Something about the duality of anime, 2010 edition.
On this day last year I started blogging and entered into the fan community in an entirely new way. Those of you who saw that first post might remember the picture I took of a Zaku II and Miyuki that I used as a representation of the variety of my tastes in anime, to which the opening image here is referring. It’s been an incredibly fun and rewarding year, and now I’m taking a moment to think back on it, on what it’s shown me as a blogger, and on all the friends and readers who have made it all worth it. It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year already.
When I made that first post I set down four goals for myself as I joined the THAT team:
-Regular content: I promise to be timely in my updates of the show(s) I have chosen to cover.
For the most part I think I’ve managed to meet this. While I’ve had occasional delays due to school or travel or scheduling conflicts, I’ve tried to get out episodics fairly quickly after the episode’s subs were released. Though there have been issues with the subs for Sora no Manimani and House of Five Leaves that caused me to have to wait a fair amount of time after the episodes originally aired in Japan. For retroblogging I’ve mostly kept to my post every Wednesday schedule. While this is the easiest goal to meet, and while I’ll never be the speediest with posts, I’m fairly satisfied here.
-Occasional editorials or thoughts on different aspects of anime and the anime community as I experience it.
I’ve done the occasional editorial or special feature in line with this statement, and as I’ve gone on in time as a blogger I’ve found myself getting more ideas for editorials than when I started. Maybe this is why the bloggers who have been around the longest tend to be editorial writers? Maybe it’s something that comes with time? But my main focus remains, and I suspect will always be, episodic entries.
-Developing my own style with your input.
Initially I modeled my posts a lot after Crusader’s, since he’s kind of my blogging role model, heh. Though I broke up the captioned images with a running recap-commentary, and that has remained the core of my episodic writing style. I realize that I write fairly lengthy posts compared to many bloggers out there, and while I’ve tried to reign in my wordiness somewhat, I’ve come to accept that taking lots of text and images to describe and comment on anime is just a part of how I write. Part of that might come from the way I speak, where I like to be precise and supply the full context of whatever I’m talking about (and writing about), part of it might just be the way that I like to explore what I write about. But after worrying about it for a time and still having a words per post average that dwarfs the other bloggers here, I’ve made my peace with it.
Of note on this goal is that I will be attempting to give some other post formats a go with Amagami SS, trying a different one for each arc. Hoping that works out.
-Have fun and try new things.
I’ve certainly had a lot of fun blogging. But not only in the writing. Getting to know readers and other bloggers through comments, other blogs, Twitter, and other interactions has brought me into the online fan community in a way that I scarcely imagined back when all I did was lurk on THAT. And it’s let me try new things like writing collaboratively with Crusader on Kimi ni Todoke as well as the faux-intelligence report intros for that series. Or when I contacted several veteran writers to ask for their advice to new bloggers. I’ve also done a favorite moments post (a result of a comments discussion with Scamp), some historical and military looks at anime series, carved a Sawako jack-o-lantern for Kimi ni Todoke, made a favorite ships post of which I intend to make a sequel, been inspired to get back into astronomy by Sora no Manimani, as well as many other fun episodic and editorial posts. It’s been a blast and I can’t thank the readers, my THAT comrades, and other readers enough for the experience.
They had me put my hand to this metal plate and state my name when I joined THAT, not sure what that was all about…
Being part of THAT
Also during the last year THAT completed our arduous and difficult move from Animeblogger.net to our own hosting. It was not easy, and I did not possess the technical skills to meaningfully contribute, but I do have something of a sense of accomplishment from helping to coordinate those who did. Crusader set up the purchasing and found the hosting service for us, and Kabitzin helped us greatly with the technical side as well as with the site redesign. But when even his considerable skills were not enough I had to bring in a friend of mine and she was finally able to slay the demons that existed during the transfer of our content to the new site.
I also brought the call for new writers to my comrades, and together with Impz we sorted through the plethora of wonderful candidates to make the tough choices required before bringing onboard our three newest members. Impz and I disagree a fair bit on meta/site-building things, but those differences of opinion definitely helped us in the end and he’s a great boss and Green Haired Trap Emperor to have. Even if he tried to pimp me to the internet community as a tsundere trap for a while there. (What is this?! I don’t even-) And in bringing in new writers I could officially start to feel old as I’m nowhere near the newest writer on here now. I’ll never be the newbie THAT writer again, feels bad man sadfrog.jpg. It still feels weird to think of myself as a semi-veteran blogger now.
Anime blogged to completion: 5 series (Sora no Manimani, SDF Macross, Kimi ni Todoke, Now and Then Here and There, House of Five Leaves), 2 OVAs (Macross Zero, Macross Plus), 1 movie (Macross: Do You Remember Love?)
Series dropped: 1 (Inuyasha Kanketsuhen due to time issues resulting from taking over primary role on Kimi ni Todoke. Figured I’d go with the newer series, as much as I do love Inuyasha.)
Total posts: 123.
Total comments: 1750.
Total word count: 489,164.
Average words per post: 3977.
Do I get to be a grizzled veteran now?
A final word
Now I’m hoping that I’m not sounding like I’m congratulating myself with this post. It’s pretty easy to meet your goals when you set them fairly vague and low like I have, hehe. But this is meant to reflect on the past year and hopefully have some value in understanding how this blogger has thought about that year. And for a final word, I guess now that I’m a year-old blogger I’ll venture to put out there my little bit of wisdom that I’ve hopefully accumulated from a year of blogging and interacting with more senior bloggers.
-Fun first: to paraphrase Party Hard, “do what you like, and like what you do.” Don’t pay a moment’s notice to thinking about blogging what’s popular just because it is. Cover the show or topics that you enjoy and the rest will follow. Forget over-coverage of a series, or conversely, that the show you like one season isn’t the talk of the intarwebs. (Man I should know, I blogged House of Five Leaves!) Keep your writing clear and readable, but use the format that you have the most fun with. Pierce the heavens with your drill, put your guns on, and blog how you want!
-Respond to all your comments: engaging with and getting to know readers and other bloggers is one of the most satisfying parts of blogging, and by keeping up the conversation you’ll have better exchanges of ideas, more recurring commenters, and make friends with other bloggers out there. Obvious exceptions for comments that are too short or obviously don’t warrant responses like a final word on a matter.
-The veterans won’t bite: I was really nervous at first when I applied to THAT and when I first started trading comments and tweets with some of the big name bloggers, but really there was no need to. They’re all quite friendly and willing to talk to you, so don’t hesitate to interact with them. Get to know them a little bit and you might have a post or series or project that you’ll both want to collaborate on.
-Everyone makes technical mistakes at first, don’t be discouraged: dear god, did I ever. My first two or three posts had the html link from images on my photobucket account. Since my posting experience beforehand consisted only of a friends-locked livejournal I never thought about traffic and bandwidth limits on my Photobucket account. Oops! And then I started uploading all .png files, which slowed the loading time of my posts. Oops again! But luckily my fellow bloggers and commenters pointed these mistakes out and told me how to fix them. Do your best to avoid mistakes, but don’t worry too much about them.