The polls have, more than comments, given me a feel for who is reading and how they're reacting to 100 Days in general. A broader range of people do the polls than reply to posts. The answers to the polls don't change what I'm going to write about, but they do let me know what the silent people are thinking, and significantly change how I approach the writing, and how personal and open I get with it. It doesn't bother me to open myself to people, I do it all the time. But 100 Days is doing it in electrons and in public, and the way I want to approach that, having it friends-locked would be self-defeating.
I had the 'sex and violence trilogy' (Losing Control, Rape, Paedophiles) on the list from day one, each of them were utterly draining to write. I knew that they were things I felt passionately about, that each would be deeply revealing about my own attitudes and life experiences. But it also means that on something like the rape post, in the section where I diverge briefly to talk rape fantasies, I'm essentially admitting in a public forum that I have had those fantasies. Not an easy thing to do. Forgetting the deeply personal insight into one aspect of my sexuality, it's a fairly taboo subject.
So while an admission like that pushes me completely out of my comfort zone, the polls have given me the confidence to be able to say, 'no, the majority of people reading this will understand where it comes from.' What the polls do is make the difference between a post where I basically restate what we all think, that rape is wrong, and a post where I take the time to point out the very important differences between actual rape and rape fantasies, and indirectly admit that I have had those fantasies.
The polls have also given me a number of things to write about that I hadn't thought of, both directly and indirectly. Directly, there will be a post on John Howard. But indirectly, when asked to write about bunnies, I realised I didn't love or hate them - I had domestic ones as pets, hunted wild ones with ferrets and nets - but I was suddenly reminded that we shouldn't have the bloody things on this continent, and that got me talking about introduced species.
Every question asked is important. It gets me thinking about my opinions.
I'm doing 100 Days for a number of reasons, some of which have come out, some will appear during other posts or when I wrap up. But what makes it most interesting for me, is when people start talking, or asking questions, or when they get a fresh perspective. It doesn't matter if the fresh look at the subject changes their ideas or not, what matters is that they've had the opportunity to re-evaluate their ideas.
What the most recent poll has done is given me some direction for once 100 Days is finished. At this point, I'm seriously considering a follow-up called '100 Questions', where I pick and choose from a selection of questions from the deeply personal to the mundane. The reason for this is simply that I've been asked some good questions I'd like to answer; some of them are light and fluffy, what do you think of Infomercials, some are deep and will take a lot of thought, who do I aspire to be, with all changes in my life, and most are not relevant in the 100 Days format because of my take on it, Furry Fandom - the things I love or hate about furs count equally for regular fandom, so the furry aspect is irrelevant, but the attitudes aren't.
So, after Day 50, when I put up a poll asking for more subjects, ask about anything. Feel free to ask something deeply personal, an opinion on something controversial, something light and fluffy, or for clarification or more detail on something I've already talked about. It may become a 100 Questions post, if it doesn't spark a 100 Days reaction.
Looking at the most recent poll, everyone who has answered so far wanted more posts on controversial subjects, 70% want more ranting, and only 57% wanted more sex! Though I should note, no-one wanted less sex. Given that my hits literally triple every time I post on the subject, I suspect there are a few people happy to stay quiet, and confident that as a dirty old man, I will talk more on the subject unbidden.
My favourite comments/reasons for liking posts so far have been -
"I like the excruciatingly personal posts best."
"Fascinating content and got everyone talking!"
"An open atmosphere that resulted in interesting responses."
"I'm all about exposing myself to public comment, and it's good to see someone else doing it too"
The funny thing about that last comment, even though I've been aware from day 1 that what I was doing laying myself bare for public comment, and my writing has been influenced by that in some ways, I've never thought of it that way.
*runs screaming into the hills*
At some point I will be doing a poll, with screened comments and that will be unviewable by anyone except me, for the people that want to ask questions or comment, but are too shy. I may even make it friends locked. Most of them may still not answer, but it will give some of them the chance to do so without having their thoughts on display.
At this point I have 69 things left in the Love list, 47 in the Hate list, and 10 questions for 100 Questions.
On the list are a few personal, not so many controversial (so ask what I think, people!) and all sorts of other stuff. Here are some tasters -
Eucla, 'Event' Fandom, End of Season Cliffhangers, Dreams, My Own Sexuality, Cultural Identity, and Scars.