AngiePen (angiepen) wrote,
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Poll About Headers and What Makes You Click Through to a Story

There's been some discussion here and there over the last couple of months about headers and various elements within headers. I have my own opinions and there are some trends I've been seeing recently that I don't like, but before I post a rant on the subject I thought it'd be interesting to see what other people thought.

I did my best to make this complete and unbiased -- there are options I'd never click myself, and some I can't imagine anyone clicking, but I might be wrong and that'd be some interesting data. If you read fanfic from any fandom at all, please take this poll. If you have any thoughts on the subject or if you couldn't find an answer that fits your opinion to a question, please let me know in comments. Thanks!

=====================

Poll #824716 Headers -- What Makes You Click Through to a Story?
This poll is closed.

I'm taking this poll, please count me.

Yes.
223(100.0%)

How Much Does the Writer Matter?

There are writers whose grocery lists I'd read -- I'll read any story they post, any pairing, any fandom.
12(5.2%)
There are writers whose stories I'll always read so long as they're in a fandom I already like, no matter what the pairing or genre.
22(9.5%)
There are writers whose stories I'll always read, so long as it's a pairing and fandom I like.
17(7.4%)
There are writers I usually read but other factors count too and sometimes I won't click on their stories if the genre or summary or rating don't grab me.
19(8.2%)
Other factors count significantly more than the writer.
3(1.3%)
I really don't care who wrote the story.
3(1.3%)

How Much Does the Title Matter?

An interesting title can suck me in even if I don't usually read that fandom or characters or pairing or genre.
5(2.2%)
An interesting title will attract me so long as other factors match what I usually like too.
33(14.3%)
A boring or stupid or pretentious or otherwise icky title can turn me off a story even if other factors match what I usually like.
5(2.2%)
A boring or stupid or pretentious or otherwise icky title can sway me away from a story, but if other factors match what I usually like then they outweigh the title.
27(11.7%)
I don't really care what the title is.
56(24.2%)

How Much Does the Fandom Matter?

I have one fandom I read in and that's it.
11(4.7%)
I have several fandoms I read in; I'm familiar with them all and only read stories in those fandoms.
58(25.0%)
I have one or more usual fandoms but if a story from another fandom comes up on my Flist I'll usually try it.
18(7.8%)
I have one or more usual fandoms but if a story comes up on my Flist and it has another specific factor I like (a genre, a kink, a plot device,something like that) I'll usually try it.
77(33.2%)
I'll only try stories in other fandoms if the summary, quote, etc., is incredibly interesting and spectacularly well written.
15(6.5%)
I never try stories in other fandoms.
0(0.0%)

How Much Do the Characters Matter?

I have an OTP and I only read stories about those characters.
6(2.6%)
I have an OTP and won't read stories about either character with anyone else, but I'll read stories about other characters.
10(4.3%)
I have an OTP but I won't always read a story about that pairing; other factors matter too.
8(3.5%)
I don't have an OTP but I have favorite pairings and will always read a story with those pairings.
1(0.4%)
I have favorite pairings and will usually read stories with those pairings, but not always; other factors matter too.
29(12.6%)
I have favorite characters and will always read a story if one of those characters is in the pairing.
5(2.2%)
I have favorite characters and will sometimes read a story with one of those characters in the pairing, but other factors matter too.
18(7.8%)
I have favorite characters and will always read a story if two (or more ;) ) of those characters are paired together.
1(0.4%)
I have favorite characters and will usually read a story if two or more of those characters are paired together, but not always; other factors matter too.
4(1.7%)
I really don't care who the characters are.
5(2.2%)

What Genres Do You Enjoy Reading? (If your fandom is inherently a certain genre, like HP being fantasy and Stargate being SF, don't click that genre unless you enjoy stories which are specifically focused on the genre elements. You probably do, but just in case.)

Pwip -- smut and nothing but smut!
0(0.0%)
Erotica -- smut with some plot and/or character development.
0(0.0%)
Darkfic -- bad things happening to the main characters, but they get over it.
0(0.0%)
Very Darkfic -- bad things happening to the main characters and they don't get over it.
0(0.0%)
Romance -- characters falling in love, main story is about them getting together.
0(0.0%)
Humor -- teh funny!
0(0.0%)
Crackfic -- teh funny with a straightjacket!
0(0.0%)
Drama -- characters have problems and work to solve them, serious but not darkfic.
0(0.0%)
Action/Adventure -- spies and soldiers and car chases and explosions, yay!
0(0.0%)
Mystery -- a puzzle to solve, with the main characters usually doing the solving.
0(0.0%)
SF -- spaceships and aliens and mutants. Psychic phenomena can also go under here.
0(0.0%)
Fantasy -- magic and elves and kitsune and dragons and djinni. Supernatural phenomena like ghosts can also go here.
0(0.0%)
Western -- cowboys and horses and saloons and six-guns.
0(0.0%)
Historical -- a story set in the past, or at least in some other era besides the one the source material is set in. A Hornblower AU set in the modern era would go here.
0(0.0%)
Songfic -- a fic where verses from a song alternate with chunks of original writing.
0(0.0%)

How Much Does Genre Matter?

I have one or more favorite genres and only read stories in those genres.
3(1.3%)
I have one or more favorite genres and always read stories in those genres, no matter what else they're about -- fandom, characters, rating, etc.
0(0.0%)
I have one or more favorite genres and always read stories in those genres, so long as other factors (fandom, pairing, characters, etc.) also appeal to me.
13(5.7%)
I have one or more favorite genres and usually read stories in those genres, so long as other factors (fandom, pairing, characters, etc.) also appeal to me.
42(18.4%)
I have one or more favorite genres but other factors matter more.
85(37.3%)
The genre of a story really doesn't matter to me.
52(22.8%)

How Much Do Warnings Matter?

There are some warnings that will make me skip a story and I want to see them.
29(12.5%)
There are some warnings that might make me skip a story and I want to see them, but other factors might override the warnings.
17(7.3%)
There are some warnings that make me want to read a story more and I want to see them.
3(1.3%)
There are some warnings that make me want to read a story more and I want to see them, but other factors might still make me skip it.
2(0.9%)
Warnings are good to have but don't influence me to read or not read a story; other factors matter more.
18(7.8%)
I don't care if there are warnings or not.
13(5.6%)
Warnings that I think are overly fussy can make me skip a story.
1(0.4%)
Warnings that I think are overly fussy can annoy me, but other factors matter more.
7(3.0%)
I won't read a story that has "Warnings: none" in the header.
0(0.0%)
I won't read a story that doesn't have a warning line in the header.
1(0.4%)

What Ratings Do You Enjoy?

G
0(0.0%)
PG
0(0.0%)
PG-13
0(0.0%)
R
0(0.0%)
NC-17
7(3.0%)

How Much Does Rating Matter?

I have favorite ratings (either high or low, doesn't matter) and only read stories with those ratings.
0(0.0%)
I have favorite ratings but will read a story with a higher or lower rating if other factors are interesting.
101(44.1%)
I don't care what the rating is.
124(54.1%)

How Much Does the Summary Matter?

A great summary can suck me in even if I don't usually read that fandom or pairing or genre.
7(3.0%)
A great summary will suck me in so long as it's a fandom, pairing, genre, etc., that I usually like.
8(3.4%)
A great summary will grab me even if other factors are iffy.
2(0.9%)
A great summary is good to have but other factors matter more.
5(2.1%)
I don't care what the summary is.
3(1.3%)
A bad, boring, dorky, stupid or otherwise icky summary will turn me off, even if I usually read that fandom or pairing or genre.
4(1.7%)
A bad, boring, dorky, stupid or otherwise icky summary will turn me off if other factors are iffy.
0(0.0%)
A bad, boring, dorky, stupid or otherwise icky summary is annoying but other factors matter more.
2(0.9%)
If there's no summary I won't read the story.
1(0.4%)
If there's no summary then other factors had better all be stellar or I won't read the story.
0(0.0%)
Not having a summary is annoying but other factors matter more.
3(1.3%)
I don't care if there's a summary or not.
5(2.1%)
I don't like summaries.
1(0.4%)

What Kind of Quotes Do You Like?

I like to see the first line or paragraph of the story.
3(1.3%)
I don't like seeing the first line or paragraph.
1(0.4%)
I like seeing a quote from the middle of the story.
1(0.4%)
I don't like seeing a quote from the middle of the story.
0(0.0%)
I like a quote that gives me an idea of what the story's about.
11(4.8%)
I like a quote that gives me an idea of the dynamic between the main characters.
6(2.6%)
I like a quote that's a good example of the story's genre -- something romantic or exciting or magical or whatever.
2(0.9%)
I hate "Fooled you!" quotes -- a quote that makes you think the story is a certain way, but you get there and find the quote was taken out of context and it's actually a different sort of story.
3(1.3%)
I don't mind "Fooled you!" quotes one way or the other.
0(0.0%)
I like "Fooled you!" quotes -- they're fun and clever.
0(0.0%)
I hate quotes that spoil something that should have been a surprise in the story.
8(3.5%)
I don't mind spoiler quotes.
3(1.3%)
I like spoiler quotes.
1(0.4%)
I don't like quotes at all.
20(8.7%)

How Much Do Quotes Matter?

An interesting quote can get me to read a story outside my usual fandom or pairing or genre.
7(3.0%)
An interesting quote can get me to read a story even if other factors are iffy.
9(3.9%)
An interesting quote is good to have but doesn't override other factors.
18(7.8%)
A quote doesn't influence me one way or the other.
41(17.7%)
A boring, dorky, badly written or otherwise icky quote will turn me off of a story even if other factors are all things I usually enjoy.
9(3.9%)
A boring, dorky, badly written or otherwise icky quote can turn me off of a story even if other factors are mostly things I usually enjoy.
5(2.2%)
A boring, dorky, badly written or otherwise icky quote can turn me off of a story if other factors are iffy.
7(3.0%)

Errors and Presentation -- which of these factors will make you less likely to click on the story, if you would have otherwise?

Obvious typos -- something like "Stragate" or "Lird of the Rings."
0(0.0%)
Obvious misspellings -- something like "Stargayte" or "Loard of the Ryngs."
2(0.9%)
Punctuation errors in the text of the header.
0(0.0%)
Grammar errors in the text of the header.
0(0.0%)
Canon errors in the header. (Obviously AUs don't count here.)
1(0.4%)
Only one error, of whatever type.
0(0.0%)
Two errors, of whatever type.
0(0.0%)
Three or four errors, of whatever type.
0(0.0%)
Five or more errors, of whatever type.
1(0.4%)
Header is difficult to read because the font is weird.
0(0.0%)
Header is difficult to read because the font is too small.
0(0.0%)
Header is difficult to read because it's single-spaced.
0(0.0%)
Header takes up too much room because it's double-spaced.
0(0.0%)
Header is difficult to read because the colors are weird.
1(0.4%)
I don't care about errors or presentation.
1(0.4%)

Which elements influence you to click through to a story, or if they're not appealing or badly done, will influence you NOT to click through? Which elements are the most important to you when you're looking over a header and deciding whether to try reading this story?

Writer
0(0.0%)
Title
0(0.0%)
Fandom
1(0.4%)
Characters
1(0.4%)
Genre
0(0.0%)
Warning
0(0.0%)
Rating
0(0.0%)
Summary
3(1.3%)
Quote
0(0.0%)
Errors and Presentation
0(0.0%)

Tags: fanfic, writing
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