I have to say today was quite a day. I stayed up til nearly 3 a.m this morning doing my allusions notes above because I was on such a roll I guess I lost track of time… but today I also managed to write some French vocab notes which probably weren’t necessary because I already know all the words but at least I feel productive 😂
Also not 100% Study related but I watched the Final Problem tonight and I so am not ready for this season to be over already :’(
there’s a shirt john wears where the tag always sticks out from under the collar and he never notices and the white frayed threads brush against his hair at the nape of his neck and when he’s just had a haircut the hair grows straight out and looks so soft and sherlock could graph the spiral that it grows in and sometimes sherlock imagines reaching forward to tuck it in and his knuckles brush john’s skin and he says “now you’re perfect” but instead from across the room as john reads the paper he waits for the signs that the tag has started to itch before saying “your tag’s come out from your collar,” but it comes out wrong and muffled because he’s said it into his cup of coffee
“hm?” john doesn’t look up
he burns holes through the table and the floor and the walls of the living room and at night tries to do the same with his own chest, but nothing’s working
From my last post on Sherlock fanworks creators (those active on AO3), after series three we see (a few) more creators no longer posting to the fandom than are joining, and I’ve heard a number of people voice concern that a lot of the long term contributors decided to leave after this new dose of canon and the fandom conflicts that followed. Many of us have heard of beloved creators backing away, and that is enough reason to ask: Have we lost more people than usual?
To answer this, I grouped Sherlock creators by the time of their first postings to AO3, refer to here as Creator Waves. In the plots above, we have the contributions of each semi-annual wave of creators since the show started airing in mid 2010.
Plot 1 shows the number of creators from each wave posting per week, all stacked on top of each other (interactive plot). From this, it is clear that recent contributors add the most fresh works to archive, while the numbers of active creators from each wave shrinks over time to be a whispy tail. These tails of the early creator waves are made by many of our most tenacious artists, those who have give us classics and continue to be shape our common culture. (One day I might get back to this as look at how seniority relates to popularity…)
The shape here is much the same as seen in my last post, with series 3 making a big spike in productivity, similar to the jump from series 2. And looking at the creator waves around this time, it is evident that the excitement isn’t limited to the new voices. Given that we know that the number of active creators per wave decays over time, is this bump important to all of these waves or just some?
Plot 2 let’s us compare these waves on their respective time lines: it reports the number of active contributors in each wave after their first six months in the fandom (interact with it here). That decay is even more obvious here, a common rate of attrition across the waves. Or mostly:the early joiners to fandom seem a bit more persistent than those who’ve popped in as the show gained greater popularity, but the shapes are about the same. Edit: Here is more analysis on the rate these waves decay. TLDR: it’s exponential and the half-life of sherlock creators posting to AO3 is around a year.
In this second plot, I’ve marked where series 2 and series 3 land on each of creator wave’s timeline. For all of these waves we have a distinct bump for series 3, perched on top of the expected reduction of active contributors. Series 3 did have a galvanising effect, bringing people back to share new creations. (I haven’t assess this statistically, but the pattern is pretty strong, so I doubt a time series model would suggest otherwise.)
While we have seen slightly more creator attrition since series 3, and some people have announced their departure the Sherlock Fandom, that isn’t the whole story. Whatever their reasons, plenty of creators, old and new, came to share works via AO3 around the airing of series 3, and the fandom is still going strong as we enter our second year of haitus.
P.S. The links to the interactive graphs are actually pretty cool: you can move your mouse to highlight different data points and series and see the specific numbers per week. If you want to understand these graphs better, it’s worth clicking through to play with them yourself.