films to trying to find something beautiful about death. When I first saw “The Anatomical Venus” on the shelves in my store, I got really excited because it combined two things that I enjoy–that is, wax models of dead people with exposed organs and books talking about the history of science–and I asked for it for my birthday. Lo and behold, here it is, featuring one of the pretty, flayed Venuses on its cover.

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