Monday, December 9, 2013

Polished Data Analysis

In my study of the IMDB Once Upon A Time discussion board, my area of focus has been people's emotional behaviors, specifically, what gets an emotional rise out of discussion board members and how they respond towards each other. In my data analyses I attempted to observe and analyze the emotional behaviors regarding how members interact as a community. This was interesting to do because people didn't necessarily behave the way I expected them to.

In my first data analysis, I studied the fan-invented "Season 3 Drinking Game" which started as just one post but had more piled on in the comment section. The original poster, ranguvar, doesn't provide any information as to her reasons behind coming up with this activity, she just starts listing off suggestions; however it can be inferred from the content of her post that she is tired of all the posts that discussion board members have previously made complaining about the show. Ranguvar provides a list of topics  that members had frequently complained about, with instructions regarding how many shots of alcohol should be taken for each one. I noticed that  as the amount of alcohol ordered to be consumed increased, the topics became ones that were less frequently mentioned. For example: "Take one shot: Whenever someone makes a post about how Once isn't ethnically diverse" (at the time of the posting, there had been multiple discussions regarding that issue) whereas "Finish the bottle: When someone complains about the special effects" was regarding a topic that rarely earned posts. Ranguvar's post is simple instructions, she doesn't let off any emotional response regarding what she's posting or why she's posting it but she does conclude her post by inviting others to add more. This friendly offer somewhat changes the tone of the post; by welcoming the rest of the community to participate, she implies that she is not fed up with the community but rather accepts all the complaining that takes place and wants to turn it into something fun. It is clear that ranguvar still considerers herself a devoted member of the community by her signature line: "Harlot of the Leather Pants Mrs. Rumplestilskin".

Ranguvar's post was followed up by a comment from alismigyette, who happily added on to the drinking game instructions. Unlike ranguvar, alismigyette's post has no shortage of an emotional response. Alismigyette shows her excitement about this drinking game in multiple ways: extra punctuation marks, emoticons, and sharing her opinion. Examples include: "aww, yes!!! I so love this!!!!!!!! Hey who's Michael James?? Sorry, but that flew over my head!!!" and "four shots when Emma makes that crazy face she always makes!!! lol :) too funny". She wraps up stating "that's all I can think of.." although she had provided more suggestions than ranguvar. Her instructions were also less formal, more playful, suggesting that she was already caught up in the fun of it. Just as ranguvar does, alismigyette identifies herself as an avid member of the community, with her signature line: "*Officially Rumple's keeper of the dagger!! :)"

For the second data analysis, I  made a post myself, asking members whether they preferred the character of Captain Hook or Rumplestilskin. I wanted to study online "catfights", for lack of a better description, and this seemed like a good way to do it, given that I had already observed members making very impassioned posts regarding their favorite characters. This experiment of mine did not have the desired effect however. All those who responded were in favor of the same character, so the comment section was catfight-free. I was provided though with some good data displaying how different discussion board members can form a thriving community over a shared affinity. Of the four groups of fans that I've observed in my study of the discussion board (the lusty fans, the trolls, the average folk, and the informants), the first three of those groups made their presence known in the comment section. I had suspected before I made this post that the majority of responses I would receive would be lust-infused, and I was correct about that part. The lusty fans rose beautifully to the occasion: "IMO, RUMPLE TAKES THE CAKE... HELL, THE WHOLE BAKERY!!!!!!! ;)"; "He has that commanding presence. *Gosh* I'm fangirling allover him"; "And he does the leather thing better than Hook ^_~". The average folk group, the ones who just make small posts/comments, usually to ask questions or give a brief opinion, also weighed in, keeping things short and to the point: "Rumple/Gold without question"; "Rumple, because he's far more complex than Hook". Even a troll reared its head for this discussion: "Rumple. Because Hook sucks. All I see is a misogynist dick when I see Hook". (To be fair, that last post wasn't attacking anyone else, so labeling the poster as a troll might be a bit reaching, but his/her tone left the door open for a fight had anyone dared to disagree with that comment.)
The point that I'm trying to make by providing all the above data is that a number of very different people come to the Once Upon A Time discussion board, with different ways of expressing themselves, and yet they can all co-exist in harmony due to their mutual appreciation for a TV show.

In these data analyses, I observed people's different responses to emotional stimuli and how different people were able to interact together. I am having difficulty better explaining myself/ elaborating on my subject of discussion, so any advice regarding this blog post would be most helpful.
Since the images displayed are small, if you would like to see a bigger image, just click on them.

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