An Analysis in Aniblogging: Cross bloggers VS Specialized bloggers
When we say “anime”, it does literally mean the 2D TV series itself, however it can also be not just restricted to it – it can be related to other anime-related medias as well, like manga, visual novels or light novels. Anime is an incredibly vast topic; there are mountains of themes waiting to be examined and debated.
In the aniblogging community, I find that there are mainly two types of bloggers; one who posts very specific topics and one who posts a wide range of different topics, but is still related to anime. Obviously, I, the
self-proclaimed jack of all trades blogger is of the latter. I like to categorize these two different bloggers as “specialized bloggers” and “cross bloggers”.
Specialized bloggers post very specific topics aforementioned. They can be a very strictly anime episodic blog, or they can focus only on manga, or they can strictly be about figures. They may sometimes post other topics not relevant to what their blog originally focused on, but they will swiftly return to the “roots” of their blog not long later.
Cross bloggers on the other hand, the type of posts they made is incredibly diverse. Using deluscar as an example, as you can see from the categories, I posted on anime, manga, light novels, visual novels, games; each containing respective reviews, impressions and editorials. I also had other topics like figures, lists, music and technology and even started a few projects of my own aside from joining a few from the others.
Before I started deluscar, I was in another team blog before, and posting specifically on anime episodics. As I had experienced both cross blogging and specialized blogging, I understand that both have their own pros and cons. Specialized bloggers for example: it’s easier to identify them as they have a particularly focused topic or style. We can easily identify wiselhead’s blog as a figures-orientated blog, we can easily recognize Yerocha’s blog as a manga-orientated blog, and we know Yi’s blog is more on creative editorials. Furthermore, specialized bloggers have the advantage when it comes to increasing readership. As they constantly have the same type of content throughout, it will also attract mostly the readers with similar interest with the topic on hand as well. This also promotes a healthy blogger-reader relationship, allowing them to discuss on equal levels due to having the same interests.
However, the main disadvantage in specialized blogging is the lack of flexibility. Once your blog had been identified as a certain image, it is incredibly hard to break out of it. This may be a boon to someone who is aiming for “a specific image”, but is a bane to someone who wants to experiment with new topics instead.
Cross-blogging, is the act of blogging different types of posts on a frequent basis. Ironically, the most important and also perhaps, the most appealing aspect in cross blogging, is the lack of identification. The greatest privilege in cross blogging is the freedom and versatility. They can post any kind of topics they want, and in any kind of format or style, so long as they don’t diverge too far from the relevance of anime. They can experiment with new posts and if it’s good, they will continue making these kinds of posts in the future or if it doesn’t work, they will just stop there. Their power of adaption is one of their greatest forte.
By having a wider range of topics to talk about, it also makes the blog richer in context. However, this is like a double-edged sword since it also begets some disadvantages. Say for example, you had a lot of readers with similar anime interests, however, writing a visual novel post all of a sudden – a completely new, foreign type of posts to the readers, forced upon them a feeling of alienation. If you want to increase further readership with this style, one had to attract more specific readers from each and every categories, which is an incredibly hard thing to do. Furthermore, doing this creates a “gap” in the blogger-reader relationship of the readers specialized in previous categories. Try as you may, ones who cross blog will always create a sense of distance between him and his overall readers.
This is something to keep in mind, especially for those who started aniblogging, and is still a good thing to know for the more veteran bloggers. As you can see, both have their indefinite pros and cons, so you’re still free to pick whichever.
What type of blogger do you see yourself as?
I experiment all the time while not straying too far from my original purpose. I also do not like sucking up to anyone, as it tends to let out my not-so-likable mean streak. The internet can easily make a person lose their cool and give in to troll’s game of ranting.
Anyway, I talk about what I want and that is it. If visitors do not like it, there’s the exit.
Yea, I see from your posts that you’re an even more jack of all trades then I am, lol. I do experiments from time to time too, I think I even experimented a cooking post some time ago too. And indeed, and I post whenever the hell I want too, so my activity at times, is questionable, lol. At least I still managed a post within a week.
Not really. Most of the time I post about the same subjects, yuri, video games, yuri manga and other anime I watched and sometimes, other things. I do not talk about cooking because it is not part of my gimmick.
I also try not being neutral. I know it is best to be as neutral as possible but like I said, people online can upset others very easily. I tell you, sometimes it is best to ignore comments made in posts of certain fan community sites because they would make you question the sanity, intelligence and mannerisms of everyone else in that site. How many times have I wanted to knock the teeth out of morons in gaming and anime fan sites.
I could had sworn I saw a Dexter in your blog.
Indeed, it’s best to just ignore them instead of adding fuel to the fire, lol. I had my fair share of my runs with them as well.
Hehe yeah, I mainly do figure reviews and related stuff, but sometimes I want to write about anime or Sonico stuff.
I have a lot of fun when writing anime show related content. Still, it’s not what the readers expect to find that often on my blog.
I don’t really care if I will get less feedback with these side topics, I write it mainly for myself because I want to have more than just figure reviews on my blog. I also think that a mix in content helps in creating an image of the author.
I guess when there are cross bloggers and specialized bloggers there are also specialized commenters who only like certain topics, cross commenters who don’t really care about the topic, but still want to interact with the authors if they have to say something.
Yea indeed. Readers of your blog are pretty much expecting figures posts from you anytime anywhere xD Writing an anime show related content somewhere there is actually a good choice now that when I think about it, in all the anime medias, anime itself is probably the most active. I’m sure most of all the figure collectors reading your blog would had watch a fair amount of anime themselves, well everyone does in a nutshell.
Indeed, it’s all about catering to yourself or to your readers. And true enough, don’t mix in so much until your identity becomes a mess though *likemecough*
Oh hey, that makes another good topic, lol. Specialized commenter are good and all and they could probably bring a lot to the discussion. Cross commenters are a bit complex, I think the most usual comments made by cross commenters are usually “I’ll check it out soon”, “I’ll try this out soon”, etc.. Especially to new medias they are not yet familiar with….. it feels like I’m talking about myself, lol.
I also remember a tweet by a fellow blogger last few days ago, something like “lesson learned: don’t comment unless you know what you’re talking about.” Think he probably commented something silly on a post he’s not familiar with, though I’m not sure if that’s the case.
You make very good points. My blog is a jack-of-all trades blog. Since I am working on starting a career in librarianship, I have a little more scholarly angle to my posts. I enjoy the flexibility of being a cross-blogger, but my blog lacks a sense of community because of my more scholarly angle.
You are correct about a feeling of distance between the author and the readers. Part of the problem is my lack of interaction with fellow anime/Japanese culture bloggers.
Yea, I saw some of your posts, really scholarly-like, lol. I’m interested in Japanese folklore, but not as invested as you ^^”
Also like your post about the history of panty fanservice.
Hmmm, specific topics are difficult. For example youtube channels that tend to have specific games promoted at the start, like Call of Duty, will have the risk of losing a lot of viewers if they switch to another game. This is as you mentioned one disadvantage. They’ve used one game like a sort of usp, but have no flexibility to step away from it.
I think it’s good to have a little introduction in the about section or some dedicated post where you explain what your blog is about.
I’m still kind of experimenting with the concept of aniblogging, but I like sharing my opinions on that. But won’t exclude topics concerning manga or even games. It’s how the wind blows I think(for me at least).
Ps. hopefully didn’t reply on the comment from Chris. Excuse me for that:p
I think it’s fine to just add new topics if you want to. While readers might not get used to it, perhaps stubborness is posting that post might change it. Deluscar at first, doesn’t even have an editorial category, lol. Unknowingly, it seems like editorials is now one of the largest amount of posts here.
I think this is actually quite a helpful post – as it talks about aspects of blogging that some people may not consider. The correlation between width of focus and alienating readers is a fair one, I think, but I don’t feel that bloggers should let that affect who they are trying to target with their posts.
In the end a blog is a way for people to express themselves and share their thoughts with others. It sort of defeats the purpose if you deny part of who you are just to hold on to a specific audience.
The blog i’m planning to launch soon is concerned with more western media like live action TV series and Movies and fictional Novels as well as the less well known Anime/Manga/Visual Novels that most of your fellow bloggers will post about. Content from either side may push the other side further away, and that’s just something I will have to accept in order to keep my blog the way I want it to be.
It’s all about catering to the readers or the blogger himself indeed. But even with a blogger with an already developed image, it’s fine to step out of their “roots” and experiment with something new. Expressing oneself is important indeed, and following one’s own will is another form of expression. If a blogger wants to try out new things, just go for it!
Yea, seems like a very wide topic, but if you’re comfortable with it, then it’s all good.
Something important to consider is what type of blogging produces more ideas from you. Like some find that narrowing down the subject of their blog find it less overwhelming and easier to decide on what to write, while others like having the freedom of just writing about anything from a larger range of topics.
Personally I find specialized blogging a lot easier, although that might simply be because I tend to put a lot more of my time into anime than any of my other hobbies.
Ahhh indeed. Before I even started blogging, I was already watching anime, reading manga, playing games and visual novels and was even collecting figures. I feel like just talking about anime isn’t enough to fully express my experiences with the culture and I guess that’s fundamentally how deluscar became how it is now: a cross blog.
I’m a cross blogger since I talk both about anime and manga, I do both reviews and ‘editorials’ and I touch upon other topics such as sexuality and illustrations, too. The thing is that I’d love to be known as a particular something without losing what I am. Like, with Marina, now whenever I see food in anime, I think about her. Someone told me that I’m the ‘voice of communication’- that’s my trait as blogger, but to tell you the truth I’m not sure I understand why myself. And it kinda sounds general, too.
The posts you made are indeed incredibly wild too, and I see you even posted about comics, a media I’m not familiar with, lol. Yeah indeed I’m sure we all do. Marina posts all kinds of topics too, but she has a specialization which most of us can immediately identified with: cooking, and whenever there’s cooking in anime, we usually think of her. “Voice of Communication”, seems pretty general indeed, and sounds like a genuine cross-blogger title :D
I’d say that even if one blogger is a specialized blogger, he/she may also have the same “gap” issue you pointed out for cross blogger. For instance, the genre of anime that is seldom watched by his/her frequent readers. It’s less likely but could happen too.
If I don’t get to choose between the two categories of bloggers you pointed out, I’ll say I’m a casual blogger who only blogs when there’s material and time…
Yea but I don’t think it’s as worse. From my perspective, especially with anime charts, anime viewers nowadays are more accepting of new genres they are not familiar with. I remember last time there were no anime charts for me and my anime was limited to a few shounen anime I weekly keep up on and some shows I found out about in TV, lol.
I would actually say you’re a cross-blogger, you posted about anime, games, manga, figures and even live action dramas. I’m still not sure if I want to post something of the latter right now, though I remember I have a Jay Chou post somewhere in my blog. Surprised I was actually able to fit a post like that somewhere in here, lol.
Oh, I remember that Jay Chou post, lol!! I haven’t been bothered to listen to his latest album. Well, that post only further affirms your reputation as a cross-blogger.
I just listen to it once, got bored, and then switched to my Ghibil music re-arranged soundtracks collection, lol ;p I kinda got bored with mainstream music now.
Interesting points raised here. Personally I find cross-blogs more advantageous, since it has a bit of everything, so more people can at least find something they like in it. Sure some might not follow it if its not completely dedicated to what the audience is interested in, but it feels more free(Of course, as you said, if the blogger’s interest is very specific, then there’s nothing to gain with cross-blogging).
Subjectively speaking, I tend to be more comfortable with cross-blogging as well. I post in quite a my-pace manner, and with just about any topics at my disposal, it’s a perfect fit for my free and my-pace posting style. Indeed, in a way, cross-blogging helps one to attract a wide range of readers and for specialized blogging, it helps attract a more focused group of readers.
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