Since Time Immemorial – thoughts on the blogging tradition? part 2

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Read the first part here.

Kiaoshin: “I think what is good for the blogosphere more than anything else is seeing that more variety in the tone and type of message is introduced in the coming years.” It’s really funny. I was about to post this [the first post] on THAT, and it was scheduled to be posted in nine hours or so, and then the next day I look and my post usurped by an episodic post on vampires (yeah, THAT puts episodic priority over editorial but whatever). That was pretty funny, pretty humiliating. I guess I try to diversify the content on THAT, to try and break the flow of constant episodic posts, but if my writing is easily trampled over (access is removed), there’s just as little point in writing if there’s no reading.

Ryan: (1)

The single-author blog spans a single individual’s perspective, while the team blog is a parent wrapper of single-author blogs, in which a sense of conformity is found. This allows the wrapping distribution of content to become more diversified than what a single author would provide.

When we relate blogging to content, however, I think the team blog may need some redefinition. OH is probably the best example, since there are no episodic posts and the content is very diverse. But, even then, content becomes a fickle word. Is THAT diverse, even if 90% of its content is episodic? Do we differentiate between content and form? Is form a kind of content? Yes and no, I think.

(2)

The social role of blogs is on the order of expressing opinion in which readers may be able to relate to, confronting issues objectively, and/or providing a form of entertainment to readers.

This is similar to what I was saying in Omisyth’s original post: some blogs, specifically episodic posts, function as phatic modes of communication. It’s not necessarily about the content or the discussion, but simply a reaffirmation of the existence and presence of the audience, an acknowledgement of one’s place in the subculture. This is enforced by the fact that a lot of bloggers have those pesky back-logs and really, a sense of duty, a sense of connection to the community which cannot be fulfilled by any means other than raw communication.

(3)

By speculative state I assume team-orientation, or bloglomerates. While I do worry that the vertical intensity of subject matter is not going to stimulate positive development in the blogosphere, I don’t believe grouping authors is solely a negative aspect. For instance, a group blog with solid diversity of perspective vs one where the authors agree on everything to watch [or more crucial, what not to watch]; I have seen the latter case and wondered why there were 5+ authors, when there was no discrepency between them … redundancy -_-

Well, content-oriented blogs do not necessarily “engender” or attract bloggers with no differentiation between opinion. In fact it could be the opposite: five bloggers on a single blog writing about a single anime could have very diverse opinions which open up quite an array of discussion that really spreads the anime out in such a way that separate, unconsolidated bloggers wouldn’t be able to achieve. Similarly, I enjoy how Crusader and Cawalain double post stuff.

The solidarity affirmed by a single space is also a big plus; but on the other hand, with interblog groups like round robins and the defunct ABC, a different, more “transcendental” solidarity is created which makes participants seem connected in a way that surpasses the medium of the blog and is about a specific goal or ideology that a blog/space can’t always create through the merits of its materialism alone – materialism as in the “tangible” interface of the blog. [This isn't to say that a blog cannot be ideological, though. Also, a material blog can be the product of an abstract ideology, like Calamtious Intents, a product of the AGRR, an effort towards greater female anime/blogger/fujoshi/whatever solidarity.]

animekritik: “Ideally the blogger has a certain perspective that allows his readers to connect to their favorite shows in a new, deeper way.” Hmm. This is an interesting point. It brings up the question “what is the thing we really get from anime blogs?” Is it specifically about the content, the anime, or is it about the author’s perspective/ideology and methodology? You can get both, and you can get to one through the other; it depends on the personality of the reader. These meta posts are a good example. They’re not about anime, so the only thing we can convey are our thoughts on the mechanisms behind anime blogging, which may, indirectly, open up for viewing our ways of engaging with our social environments and negotiating with the social terrain, for example, where we post (I guess that only applies to me), who we trackback to and why, how much trackbacking, comments (that’s a huge area in itself), and so forth.

I’d rather there were 5 million bloggers debating with each other than 5 forums each with a million participants.” Well, what’s not to say that you can create a cohesive group of five million people that collectively debate with another set of five million? Obviously those numbers aren’t possible, but I could see some collective debate, like, OH vs. THAT or RandomC vs. Drastic. Actually, that would be really interesting to witness, if not partake in. But even then, it’s hard to homogenize even the small team blog.

By providing the blogger with a stable identity, his/her message will get across more effectively and the level of discussion will rise, rather than get drowned in a foamy forum.” Yeah, I think this is the case, generally speaking. Moderators probably have much more voice in forums, though, and have a similar quality of authority as bloggers do when commenting within their own blogs as administrators.

Ghost: “When I told myself that I want to emulate Cuchlann in being a uniter and not a divider, it didn’t necessarily mean I wanted to be the definitive mecha (or even Macross) blogger, nor do I intend to be limited by that identification.” I think the distinction between unison and division gets rather tricky the more complex things become. My view is that I strive to be a united divider. Similar debates frequently arise, however subtly, in college classrooms between people of very different opinion. The point is not to force equal views upon everyone, hence the irony of “indentured democrat”, but to strive to flesh out differences and then build cohesiveness upon that dissonance. It’s a rather “post-modern” (uh-oh) view, where you can build affirmation on argument, methodology on madness, comfort on chaos. When two oppositions collide, you needn’t be restricted to viewing things in those limited terms of the binary – there is the hybrid, conflicting space creating at the cusp of those two colliding forces, and it is this very interesting space I would like to utilize.

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7 Comments

  1. Posted November 21, 2008 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Well Comrade we try to follow rules but like a Kampfgruppe we adjust as the situation dictates, its not like we are some how hazing you…Impz stopped me from doing that.

    Even if THAT is more episodically oriented there is still something to be said for the variety of genres that we may cover at times, we all know Impz will always have an adversity to mecha, while I am largely allergic to harem. I consider a team blog to be like the Kampfgruppe concept an ad-hoc formation of authors who try to coordinate as best they can, if one author needs to focus on RL issues then another can help pick up the slack as a inactive blog runs the risk of becoming a dead blog. Furthermore it allows for Abteilung like yourself it allows for a certain degree of nomadic habits.

    The blogosphere itself is essentially a substitute for the old anime club which seems to be on the decline in recent years. At least through blogs there can be more focused discussions with pictures it is also a more controlled environment than forum. I have never been a single person blogger, but in such circumstances there is a higher probability of burn out, recently IKnight invoked burn out at a point ever so close to his 1 year anniversary, he’s not alone I reckon.

  2. Posted November 21, 2008 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Yes, blame me for shifting stuff. @_@ I have mentioned before that editorials are less time-sensitive, and would always be allowed ahead of episodic entries. Yep, sorry about that X_X.

    By the way, there are major issues with team blogs lately, and I am building a rather major rant about it.

  3. Posted November 21, 2008 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Pre-finishing, I read the comments:

    I agree with Crusader on the note of similar content, but a diversity in subject matter. That sort of diversity is solid as well, because it’s spreading a given form across various genre, if we can use that word anymore.

    Impz, nice, you should step into a newspaper office and see the craziness of their “team blogs” [or massive army of journalists directed by editors directed by upper-management]. Team blogs are nice for providing man-power and distributing load, but topically it still needs direction from some driver (editor).

    Post-finish:

    Generally, blog articles can become forum threads, but its not an absolute relation. In this respect, articles/entries are thread starters, and discussers really have no say in what starts a discussion; it is left in the directing hands of the blogger.

    Personally, I enjoy the conciseness of blogs over forums, since forums tend to be hectic, time-consuming, and often too expansive to get good info from.

    So…

    what is the thing we really get from anime blogs?

    Really, beyond everything, I think it is the connection to who it is exactly writing these things. It’s human nature to “see” personality, and I think that tends to shine over all other aspects. People can read and feel the author’s emotion, it’s just that way. You know, perhaps its attraction; where we find writers we like and want to know their opinion.

    These meta posts are a good example

    In some way, I’ve felt that meta-posts were usually blogger-targetted, and not necessarily reader-targetted. It makes me wonder what readers take from them, other than our own views on ourselves/community. This doesn’t exclude the fact that readers can help extremely in a community when not on the producer side.

    I could see some collective debate, like, OH vs. THAT or RandomC vs. Drastic. Actually, that would be really interesting to witness, if not partake in. But even then, it’s hard to homogenize even the small team blog.

    The issue is we don’t necessarily have the infrastructure to handle and bring such thing to a concise “location”. Trackbacks are great, but its hard to demand readers read another post ontop of a pending one, unless of course you are dealing with those more involved, in the case of meta, its bloggers.

    I think there is something to the aggregator services, not in the “automatic and expansive” sense, but in the fact that there is some entity collecting and re-listing blogger entries. Depending on the entity, this could be something for the future.

    an effort towards greater female anime/blogger/fujoshi/whatever solidarity

    wut

  4. Posted November 22, 2008 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    @ lelangir

    I left the academe before ‘postmodern’ became somewhat of a problematic idea, and so I’m still living in some freak time-bubble where/when it still promises freedom. Through methods perceived to be within it’s fold like deconstruction, I still believe I can build affirmation on argument and vice-versa. I may not be able to articulate it the same way right now, but I agree and aspire to the same things you’ve just said (at least pertaining to what you quoted from me.

    Even as niches become more distinguished from each other, and deeper into their distinctions, I do feel that some voices can thread all of these points along the long tail of anime blogs. Not so much as an authority or and organizing force, but an affirming one.

  5. Posted November 22, 2008 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Impz: Haha it’s not a problem, I was just surprised since this was the first time it happened.

    Ryan: I remember Itsubun saying that the point of the AGRR was to get a buncha girls together to talk about girl stuff without feeling pressured or marginalized in the shadow of the male dominated aniblogosphere. On that note it’s slightly hilarious that I’m in Calamitous Intents.

    Crusader/Ghost/N/Sakura: I’m doing re-comments in a post shortly.

  6. Posted November 23, 2008 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    *Smacks head on desk repeatedly* You know, it’s true that there is no “i” in team, but I can assure everyone there is an “i” in Ka(i)oshin. Can I have it back now?

  7. Posted November 23, 2008 at 3:31 am | Permalink

    There is a “we” in weapon, problem fixed.

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