The Problems With Anime Blogging: From the Reader’s Perspective

Back with the second part of my two-part editorial: “The Problems With Anime Blogging”. If you missed the first one, “From the Writer’s Perspective“, then just click that red linky thing that says “From the Writer’s Perspective” ( <— You can click this one too :3). Even if you haven’t read the first part, you don’t really need to in order to read this part, as they look at two sides of the same coin, so to speak, but I recommend both if you have time to kill…

Anime blogging, a daily constitution for some, much like a morning newspaper, and a time-passer for others, much like crossword puzzles or sudoku (unless you’re way into those, I know some are, but in general you’ll do them to waste time waiting for something like a bus, doctor’s appointment, etc.).  Like any niche blog, anime blog readers are looking for something specific whenever they check back or refresh their readers. But what? Well, anime, of course. Sometimes a few others things like manga, VNs, movies, events, and even figures, BD/DVD releases, as well as sales figures (which denote how successful a particular series is) are frequent topics on what are typically anime-centered blogs.  That’s not to say there aren’t manga, VN, figure, or event-centered blogs, but let’s keep it simple and stick to anime-centered blogs.

Asking what the average aniblog reader is looking for is like asking….I can’t even think of a fitting metaphor, reader tastes are so varied and shifting, there surely is no “One size fits all” blog style.  Some like hard facts and reviews, others like a little opinion thrown in, the (seemingly) angry like a place to bash everything that isn’t mainstream (or is too mainstream, as the case may be sometimes).  You’ll often find a plethora of editorials outlining the difficulties or troubles when it comes to style and demographic identification in blog writing (like this one :3), but I don’t often see off-the-cuff ramblings of a blog reader. Contrary to what you might think, blog writers are blog readers as well.  Though I tend to avoid reading on episodes I haven’t watched and reviewed yet (assuming I plan on doing so), I still search for particular blog styles when I peruse my reader tab.

Some blogs, like EmptyBlue, offer a quick rundown of an episode or series, citing things feal87 enjoyed or disliked, themes or a particularly funny joke, and usually with an added dose of personal flavor that is distinctly feal87 (like identifying ANY female friendship as yuri… even though, admittedly, he’s usually correct in some way).  Then there are blogs like KaminariAnime, that tends to stick to the breakdown of a series, with just some personal opinion peppered in here and there (Usually a first place to look, for me, when curious about a series that has already aired is KaminariAnime).  Which brings me to the more varied stylings of Wanabrar, covering areas from anime to figures, and a lot in between.  Wanabrar is also somewhat unique in that it has multiple writers, so the post styling and quality varies depending on the author. But, in general, Rei (who I seem to read most frequently, not entirely sure why, it just always seems to be the author of the Wanabrar posts I read) and the rest at Wanabrar have a style of writing that is personalized, but still approachable by the casual reader, as the hard details are always just under the surface of the opinion-framed sentence structures.

But maybe you’re not really into reading about an episode or anime series you just watched, maybe you want hard hitting, question asking editorials about the industry, fandom, or something else specific to anime. You’re in luck, then, because there are aniblogs just for you! Including Mainichi Anime Yume.  Yumeka is one of the most thought provoking and insightful writers I’m honored to read. From topics such as “The Direction of the Anime Industry” to “My Room (2012)“, you’ve made me jealous/curious/enlightened for quite some time, and I’m sure the dedicated aniblog reader needs this on their blogroll. Other sites that frequently post editorials include (but are not limited to): EmptyBlue, KaminariAnime, Chikorita157’s Anime Blog, Draggle’s Anime Blog, among others (you can check out my Blogroll if you want a list of blogs I personally follow, and I recommend them too ;3)

What started as an attempt to figure out what the anime blog readers want to read has turned into a case study of how complex a reader’s desires are.  Even as an individual, what I’m searching for in a blog post is constant changing and shifting, things I overlook today I’ll pour over tomorrow.  Biggest piece of advice I can offer to all readers: Don’t be afraid to try something new. I mean, what’s the risk? If you don’t like it, don’t read it anymore (99% of all the readers are going “Duh” right now, but it’s true).  As for a writer, don’t be too concerned if a seemingly large portion of the reading community isn’t reading your blog. People’s habits are hard to change, and you’ll definitely have a committed niched of readers who want to continue seeing your insights and thoughts on series (if I’m wrong, readers should post their criticisms here, I’ll be happy to admit I’m wrong if you can prove it).

***Note: I do not mean to cast any judgement, review, criticism, endorsement (unless…otherwise endorsed) of any of the blogs mentioned in this post. They were all used as references to show examples of types of anime blogs.  The use of any blog in this post does not necessarily relate to how I feel about them.***


9 thoughts on “The Problems With Anime Blogging: From the Reader’s Perspective

  1. Similar to my past post written, but think you did a better laying out the second half better than I did. Do not think I did a good of job as I liked to explaining myself. Anyway, like yourself, for the blogs I do keep up with it is a “call it as I see it” approach. More often or not (more often) it is hard to find a specialized niche, so it is better for the blogger/writer to do what they are good at or what they like best. If you do that, the readers are bound to come sooner or later, but if you are doing it for the fun of it, that aspect shouldn’t matter. For me personally, I am not using a indexer/aggregator like AnimeNano, so I am just relying on whom ever I exchange links with and that is it – the rest I leave up to chance and do what I want to do.

    Also thanks for the inclusion. Always thought I was more of a balance fellow, but yeah, call it as you wish, lol. Just means I have a lot too work on 🙂

    • I’d say you’re balanced very well, it’s just, relatively, you tend to have more factual analysis than most (which I can appreciate).
      I’ve only perused AnimeNano when I’m bored and have read all my reader has for me, every now and then I find a new blog to keep up with, but I don’t check AnimeNano maybe more than twice a month (though I know of some that use it like I use Google Reader, as their personal source of new blog posts)

  2. “Yumeka is one of the most thought provoking and insightful writers I’m honored to read.”

    You’re making me blush~ A humble person like me can’t take such flattery! ^^,,,

    But seriously, thanks for the compliments. It really makes my day. And nice post, too. The various styles of anime bloggers really are interesting =D

    • More than welcome, especially since they’re 100% true :3
      Thanks, to be honest, I wish I could go into the detail and thought you put into posts (btw, I’m still jealous of all the AWESOME you have in your room :3).

  3. Cool. Thanks for linking. Well I do have some other authors but most of them doesn’t post as much as I do. So I think it might end up on the second page or something. Having a few different author is something interesting to work with. It is a bit risky but it’s worth giving it a try. Someone like me who post summary and thoughts is what is attracting readers on my blog in the first place. But having a new writer named Analytism does bring something new to the blog (which people might like). His blog > . Instead of doing what I normally, he posted about his thoughts more than the summary. Giving the readers some different style of post does make the readers more interested as it is something new to them to the blog.

    I’m always looking for new writers just to make my blog more interesting with new stuff that the readers will like. I might be looking for a couple of bloggers next week that is willing to do guest post on my blog. In exchange i’ll do a guest post on their blog as well.

    My blog has always been something that is general which doesn’t only focus on episodic review with a couple of other interesting post like news, guides and others. I tend to not do the same stuff as the readers might get bored of my blog because of it. Keep the consistency but add a couple of other stuff while you are at it. I’m not afraid changing the style on my blog, although it is risky, it is something that I think is needed to keep the blog going. Changing it slowly so the readers won’t notice a thing 😛

    • That’s a good approach, not being afraid to try something new but not just drastically changing things on a whim.
      It seem like a very fluid model that’l keep WanAbrar open regardless of whatever you want to cover.

  4. Pingback: BeldenOtaku’s Best: A Sampling of NewAnimeThursday’s Finest | NewAnimeThursday

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s