afterthree: (sketchy tea)
I played frisbee on on Friday, which was fun, but I now have a frisbee bruise on my right hand between my thumb and forefinger. Less fun.

Anyone else following the Caster Semanya story? She's the South African runner whose gender has come under intense scrutiny by the athletic world because she doesn't fit neatly into their gender segregated categories as either female or male. Lauren McLaughlin talks briefly about Semanya, the rigid either/or of athletics, and the continuum of gender here.

I don't feel knowledgeable enough on the issue to properly comment or add my two cents, but I do feel for this woman who is being subjected to this intense probing of her most basic (and private!) biological and personal self. I also have several long-standing problems with gender segregation in sports and games that I have no solution for.

More links here and here and here and here.

afterthree: (thinking thinky thoughts)
Originally posted by [personal profile] rm and I'm spreading it around some more because I think the conversation is a good one to have: is it okay to blog about this woman anonymously?

I'm not sure which side I stand in the latest battle between unmasked anonymouse Rosemary Port and her target Liskula Cohen. On the one hand, I think probably Cohen had a fairly good idea who was behind the blog before she started going through the motions of forcing Google to reveal her identity, and it seems fairly clear this particular issue is more about the bad blood between these two people than either anonymity or privacy. (And can I just sidenote for a minute to say how much it saddens and frustrates me that women are taught to treat each other this way in our culture, and that it's being pumped up by the news media largely because it is two women dueling in that way women have been conditioned to, which just reinforces it. End sidenote.) At the same time I detest and bemoan the way the anonymice have made the culture of the internet such a brutal, unforgiving, unreasonable one in many ways, I'm also not certain being rude should mean forfeiting your privacy and entitles the world to know your identity.

Thinky thoughts indeed.

afterthree: (what the shakespeare is going on)
International Blog Against Racism Week starts today and runs until August 2. It just happens to coincide with some links I wanted to throw out there.

Justine Larbalestier has posted on her blog regarding the white-washed US cover of her book, Liar, which features a black female protagonist. She talks about how she fought against the cover, but ultimately lost the battle because authors have very little control over the covers of their books. Publishers pick a cover they think will sell, and right now the publishing and retail worlds believe books with faces on them sell better unless those faces are black ones. Larbalestier draws the connection between marketing dollars and black faces, saying "I have found few examples of books with a person of colour on the cover that have had the full weight of a publishing house behind them ... all we can say is that poorly publicised books with "black covers" don’t sell [which] is usually true of poorly publicised books with "white covers"." She then wonders if "the big publishing houses really only in the business of selling books to white people" and I can't help but agree with her.

Larbalestier goes on to speak about how covers can change the way people read books:

Liar is a book about a compulsive (possibly pathological) liar who is determined to stop lying but finds it much harder than she supposed. I worked very hard to make sure that the fundamentals of who Micah is were believable: that she’s a girl, that she’s a teenager, that she’s black, that she’s USian. One of the most upsetting impacts of the cover is that it’s led readers to question everything about Micah: If she doesn’t look anything like the girl on the cover maybe nothing she says is true. At which point the entire book, and all my hard work, crumbles.


Online reviews show this is exactly what's happening. So, even aside from the fact that white-washing these covers is racist (and that's a huge aside), they also affects the artistic and thematic integrity of the work they're supposed to be representing.

International Blog Against Racism Week is just starting up, and I'll be taking some time out of my week to read through the posts that come from it. Even if you have nothing to add, it's an important conversation to listen to.

afterthree: (what the shakespeare is going on)
I love the idea of the Kindle as a device that can instantly connect me to any and every book out there. At least 60% of my reading takes place on a computer of some sort, either through pdf ebooks or fanfic. All my news comes from the screen, and the idea of having a device built for comfortable reading that fits in my purse and links me wirelessly to all that is an extremely appealing thought.

Tethered devices are not necessarily all good, though, as Kindle owners are discovering. Tethered devices don't only mean you can reach in and grab what you want from the cloud, it also means the cloud can reach down to your Kindle and grab it back.

Recently, Amazon remotely removed digital copies of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm because of a rights issue, refunding all the users their $0.99 back. The symbolism was not lost on anyone, particularly the news media and the affected Kindle customers. The uproar has been significant enough that Amazon released a statement promising they will stop deleting the already-downloaded books on user's Kindles when they delete rights-violating content from their archives.

This is not the first time Amazon has removed books from user's Kindles, but it got the most press for the obvious ironic reasons. Some people don't get why this is an issue, but consider how this affects ownership. When you buy a physical book and take it home, even if it's pulled off the shelves the minute you walk out the store, no one comes round demanding the return of the already purchased ones. Once you've bought it, you own that copy. Book burning is a serious yet mostly symbolic affair, largely because copies always survive. Someone finds a copy in their attic or hides one under their bed.

A world where books are tethered to devices is problematic because it allows someone to take back those books -- all of them -- quickly and efficiently, without warning. You may not even realize it's missing. The ebooks you buy don't really belong to you, not the same way real paper books do. This is how book burning will look in the future, when everything is published via data instead of as ink. Remember how much AmazonFail sucked? Think how much worse it would have been if someone had ticked the wrong box in their content admin tool and deleted all those books from thousands of people's personal libraries. Some day (and probably some day soon) someone will write a letter or make a phone call complaining about some book or other, and an underpaid and overworked manager will log on and click the delete button without really considering the ramifications, and next time there might not be a way to take it back.

This problem doesn't just affect books. It affects applications (Apple, a company I love dearly, has some serious issues in this regard when it comes to iPhone apps and it makes me furious), music, and gaming every day. This is the way companies will seek to control their copyright in the future, with tethered devices and back doors.

Please do not hand wave this issue off. Pay attention to it, because it affects everyone. Understand that an age of cloud-computing is descending where everything is computer-based and everything is connected and everything is stored somewhere else. Google docs are wonderful tools, but Google can easily remove the content you've built or the service entire. Livejournal can delete years of personal journaling, writing and art, and no matter what you say or how loudly you complain they don't have to give it back to you. That "right" is build into the user agreements no one reads but everyone accepts when they sign up for a service.

Be aware of how the world is changing, not just how it benefits but also how it restricts. We're not just talking about books and music, we're talking about the fundamentals of ownership.

afterthree: (jayne's hat)
I've been going through my Coffee and Chocolate recs site with the intent to add a Het tag that I didn't add when I started the site a few years back and then never had the time to add in. I'm also trying to clean up some tags and make things more consistent, because I *hearts* consistency. Kind and wonderful flsit, please help me make my site even more usable by taking a moment to fill out the following survey, and you will receive cookies, love, and affection.

(Fake cut to the survey on my LJ)

Any pimping out of this poll would be appreciated. I'm trying to understand how people search for fic -- particular in the HP fandom, but really anywhere -- and how to make sure the way I re-do my categories makes for efficient fic-finding and predictable fic-classification.

afterthree: (wtf doctor)
I am very, very late with this reaction post. The only defense I have is that I only just watched Day Five this afternoon, and it's difficult to have a reaction to something I haven't seen yet. Um, beware typos. I haven't spell-checked this and they could be rampant.

Spoilers, All Kinds )

I think that was everything. I may have missed something. But the Weekend of Busy beckons, so if I did it'll have to wait until Monday.

afterthree: (looking consumptive and tragic)
Download is up on CoE, lemmie know if any of 'em are broken.

It's late and I haven't run this through the spell-checker. Sorry about that. Beware of rogue typos/my crappy spelling.

Cut = Spoilers )

Last day tomorrow. Should be exciting!

afterthree: (5000 points)

This post by [livejournal.com profile] rm calls some folk out who needed to be called out, and also draws attention to the blurry line of slash as a genre versus slash as the concept of same-sex relations. She also talks about the fetishization and over-sexualization of queer and gender-queer individuals -- sometimes especially by slash writers -- in real life. There's nothing wrong with being turned on by slash, but there is something wrong with the entitlement that goes along with transferring and demanding that arousal be satisfied by real people. Would you like to be oogled and have sexual or intimate acts demanded of you for the satisfaction and sexual excitement of others? It's objectification, it's disrespectful, and it's ignorant.

In some ways I think defining slash as a genre is a good thing; to me it means the fic has become so mainstream in fandom that it has created its own category with its own particular troupes and themes (some of them problematic, but that's a whole other post). I also think it's fair that, as slash identifies more as a genre, so therefore must het fic. Last year the admins at UR.org were called out for defining the Romance categories for the Hourglass Awards as "Romance" and "Slash Romance", and all of us *headdesked* in a simultaneous duh-moment; the categories are now defined more equally as "Het Romance" and "Slash Romance". Defining one as a deviation of the other as a norm is at the core of the privilege issues surrounding this debate. I think it's more or less a good thing that slash becoming a genre has forced het to also become a genre.

But slash-as-a-genre does cause problems -- especially in conversations about the topic -- when some people discuss it (and whether or not they enjoy it) as a genre while some discuss it (and whether or not they enjoy it) as a broader concept. Most problematic is the discussion of slash that darts back and forth between the two definitions, using one to defend and justify what may really be homophobia and privilege. Value and moral judgments get clothed in false political-correctness, which somehow makes them "okay" to say.

Not enjoying slash-the-genre doesn't make you a bad person. Saying so doesn't necessarily make you a bad person. Just remember that any value/morality/decency modifier you choose to use when you do so can be rift with a subtext you may not even be aware of because individuals that identify with the lifestyles represented in slash and gender-queer fic are better equipped to see the privilege and homophobia beneath it than you are.

afterthree: (fuck you speech bubble)
This is so not cool:
Today I received an email from the lawyers of author Susan Jeffers, PhD., notifying me that I’d infringed on her trademark by inadvertently using the phrase “feel the fear and do it anyway” in my post last week, A Guide to Beating the Fears That Hold You Back.
 
The phrase, apparently, is the title of one of her books … a book I’d never heard of. I wasn’t referring to her book. I’m not using the phrase as a title of a book or product or to sell anything. I was just referring to something a friend said on Twitter.
 
Her lawyers asked me to insert the (R) symbol after the phrase, in my post, and add this sentence: “This is the registered trademark of Susan Jeffers, Ph.D. and is used with her permission."
 
Yeah. I’m not gonna do that.


Okay, well. Yeah. To read the rest of Leo Babauta's post on this cease and desist order and the privatization of language, go here.

Look, I understand people want to protect their creative works and their brands. But not even Nike, who has considerably more invested in their "just do it" slogan than this whoever with a Ph.D., has their laywers go around, finger wagging and telling people they can't use or write the common phrase "just do it" without tradmarks, legalese, and prerequisite bowing and scraping. Proper names are one thing -- and even those can be difficult to trademark when they're too ubiquitous; I work for a large retail company called The Brick, y'all (though I'm sure they've tried...) -- but sentences? Statements? And trying to enforce that trademark even when it is clear the writer's context is something else entirely is just arrogant, foolish, and stunningly self-righteous.

So. I've titled this post "feel the fear and do it anyway" to symbolically stand beside Leo Babauta, and if my flist was bigger-stronger-louder I'd probably pester y'all to do it, too, but in the mean time I'll stand here on my little soap box and wave my little flag. How fortuitous that the apparently trademarked phrase so aptly suits the content of this crazy. Wasn't there a whole to-do about trademarking a number a while back? As I recall, that attempt went so very well.

Copyright law + over-zealous lawyers + the internet. Fun stuff. This and privacy are going to be The Big Battles of the internet age, especially with social networking and social media leaping into the internet foreground. *waves the Creative Commons flag*

 
afterthree: (yin and yang fishbowl)
There's a hullabaloo! (In fandom? For serious? Naaaaw....) The hot topic in fandom circles on Livejournal right now is Dreamwidth and whether or not to move. The closed beta and impending open beta is prompting all sorts of conversations, and since I've opened up a Dreamwidth account I wanted to talk a little about why I'm interested in the project.
 
In which I talk a lot about social media, advertising online, and subscription models. )
 
Only time will tell for sure whether or not Dreamwidth's plan is truly viable, and I hope it is. I like to support the things I use online and wish more people would remember that these sites are businesses and services. Everything you do on Livejournal -- even if you're just a lurker who doesn't have an account -- costs people money. If they can't recoup the costs, then the service will go away. It's really that simple.
 
  
afterthree: (amelie)
I have been following the latest round of Cultural Appropriation discussions for the last week (and, only slightly less recently, the Avatar: The Last Airbender discussions centreing around the all-white cast for the movie), and as a result I have some thoughts floating around in my head that seem to need to be expressed in a concrete way. This post is largely for my own benefit, as a way of working through little bits of exploding consciousness and awareness. Sometimes the only hope I have of understanding my own head is by pinning thoughts down to a page. Those of you used to fandom-squee, please forgive (and feel free to completely ignore) the following stream-of-consciousness.


Things I Have Been Thinking About )

 
afterthree: (amelie)
I have what is an unusual question sparked in part by this ljidol post by [livejournal.com profile] gratefuladdict , this paper on white priviledge, and my own recent personal experiences of being a strong-minded female in an overwhelmingly male corporate culture. It's been in the back of my mind since the Open-Source Boob fiasco and all the meta it spawned a few months ago, but I didn't ask it then because I was still trying to wrap my head around my thoughts and didn't want to inadvertently add more fuel to a fire that was blazing well enough without me.

Before I get to that, though, I feel I need to set some levels on my own personal experience and awareness:

I am a white female who was raised in a overwhelmingly white and middle- to upper-class small city. I am somewhat conscious of the impact of my white privilege and understand intellectually that, just by virtue of being white, some things are automatically made easier and simpler for me.

I am (for lack of a better way to express the concept) aware that I am generally unaware of the broad impacts being white has had on my life and my social interactions. Expressed in another way, I admit that I am largely ignorant of the ways race can and does impact people's lives, probably because I've had so little experience of being consciously aware that it has impacted mine.

Up until the last few years, I might have said the same thing about being female. I would have argued with feminists that I did not feel at any particular disadvantage because of my sex, because up recently I hadn't had any significant experiences to draw from in order to understand what feminists are talking about.

This changed when I started working in a corporate environment that is run by males and has a very strong "boys' club" feel to it; here, women are (subconsciously and consciously) treated differently than men, and for the first time in my life I found myself acutely aware of my sex in ways I never was before. I am conscious of the fact that, because I am a woman, I do have to prove myself capable in some ways that are given as automatic baselines for men. I have experienced the fine and blurry line of sexual innuendo and comment that on the surface seem innocuous, yet leaves me uncomfortable and troubled.

I am still not completely sure how I define myself sexually. I know for sure that I am strongly attracted physically and sexually to men. What I don't fully understand yet is to what degree I am attracted to women. I often feel strong physical and personal attraction to females, but haven't had the opportunity to discover if I am as sexually drawn to females; a situation that would permit me to explore my sexuality in this way has simply not presented itself yet. Based on the broad spectrum of things I find arousing visually and mentally, I suspect it's entirely possible that I am bisexual.

What's most confusing here is that I'm not entirely sure how I'm supposed to find out. How do I approach the exploration of this possible side of my sexuality that allows me the opportunity for full discovery but isn't disrespectful if it turns out not to be the case? I know plenty of gay men but almost no gay or bisexual women, and am not sure how to approach the task of seeking them out without appearing presumptuous, rude or offensive.

The broader question I have is this:

What is the best and most respectful way for a person of majority privilege to broach the topics of race, gender or sexuality with a member of that minority? How does a white person or a straight person seek meaningful dialogue? Talking about these things with straight, white females is somewhat cathartic but doesn't allow for any exchange of understanding. Similarly, there are things I will never and just cannot experience being white, but I do genuinely want to understand the experiences as best I can so I can become less ignorant, and the only way I can do that is by listening to others who have these experiences and probing where I don't understand.

There are times I will say things (and perhaps I have in this post, and do apologize for it) that reek of and betray my privilege without realizing it. I don't intend to offend, but the very fact that I'm ignorant means sometimes I will, and I absolutely want to be corrected and criticised when I do so. I know these are very personal issues for many people in a way they can't be for me and I want to be sensitive to that, but I also want to understand better and understand more. I feel being passive about these issues does nothing to help change them, but also that I have no right to speak out about something I can't fully comprehend.

Is it better for me to say nothing and continue to observe and listen only (the "sit down and shut up" approach), or is it better to actively seek out a dialogue with best intentions that might turn foul and create anger?

If any part of this post has offended or troubled you, please tell me so. I can't change for the better if I don't know where I have failed.  Apologies to the flist in general for the length.



Thick Skin

Jul. 24th, 2008 03:28 pm
afterthree: (willow crazy hair)
I was going to post a response to this whole "reviewing: to do or not to do" LJ thing going on (mostly because I publicly review things on a regular basis) but -- thank goodness -- [personal profile] synecdochic   beat me to it, saying everything I was going to say in a very well articulate post.

For the record, like [personal profile] synecdochic  , I also eager welcome any public positive or negative form of feedback, review, commentary and recommendation on my work, whether it be fictional, fannish, or even an opinion LJ post.  Constructive negative criticism, review and commentary are especially difficult to find, and I actively seek it out as much as possible because I truly believe that I cannot get better at the craft of writing and expressing myself with words unless I know where my weaknesses are.

Praise is easy to find and -- other than as an ego-boost -- is often useless when it comes to improving.  Quantified positive feedback (this worked for this reason and this reason) is difficult to find but much more useful, and negative feedback (this doesn't work because of this and this) is often impossible but of the highest value to me, especially in fandom where people are generally afraid to rock the boat and be labeled as rude or inflammatory.

So, because [personal profile] synecdochic   said everything I wanted to say about the topic in general, the only purpose of this post is to formally and publicly invite dissection of my own work, for those who -- like me -- thoroughly enjoy the process of analytically breaking down a piece of art, both for the sake of discussion and criticism.  You're welcome to comment in my space or your own, you don't ever need to ask my permission to do so, and if you are comfortable having me read your thoughts on my work, I would love to be linked to them, even if they're negative, and I won't participate in the discussion there.

 
afterthree: (umbridge joygasm)
Here's a very on-point and invaluable post by cluegirl about the dissection and writing of real, believable, varied characters based somewhat on the principles of method acting.  This step-by-step method, while being far more structured than mine, is yet quite similar to the way in which I design characters and attempt to approach a story.  It's certainly articulated very well, and below in the comments cluegirl responds by answering the seven questions about some of her own characters.  You should read those, too -- they further illustrate her point in a way more elegant than words and words of explanation.

This reminds me of my days under my English IB teacher in high school, who made us answer nearly exactly these types of questions all the time.  It also reminds me of some of the directors I've worked with.

 
afterthree: (Default)
Not too terribly long ago, a job was just a job. People would find one after whatever level of school they cared to finish and quite often stay there for the rest of their lives, dutifully earning their pension in hopes of some day being able to live with some kind of pride through their retirement until the day they die. Work was something you did so you could get on with the rest of your life. A means to an end. A way to pay the bills.

I know for some people, this is still the case. But poking through the stats, you might discover that, where an adult used to have one -- or maybe two -- careers throughout their life, these days the average is around eight.

Eight careers? In one life?

Eight. People are retiring later than they used to, sure, but in the end if you do the math that's just over five years spent in each career. Five years. What kind of meaningful contribution can you make to your line of work in five years? Company and job loyalty has gone the way of customer service in Alberta (somewhere very, very far away indeed) and these days work isn't just work anymore: it's got to be fulfilling.

It's a nice idea, to be sure. Idealistic, even. Imagine a life in which the function you perform and are paid a decent -- or even excellent -- salary for is something you would gladly do for free all other considerations aside. What glorious happiness might wait for us in that place must be worth the considerable search.

Fulfilling is nice work, if you can get it. The problem is that it's considerably trickier quarry to track down than the motivational posters and post secondary recruitment handbooks would have us believe. Popular thought is that you should look for work doing things that interest you and that the money will follow; the reality is that what you love has got to provide a good or a service, and once you market something you love it has an annoying habit of turning into something far less appealing.

Joy in the workplace is a tricky, sneaky thing. It doesn't help that most of us can't tell the path for the dead end, and more often then not it seems less of an active search and more of a random wandering in some arbitrarily chosen direction often based on some impression no more concrete than "my, doesn't that tree look pretty over there".

I would have never expected being an adult to be like this. I would have never expected that I would want to have purpose greater than myself but also have no earthly idea what that purpose might be. Weren't the twenty-somethings where I was supposed to lay the foundations for the rest of my life? Wasn't I supposed to have some clear indication of where I wanted to go and who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do by now? Shouldn't I have started something I felt strongly about finishing?

I think of the lot of us twenty-somethings and our various relationships with work and life in general and wonder if we're the exception or the rule. There is a rumble of dissatisfaction shaking beneath our feet at a world that shouts that we can do and be anything we want but also encourages us to settle in order to be superficially comfortable. In the end what we all really want is to be happy: a mysterious, mythical feeling that taunts us from Self-Help Books, Romantic Comedies and Hallmark cards that is reputed to be some sort of extended, life-long version of Satisfaction With The State Of Things.

I don't know about happiness, but I know I crave the obsessive rush of working late into the night not because I have to but because I can't help myself. I want to feel inspired, useful, excited and motivated. I want to fucking matter in a way that's less "why am I here" and more "what can I do to help". I don't want to change the world -- that's for far better, far smarter, far more talented people than I -- but I'd like to feel like I contribute to something that's more than a good and/or service even if all it is is a good and/or service.

The bitch of it is that contentment, comfort, and happiness tend to all look the same when you get them: it's just their different shelf lives that set them apart. It's often hard to tell which one you've really got until a few years down the road, and by then the idea of going back and trying all over again is as daunting as trying to live with the bargain bin replica you wound up with.

I want what I do to be important to me, not just what I do. I want the work I do to be a part of my identity in the same way my hobbies, skills and talents are. I want to get carried away and not spend most of my day looking at the clock. I want to look forward to Mondays more than I look forward to Saturdays. I want to Give A Damn.

Don't we all...?

 

Dusting

Sep. 25th, 2007 11:24 am
afterthree: (ten points for destroying my soul)
Wow.  It has been a very long time since I last posted here.  *blushes*

Sometimes Real Life gets in the way of Online Life, and probably sometimes it should.  Current distractions from fandom include friends back from abroad, a brand new Wii to play with, a sister who moved, an apartment that still looks like it was hit by a natural disaster, and the male species.  Coupled with those demands on my free time, work is quite busy and will stay that way probably for another couple of weeks while D-Day looms on the horizon and our team frantically tries to get everything ready for launch.  Needless to say, my head is -- sadly -- not in the fandom at the moment.  

I have, however, long since read the second chapter of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and made quite a few notes for Project Read and Ramble which I hope to be able to assemble into something coherent to post sometime this week.  I was hoping Thursday, but perhaps not until Friday since CSI starts up on Thursday night.  I'm thinking Saturday night at the latest.

And even though I haven't had time at work to actually write drabbles for Moments Worth 100 Words, I have been jotting down ideas as they come to me.  I'm thinking I might try and take a Saturday (probably not this Saturday; my sister has roped me into helping her paint and then we're going out to celebrate a friend's new job) and write them all in one fell swoop.  I also am approaching Quite A While since I've updated Ink and Parchment, and my Tuesday Dinner Project has been put on hiatus for the last couple of weeks, though my plan is to start it up again tonight.

I also owe [personal profile] callmepatsy an apology for not keeping my head in the game for our interview.  I haven't forgotten, I'm just being pulled in too many directions at the moment.  Can we press pause and resume in a couple of weeks (early to mid October) when my work life calms down a bit and I can think again?



I've been jotting down quite a few ideas for drabbles surrounding the Tonks' and the Blacks during Deathly Hallows, and I'm currently torn whether to write them and put them into Moments Worth 100 Words or to create a stand-alone drabble collection, since all these would be connected.  Similarly, as I jot down ideas or lines or bits of dialogue, I've come to realize that my versions of Andromeda and Ted are more based on [personal profile] callmepatsy's universe than canon (though the two are remarkably similar) and feel a bit like writing anything major with these characters would be playing in her sandbox with her bucket and shovel.  I feel likewise whenever I write Regulus, because my version of him has been so influenced by [profile] _thirty2flavors' take on him.  Since none of these characters have ever been truly fleshed out in JKR's canon, I really feel like I should have my own versions of them before I write about them, and anything else is stealing.  Fanfiction Writer's Courtesy dictates this use of fanon character be cleared with the respective author prior to publication, but it feels underhanded just writing them sometimes.

 
afterthree: (diabolical disguise)
Y'know what I like? 

I like posting a new chapter to Moments Worth 100 Words and then compulsively checking my stats as I get 200 hits in two hours.  It gives me a warm fuzzy.  I like that every time I update, another user has assigned that story an alert.  I am filled with a strange, embarrassing sense of validation.

You'd think it'd get old, watching stats change, especially considering that's an all-encompassing part of my day job.  But it never does.  I have two tools accumulating numbers for Coffee and Chocolate, and I check both of them daily.  I make graphs.  I chart average time spent (a whopping seven minutes!) and which fics get the most clicks versus the most views.  I squee every time a new country appears on my geo-map or in my flag list.  I like sifting through the site referrals and stumbling upon new ones.  I delight in monitoring my keyword hits, and know ridiculous things like, out of my top ten keyword returns, the only two that aren't some variation of Remus/Tonks are the keywords "coffee and chocolate fiction" and "deepdownslytherin" which indicates to me that: 1) I should probably find some more Remus/Tonks and throw the shippers a few more bones and 2) I should get [personal profile] callmepatsy a nice gift for inadvertently allowing quite a few people to find my site (side note for Christine: you might be interested to know that A Keen Observer is the 5th most frequently clicked through rec out of a current 81 total recs).  I know that in the last two months my readership has subtly shifted from 80% new to 60% returning and that my site loyalty has skyrocketed.  I track popular navigational paths and most popular tags (Remus/Tonks followed by Snape followed by Ron/Hermione followed by Award Winners) and get a little giddy on days I check the visitor tally and it comes in just over the current busiest day and becomes the new busiest day.

I am Chelle, and I am a stats addict.
 

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