The OF Blog: My poll is better than your poll, nyah!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

My poll is better than your poll, nyah!

I finally compiled the wotmania poll results for their favorite SF/F/H/cross-genre authors. It's quite a bit different from what people nominated here, but that was to be expected with such diversity among forums and blogs. What was rather amusing was the reaction to wotmania's poll on Westeros (where the current round of such polling began). It seemed like everything from the nationalities of the voters to wotmania's different posting system was used to imply that the results were "off," that if only X were there instead of Y, then the result would have been akin to what had developed elsewhere.

The more I think about it, the sillier such a thing is. I could have argued that although wotmania is roughly the same size as Westeros' board in toto, its Other Fantasy section is more self-contained and perhaps is more likely to be influenced by people such as myself who have decidedly "non-traditional" tastes in genre literature. But even that is a fallacy, since I believe my own influence to be rather minuscule in comparison to that of a "bandwagon" effect. Ages/experiences could play a role, but from what I've seen, the OF regulars are roughly equal in age and education to their counterparts elsewhere. Perhaps it is a gender thing, but I suspect there are equal percentages of males and females on these various sites.

The only real conclusion I can make? Likes to likes; overanalyzing it risks distorting perceptions. There are likely some characteristics that influence not just which forum/blog a reader is going to gravitate, but also what other secondary reads that reader will engage in. I'm just relieved to see that there are still significant differences between forum regulars and that these differences hold forth the possibility that those reading the results might dare try reading some of the books mentioned rather than bemoaning this or that.

Now if only I could get more people talking about William Faulkner's influence on the Magic Realists....

7 comments:

etrangere said...

They might be different results (although not that different either) but I kind of failed to see how that list shows more diversity and what you call non traditional taste in fantasies...

Larry said...

Uh, I said immediately afterwards to argue such would be a fallacy...

etrangere said...

No, what you said was a fallacy was using the idea that people at wotmania are more influenced with people with more traditional taste, such as yourself (with the implication that such an interpretation needed to be done because there were very different results which showed more diversity).

I admit, I'm mostly looking at the top 10 here.

Larry said...

What? I pretty much was saying that those who have "non-traditional" tastes, such as myself, do not have that much of an influence on getting people to read (and like) outside their comfort zones. I'm confused by what you're saying here. I basically concluded that it was people's own preferences, such as what led them to choose X or Y or Z website, that had the greatest influence. Likes to likes, basically.

etrangere said...

Yes you said :

Fallacy = interpretating the differences because of non traditional influence


While I'm saying, they're not that different results in the first place, which is what your post seemed to imply.

Larry said...

I think we're looking at different things. I was more intrigued by who was mentioned in the 1-4 point categories than I was by the top 10. But even there, the differences I still would attribute more to the likes to likes guess than to anything else; people have varying tastes.

etrangere said...

Yes, we are.

 
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