Potential Confounding Factors in the Analysis of Kudos/Hits on AO3

Created in conjunction with /u/What_The_Function.

Archive Of Our Own (AO3) is a website designed for archiving fanfiction and the occasional amateur original work.  The site has several metrics that it tracks which can be used to measure the success of a particular story.  Among them are Hits (a measurement of how many separate times a web browser has visited the page for a story) and Kudos (a vote of approval for a particular story that can be left by both registered users and guests).  The site tracks them separately and most users just use one stat or the other (or a different independent stat) to measure how successful a story is.  However, some users have suggested looking at the measurement of Kudos/Hits instead.  In theory, this will show a measurement of how much the people who read the story like it and will remove the confounding factors of some stories getting lucky with drawing more readers in and some stories simply appealing to a broader crowd.  However, it has also been suggested that this measurement may introduce its own confounding factors.

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