Sep. 4th, 2010

solarcat: (Gen -- Blue Keys)
I know it's simply an artifact of a simpler time on the internet, but am I the only one who gets blindsided by fics that use the old system of fic-length measurement?

Because, okay, there is a BIG difference between the following:

200KB

200k


Can you all see the difference?

The difference is about 175,000 words of content, give or take.

I guess my annoyance comes from the fact that a fic is, to me, an investment. I choose to invest in THIS fic experience over THAT fic experience on the basis of factors X, Y, and Z. Maybe X (the fandom/pairing) is the same, but Y (the genre/trope) is different. So I pick the Y I am interested in at the moment. Easy! But if X and Y are the same, I am wildly more likely to pick THIS over THAT because THIS has a Z (wordcount) of 200,000, while THAT has a Z of 30,000.

Both, in this case, are awesomely long, which makes them full of win (I will NEVER knock a 30k story for being too short!!). But when I'm out looking for that big Z, the massive, super-epic fic, it's something of a disappointment to realize that you've misread the old system (200KB) for the new system (200k). And it doesn't even matter the quality of the fic! It could be the greatest fic in the universe! I will STILL be disappointed, because my EXPECTATION in terms of wordcount was much, much higher than what I actually got.


Which is why, my dear friends, I ask you to be careful when labeling fic recs. Sometimes the author has used the old system. Maybe it's an older fic. Maybe they're just used to the KB system instead of the k=thousand system. Whatever, it's all good.

But for the love of jeebus, PLEASE don't just label a "KB" story with: (number)~K

/Public Service Announcement

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