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The Masses Contributors over Time

Besides taking stock of the magazine’s changing number of pages, words, and titles/items, we can also trace its development by counting the authors and artists who contributed to it over time. If we measure all signed contributions, we come up with numbers that resemble our figures for titled items, since the two mostly coincide–with the difference between them representing the extent of anonymous or unsigned publications in the magazine.

More significantly, we can also represent the number of “unique” contributors to each volume. In the bar chart below, each contributor to a volume is counted just once, regardless of the extent of his/her contribution. We also tried, before compiling these figures, to avoid counting the same person more than once by producing a revised list of contributors in which obvious variants of the same name (e.g., “Art Young” vs. “Arthur Young”) were reconciled. This chart of contributors thus gives us a sense of the total number of people involved in each year or volume of the magazine’s history. (This network is also visualized, by the contributors’ names, in the next section of the Masses Work Site).

(In the future, we may try to do create a chart that shows the unique contributors for each issue, but that requires more labor than we have time for now.)

By dividing the number of unique contributors in each volume by the total number of contributions, we can also arrive at the average number of items contributed by authors/artists over the magazine’s 7-year history.

Finally, we can also visualize the rate at which authors and artists contributed to The Masses. In the pie charts below, we have grouped contributors by the number of their contributions to each volume of the magazine: e.g., all those who had only one contribution, all those with just two, three, four, and so on. When you hover your cursor over a colored percentage area of the pie chart, you’ll also see the number of contributors and the number of their contributions for that segment: e.g., in the largest blue segment in the first chart below, 61.5% of the group (or 61.5% of all 117 contributors to volume 1) amounts to 72 contributors who each had only 1 contribution, while 12% of contributors in the next-largest (orange) segment amounts to 14 contributors who had just two contributions each.

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