Foxy Lady came up with this idea of ‘animanga blog carnival’ post series. I think it’s interesting and easy to respond to. From what I understand, I have to write something about how I approach to a new anime blog and what I expect from it. I’ll make this post short and precise since no one likes wall of text including myself.
1. What do you like to read and why?
I am not your typical episodic anime watcher who catches new anime every week. I routinely fell behind in most of the airing shows, sometimes due to poorly organized schedule and most of the time due to my mood. So when it comes to my preference, I’d say that reading editorial blogs suit me more simply because I don’t need to be that up-to-date to read it. On top of that, editorial posts are usually built upon larger premises or larger amount of materials. As a result, editorial posts have more potential to make an impact to the big picture. Nevertheless, due to the big pool of episodic blogs out there, I find myself often intrigued by insightful and fun episodic posts. The bottom line is that, editorial or episodic, a good post is a good post. When a blog has enough good post in it, it becomes a good blog (which I like to read).
2. What do we do when we stumble across a new blog?
This is easy. I’ll give you my personal step-wise approach. When I encounter new blog, I ask myself these questions.
- Is this an anime blog? I am not very knowledgeable in other fields eg. VN, manga.
- Who is the blogger? It takes time to explore any blog thoroughly. If the blogger is a friend or he/she has already made me interested (via comments, tweets etc.), I will take the time to explore the blog in details. For those bloggers I don’t know before, this is where the ‘about page’ matters a lot.
- How interesting are the recent posts? Do not underestimate the title of the post because it literally stands for the entire post and if the title sounds great then the post get a chance to be appreciated.
- How long has it been around? Blog age may imply reliability, consistency and possibly years of practice in skills of blogging (?)
- What kind of comment does it get and how often? The more thoughtful comments the blog receives, the better looking the blog becomes. It means that the blog is at least mildly thought-provoking or inspiring.
- How does it look? This is the least of my concern. I know it for a fact that many good bloggers have bad taste when it comes to blog design. And who am I to comment on blog design?
But in reality, I think running into a new blog is like destiny. Sometimes, you run in to the right post, at the right time and you become regular reader. Sometimes you simply love reading what the blogger has to say because he/she is just charming or funny. All those steps I said above means nothing when you found the blog that is just ‘right’ for you.
3. What must a good anime blog have and do?
Be yourself. Everyone is unique and we need only to bring that quality out. Don’t stick to what other, albeit more successful, blogs have done because you will fail.
Show passion. Call me a romantic person but I think anime blogs are product of passion and inspiration. Readers can feel those things when they read blogs and be fascinated.
Do not lose focus. There’s always time that you want to write something completely out of the context of your blog and it is okay to do so once in a while. But if that happens too often, your anime blog turns into your personal diary which no one cares about but yourself.
Be reliable. Of course, you don’t have to update every day or even every week. Just be regular at your own pace. Regular response to comments is also a plus.
4. What blogging behaviors annoy us?
Being impolite and unfunny at the same time; case in point, mild degree of sarcasm, flaming, insulting and swearing are mostly acceptable as long as it’s funny to read. If you are not sure that you are funny enough, stay civil and polite.
Displaying extreme lack of self confidence; there’s difference between being humble and having low self esteem. Some bloggers consistently show hesitation on whatever they write, some avoid making direct or decisive statement. Their posts are ultimately full of generic contents, devoid of personality. Being afraid to express yourself contradicts the very reason of maintaining a blog in the first place.
Going on hiatus completely unannounced; I understand that everybody needs a hiatus once or twice but leaving without saying anything and making me disappointed every time I go back to your blog is not good. Yes, going missing is worse than dying (or taking a long break).
Take home message: In the end, all of what I said is just my general approach to new anime blog. It is not meant to be applied to all blogs because anime blogs are essentially work of art. We are not looking for the perfect blog (there is none) but we are looking for ‘the right blog’. And there’s no general rule for identifying the right blog. You just know it when you see it.