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ALL: Angry fan's letter to Carolyn Hinsey


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You can read about it here and the entire letter here.

Soaps are a business. They make their money on advertising, and advertisers only value viewers aged 18-49. It's stupid and it's not fair, but it's a FACT. So, the networks do focus groups made up of fans like you and me, and those fans answer questions about who and what they like and don't like on their shows. The shows then take some of that information--faulty though it may be--and use it to decide what to pay their people. That's how business works. The most valuable people make the most money.

In short, Hinsey is espousing the model that I've written about extensively, the one that I believe is quite fractured and misleading for the soaps industry to be following. Further, she celebrates the focus group as the way to tell what fans really want, a research method I am much more highly suspicious of than using online fan communities, because of the constructedness of the model and the idea of considering level of engagement as a meaningless metric.
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I think you can learn something from talking to people.

But focus group use is clearly a mess.

You have no idea what level of understanding the people involved have of what they're being asked. They're not necessarily regular viewers who know & love the show. They may never have seen it before.

The questions being asked might be rigged, skewed, or logically faulty.

The answers might be skewed by various means by various groups of people using it or spinning it.

In short the whole thing is such a mess it's pretty much useless as it is being done. But it's being given huge importance and has caused endless amounts of trouble.

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You can read about it here and the entire letter here.

Sylph, thanks for the link and quote! I am not saying that methods like focus groups are absolutely useless, but what bothers me is that so many people are so sure that Internet fan communities are not even worth looking at or reacting to yet treat other, even more problematic methods as if they are completely valid.

Part of it is just about the way business has been done...Like the Nielsens, focus groups might have been more helpful when there were only 3 choices of what to watch, but neither are nearly as valid in today's era.

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Good! I can't stand Carolyn Fatsey...the woman knows nothing about soaps and she thinks she is funny when she is not and half the time all she does is whine about the stars getting plastic surgery. I laughed one time when she wrote, "For those stars wanting to get plastic surgery...don't do it." Who does she think she is? Their mother? The woman needs a life of her own to worry about

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