Saturday, October 12, 2013

Data Analysis Memo #2 (with image)

Above is an image from the Once Upon A Time discussion board. The very first entry was posted by me, as an experiment. In my last data analysis, I had discussed how many members of this online community were mostly complaining in their posts, either about the show itself, or about other people's complaints. However, even with all the complaining posts in regards to the show's rather disappointing first episode, the dominant theme on the discussion board before, during, and after the episode 1 timeframe was fan (mostly fangirl) lust. Having viewed Once Upon A Time myself, I can vouch for the fact that nearly all members of the cast are extremely god-looking; the people who post on the discussion board consistently make posts in regards to their appreciation for said cast members. My goal for this project is to study the emotional reactions of people on the discussion board, with an emphasis on what gets them all riled up. So I decided to test and observe that my making my own post about the most lusted after character on the discussion board: Rumplestilskin.

Rumplestilskin is an older, somewhat crazy, antihero who sends fangirls into a frenzy, particularly when the character wears tight black leather pants. Although quite interesting as a character, I don't particularly see the appeal. Meanwhile, last season on the show, the character of Captain Hook was introduced. Captain Hook is young, cocky, and full of roguish charm that has also sent fangirls squealing (and in this case, I can definitely see the appeal). Since both characters have led to a whole bunch of excited posts with many exclamation points and caps lock, I decided that I would use both of them in my post, contrasting each other. My post, entitled "Rumple or Hook" asked members which character they prefer and why.

I was expecting a fair number of responses, and I got them. The picture above shows one page worth of comments; at the present time that number has tripled, earning about a page and a half more comments than the average post gets. However, not all of the reaction was as I expected. Previous discussion board posts have shown that people are fiercely fond of their favorite characters, so I was anticipating some bickering, if not full-fledged internet fights, between fangirls with differing opinions. That wasn't the case though; every single person who posted said that they preferred Rumplestilskin. A few also had nice things to say about Hook, but Rumple was unanimously the favorite. Most likely if I had made a post claiming Hook's superiority or bashing Rumple, then I would've gotten a more fierce emotional response.

Even though the result of my experiment was different that anticipated, it showed once again, how the members of the discussion board are united. Last time, they came together over things they don't like; this time it was something they did like, Rumplestilskin, and they formed a large, thriving fanbase. Most of the responses were polite and cheerful, representing how a fanbase is when unprovoked. And once again, there were caps lock, exclamation points, and general squeals of fangirl lust, something no Once Upon A Time discussion board is complete without, evidently.


  1. Hey Katie,
    I like the analysis that you gave. I thought it was a brave step to try to provoke some sort of response from the fans. I did wish that the image was a little better though so that I could read the actual data set that you chose.

    As a reader, I was wondering if there was any back and forth between posters on the fansite? I realize that weren't any cases of bickering but what type of comments were they posting? Did some fans respond to other fans in mutual consent over a specific of Hook or Rumple? It also might be interesting to look at the time frame of the posts in conjunction with the airing time of the show just to see maybe how the more fervent posts could be related to proximity of seeing the new/latest episode.

    For your last memo, you might want to look at some other kind of question that you pose to the fans. I thought was an interesting move especially if you document your thoughts on the reaction that you think you will receive and then what you actually receive from the fans of Once Upon a Time. Something else that you could look at, is how the setting of the story affects the reactions of the fans, so is there something provoking in the scene that you could pinpoint and create conversation about? Any particular events that could bring up contention? Perhaps does everyone like how blank happened or how would you have liked to have seen happen in this scene?

    Good luck and good work!

  2. Arwen if you click on the image it becomes bigger and you can read it.
    Thanks for your advice!

  3. Like your first analysis, I'd like to see you develop and substantiate your analysis quite a bit. I'm also curious about how you're defining "emotion." What qualifies as an emotional response?