Kai’s Reflections On AniManga Blogs

During the Aniblog Tourney earlier this year, it did had it’s ups and downs, but I did learned a few things to improve my blog, thanks to some dedicated commenters who actually took the time to carefully observe and comment on the pros and cons of one’s blog.

And just recently, I was given the honor of partaking in another blog carnival project of Foxy Lady Ayame in her blog. The theme behind the carnival is focused on our thoughts and opinions on AniManga blogs themselves. I feel that this is a good chance for bloggers to point out their thoughts about ani-blogging itself, and for newer bloggers to review just what readers would like to see in their blogs. Below are my responses to Ayame’s questions.

What do you like to read and for what reasons (reviews, commentaries, editorials)?
I’m fine with most genres but my most favorite topics will still be commentaries and editorials. These types of topics allow me to learn more about an anime, by focusing on a particular subject or concept which may went unnoticed. Some may be subtle topics, and some could be heavier topics which could even focus on humanity itself. Editorials, combined with meticulously structured writing skills, are absolutely lovely, and the blogs of Yi, SnippetTee and Ephemeral Dreamer are a few of my favorites in that regard.

Due to my lack of time, episodic blogs are what I always try to avoid as much as possible, not because I hate them, but it’s because I don’t have the time to catch up on so many every week, and upon reading these episodic reviews, I may stumble upon some spoilers, which is not good for my heart.. or eyes as it seems.

As I’m a jack-of-all-trades kind of blogger (in fact, I may start my own “anime recipe” post soon, perhaps starting with a simple dish, so some advice would be nice if you may, Marina^^”), I would also love to see more of us like me, Arashi or Nopy, who blogs about topics more then just anime, including manga, games, magazines, light novels, visual novels, figures, music, technology; and reviews/commentaries/editorials/quick impressions for each of these. It really forces a person to go more depth into the culture, not just in anime but in almost everything within the otaku fandom.

What do you do when you stumble across a new blog?
It all depends, but the first thing I do is most likely to check out their contents, if it’s about episodics again, then I try my best avoid any eye contact to avoid any spoilers, seems like I mind spoilers much more then I think, especially if the show is very heavily story-focused. A good blog with a lot of unique contents would sometimes even had me reading the blog for hours. Interested, I would then check out the “about” page to see the blog’s background, and about the author(s). If that blog strikes me fancy, then off with my blogroll links exchange.

What must a good animanga blog have and do?
A “good” animanga blog, you say? There are certainly a few factors which should be considered.

Activity
This goes without saying. Blogs without any activity for half a year would immediately be “deadman wonderland.” Half a year may seems like a small period, but one can achieve a lot in such a time. Believe it or not, deluscar and Anime Viking are barely even 1 year old, and honestly in just 6 months time, I was actually proud that I had made such fine progresses, and I’m sure Anime Viking’s author, Marrow would feel the same. Though, even if you’re really need to be inactive due to RL issues, which are honestly understandable, remember that it’s important to announce it to your readers so that they have a heads up.

Subjectivity
Most importantly, be yourself. Ignore what the masses of people think and most especially, do not cater to other people and change your opinions based on other people’s wills. Your opinions are your own, and your blog is your own, most people, and especially me, read one’s blog to take notice of one’s unique thoughts, opinions, and even inspirations.

Design
There is no need to make really complicated, sophistical designs for your blogs. The most important thing is that, the background should not make the text too hard to read, and try not to make your sidebar or pages too clustered up. Basically, a simple and neat design that makes it easy on the eyes would suffice. Also, neat organizations are very important, and is also what I’m still constantly trying to improve on. Including simple functions and widgets like “search bar”, “categories” and “tags” is like heaven and hell. There’s no better frustration then when one enters a blog, only to find that navigating through the blog is like navigating through a maze. A better organization keeps messiness at bay.

Balance
Everything must possess an equal scale of balance, and in this regard, the ratio between pictures and text is crucial. It is very important to have pictures, but not so much pictures as it would turn into a pics spam. The amount of pictures inserted into a post MUST NOT overcome the content’s presence. Vice versa, the amount of text in a post MUST NOT overcome the presence of the pictures, as doing this would make your post a huge wall of text essay. Also, if what you wanted to write out gets a little bit too lengthy, remember to summarize them as much as possible, or you can break down the whole post in a series of posts; Marrow and his series of fansub posts is a good example.

Interactions
This is pretty self-explanatory. Remember to always reply your comments no matter how busy you are, and if possible, try to post some comments back at their blogs too. This back and forth cycle is the best and most simple method of gaining readership. Of cause, you should also set up the twitter/facebook widget as soon as possible, and always updates your latest blog posts there as well.

Writing Styles
This is complicated, and is probably what new bloggers are trying to achieve: trying to find their own distinctive writing style. Numbers of unique compositions include Ace and his straightforward writing and Ephemeral Dreamer and his abstract, and almost poetic writing style. Additionally, there’s feal87′s childish and hyper persona and also Glothelegend, and his joking, and sometimes trolling (in a good way) demeanor. If you managed to develop your own unique, distinctive style, stick to it!

What blogging behaviors annoy you?
While I haven’t really experience any serious dorama ever since I started this blog (maybe I’m good at avoiding), there are still a few behaviors which I think most should take notice of.

Arguing without basis
It is good to discuss and debate, especially with people with opposing views, who can provide an in-depth outlook of their own perspectives. Yet, there are some who does not read the whole post, get the whole picture or even thinks from the author’s perspective, who posts their selfish and biased opinions which amazingly, does not even had anything to do with the actual topic at hands sometimes. As E Minor puts it, disagreements should be food for thoughts, and if one should disagree, he should be able to provide legit reasons, and calmly retaliate at the other party.

Showing off one’s “wordy” wisdom
There is no need to constantly use big and complicated words to impress one’s readers. While of cause, I appreciate and respect a well-used vocabulary at times, but constantly using complicated words sometimes make it harder for readers to grasp your point, which is an immediate back-fire. Remember, aforementioned, balance is the key to everything.

Leaving without notice
Aforementioned, it is important to notify your readers in case you will be posting much slower or will be inactive altogether. While on a less major levels, not informing your readers and just went off “like the wind” is probably what most people wouldn’t be fond of much, and I’m certainly one of them.

This is my answers, my outlooks, my reflections, on animanga blogs in general. Blogging is a fun activity which most anime fans indulged in, and let’s work on to improve our blogs, and to make blogging even more fun then before! If you have the time to, feel free to have a look at Foxy Lady Ayame’s carnival post and share your views.

All Participants:
Foxy Lady Ayame’s Reflections on AniManga Blogs
OG’s Reflections on AniManga Blogs
Sabishii Miruku’s Reflections on AniManga Blogs
Marina’s Reflections on AniManga Blogs
E Minor’s Reflections on AniManga Blogs
Draggle’s Reflections on Animanga Blogs
Bobbierob’s Reflections on Animanga Blogs
Canne’s Reflections on AniManga Blogs
ZakuAbumi’s Reflections on AniManga Blogs

Ryan A’s Reflections on AniManga Blogs
Kuuki’s Reflections on AniManga Blogs
Ahelo’s Reflections on AniManga Blogs
Flomu’s Reflections on AniManga Blogs
Inushinde’s Reflections on AniManga Blogs
Chikorita157′s Reflections on AniManga Blogs
Justin’s Reflections on AniManga Blogs
Myst’s Reflections on AniManga Blogs

39 thoughts on “Kai’s Reflections On AniManga Blogs

  1. [sarcasm]
    Lies and Slander I say!
    These are preposterous accusations my dear Kai! :D

    I don’t remember being so hyperactive or even fangasming at each and every heroine in the various anime series! It’s THEM, the girls just come to me by their own will and…I…I can’t do much more than accepting them! >_<
    [/sarcasm]

  2. Not too bad. I especially agree about letting your readers know if you’re leaving or not, which bloggers who just disappear do. After a month or so of being away, the reader can only think, “Man, this blogger doesn’t even care about their blog enough to notify me what’s up with them.”

    Also. I feel kind of sorry for that wall. I don’t know why.

    • Right. It seems like a minor thing to do, but to give your dedicated readers and followers a heads up is a very wise, gives an impression that one actually cares about his own blog.

      Feel the wrath of my fist if you disobey the Kai Blogging Law :D (I didn’t copy this from Marina, I swear)

  3. Hmmm, considering starting up some of your own food/recipe posts, eh? I’m excited to see what you’ve got cooking! (heh heh…sorry, I couldn’t help myself) Some advice regarding them is to TAKE PICTURES. I have read a few awesomely written anime+recipe posts with absolutely no visual examples of what various steps, even the final product, should look like. No pictures really intimidates me if the dish is something completely foreign from anything I’ve ever made before. Also try to provide total cooking time and serving number so I know how much to make and how long it’ll take.

    I really like that you brought up the blogger’s personality. This is something I struggled with for a while early on, and still struggle with today from time to time. I tend to write much like how I am in real life: mellow and slightly formal. It wasn’t until someone in the Tourney complained about my lack of personality that I realized that just being the “nice” girl didn’t interest readers ^^

    • I’m going to start a simple dish first, perhaps a simple breakfast.. not sure for now. I never specially look for them, but now that I want to find some anime food screenshots, it’s actually a bit hard. I should peel my eyes open for food next time when I watch anime.

      I plan to take the photos so no problem with that. Time for my Galaxy Note to show it’s appeal I guess xD Total cooking time and serving number eh? That’s good advice. Thanks, I’ll be sure to include them in. I’ll try to add in some personal descriptions too.

      Actually, I’m struggling with it even now too. I like to point my way of writing a “kuudere”, fundamentally cool, but might loosen up from time to time. It’s kinda tough to grasp a distinctive writing and personality.

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  6. Couldn’t agree more with the thought on “wordy” wisdom. While I appreciate a writer using advanced vocabulary in place of something less-descriptive, if it does go overboard, as in, the whole post, then it’s quite annoying. It’s fairly obvious when a writer is trying to use “big words” to impress their readers, which really, if one pays a lot of attention, it’s just a ton of malapropisms and “pretending”.

    Though certain bloggers may argue and say that our ideas regarding our disdain for “wordy” wisdom are because we are simpletons, I believe that’s not the case. We choose a simple writing style for our reader’s sake, not to make them feel as if we were harsh academics, which, if one really were, then shouldn’t the said blogger be getting a PhD?

    Regardless, the emphasis on having a “balance” towards blogging is something that couldn’t be stressed more. Balance is everything.

    Excellent post~

    • I can appreciate the use of advanced vocabularies too and I don’t mind bloggers using them, as long as the “big words” they use emphasized their points splendidly, then that’s fine. But if one went crazy and cover the whole post with them, then I can certainly agree.

      Simpleton eh? Blogging from a simple perspective can make great posts too, with, or without the use of “big words”. If the readers can enjoy our posts, that’s all that matters. It would be amazing indeed, I’m sure a blogger would be insanely insightful if he’s getting a PhD [sarcasm]

      Balance is one of the secrets to life :D

      • Great to see you’re in consensus :3

        Exactly! It doesn’t matter how much your blog is filled up with pomp, all it eventually comes down to is, if anyone actually likes reading what you write.

        Of course, many people feign such “insightful-ness” by masking it with a facade of “high and mighty” articles replete with malapropisms and ideas that don’t seem befitting of the topic.

        Yus…YIN/YANG ALL DAY E’ERYDAY ^^

        • Indeed, “fun” is an important thing in blogging too :D
          Yes, simple is good. Just as long as the point is being presented fine, then it’s all good :D

          xD

  7. Just swung by because I think you tried to help out on a comment on Marina’s blog and I appreciate it.

    As for your blog I agree. I was often forced to just disappear and indeed it cost me. My crazy life both created and killed my blogging. I am also a poor writer, but being so open and honest saved that.

    Sorry for the odd comment.

    • It’s no problem.

      Real life is important too so it’s understandable if one really needs to step out of blogging for awhile, but like I said, ensure to notify your readers :D It’s a minor but crucial thing. It’s good you’re being honest and genuine, since most are fond of that.

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  9. Those are all very good points. I generally try to avoid episodic blogs too unless I’m caught up with all of the anime for that week. As for what a good animanga blog has to do, I agree with everything, but it can be difficult to tell when you will be taking a break from blogging. My own blog has been rather stagnant for a few months now and it’s starting to show. I never planned for it though so there was never a post about there being fewer posts.

    • For me, I guess you would probably see me in episodic blogs when an anime is just 4 to 5 episodes to finish.

      Hmm, then try to jokingly tease your readers? Like a title “I’m gone” and with only a picture in the post, lol xD

      As for your blog, I think it’s actually pretty stable, I don’t see it slowing down at all.

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  15. I feel the same, I think we both have made great progress in such a short span of time (sure, I took a hiatus, but still). I’m im awe that you can write so much as you do.

    • I know. We are awesome (lol).
      Believe it not, I’m constantly getting even more busier then before, and most of my recent posts are written when I’m on the go. I just find and insert the pics when I get back home. My post frequency is going to slow down even more soon, since I have some new issues to take care of soon.

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  17. I agree with most of the points you have made. Yeah, it’s hard to avoid spoilers since episodics and reviews depend on them to a certain extent to make a point. It mostly depends on the show and also how much the author actually spoils. If it’s only a few scenes, it wouldn’t matter to much. But with any of these posts, I think people should have some caution in reading them unless someone is on a fence whether or not he/she should watch a show. That can become the deciding factor.

    Leaving without notice seems to happen a bit too often in the aniblogosphere. I understand that most people have lives. On the other hand, it’s not good to leave the readers hanging for three months without any new content. That goes to say that writing new posts will keep the readers interested, even if making these posts takes some effort.

    • That’s why I tend to avoid episodics altogether since it’s hard to avoid them, especially for anime that I had planned to watch for a long time. But yeah I agree, I guess if you don’t really know much about the anime and don’t know if you really wanna watch it, then reviews do come in handy.

      Indeed. And bloggers who are even able to write new posts even though they are absurdly busy are respectable, even if they are slow posters.

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