Survery Sunday Roundup: Continuity and Community

With Rob's article on fanfiction, continuity, community, and authors, we asked people how they do or would handle continuity and fandom.  Here's the results:

First we asked "How do you handle continuity?"

  • 0% -I never thought of it.
  • 0% – It's not that big a worry – the body of work defines things.
  • 0% – I have some vague directions
  • 54.5% – I have a guide, but I keep it to myself.   
  • 27.3% – I have a guide, and I share some of it with the public.   
  • 18.2% – I not only have a guide, I'm going to make a lot public.   

Out of 11 responses, it looks like no one was casual about their continuity and everyone answering had a guide, the question was how much of it were they going to share.  If there was one surprise I had was that each respondent has or would have a guide, I figured at least some people would be winging it.


Next up was the biggie "How do you approach fanfic and fan products."

Note that there could be multiple answers.  So with 11 people answering:

  • 54.5% – Fan works are awesome and I really appreciate them.   
  • 27.3% – Whatever I think of fan works I avoid reading them to avoid any legal hassles.
  • 36.4% – I plan to establish boundaries in my works so people know what's "real" and what's not." 
  • 36.4% – I'd monitor fan works carefully just in case something affects my reputation.   
  • 81.8% – I'd cultivate fan relations as a way to maintain both a community and respect for my core works.   
  • 18.2% – I'll keep the lawyers on speed dial.   

A few surprises here:

  • I expected more people to find fan works awesome.  This is, well, us.
  • I also expected more people to want to avoid fanworks for legal reasons – this was a real surprise.  I also expected more people to establish boundaries in works and monitor fan works for reputation.  This makes me think that a lot of our respondents were more "hands off period" towards fandom.
  • It appears a lot of us were up for aggressive community cultivation.
  • A minority of us were ready to call the lawyers in case.  I really did not know what to expect to this answer.

And as for our comments:

"Interesting, hadn't really considered this. I wonder if it's like trying to control evolution."

"Frankly, it'd be hypocritical of me to say 'no fanwork' considering my own fanfiction. I want to avoid legal hassles, but still would like to encourage people to be creative. And, banning fanwork is about as effective as banning the sun. It'll happen, so I'll keep my distance while encouraging it."

"If life gives you lemons, demand oranges instead."

An interesting roundup everyone.  So let's see what you say next . . .

Steven Savage