Seems to me that discussion has been flowing lately on how we have already too many anime blogs that seem to be doing the same thing, and that we seem to reach a saturation point where our avid readers may be getting too tired or overloaded of it. So let me give my own take on this, and hopefully we can realize something along the way.
Even with more than 1 year of being in the anime blog community, I admittedly am not a major voice. Few people visit, comment, and perhaps enjoy what I write in this anime blog. Mere (500000+ hits?) statistics won’t tell how popular this blog is, because lots more factors need to be considered. For one, Google gives me tons of visitors, but all from rather weird search terms ranging from pr0n to loli. This means that somehow people visit this blog not because of viewership, but because of ‘accident’. Most likely they’ll stay for a bit and move away, forgetting my blog forever. Bye.
I am not even active in any anime community either. You’ll rarely see me in forums, and you’ll rarely see my comments in other blogs. Even that BlogRoll on the right sidebar… it never gets updated anymore. I’m so irresponsible in so many ways because, primarily, I have this thing called “real life” that gets top priority at any time of day.
Despite that said, I still go on to blog in bluemist anime blog. Why?
I enjoy anime, and I enjoy blogging it.
Quite the cliched comment, isn’t it? I know what you may be thinking. (This bluemist guy is so arrogant, pretending to be all high and mighty by telling everyone that he enjoys blogging despite relative unpopularity. Admit it, you just want to be popular.) It’s really a hard topic to explain because there is no one reason for blogging. At one point, having an blog means that you are publishing to the entire internet, so you may be vying for popularity. At another point, you keep a blog because you want to keep track of things, similar to a written diary. Where do you draw the line on self-accomplishment and ego spreading?
To complicate things, anime blogs have a very specific topic: Anime and other related stuff. One topic out of possible millions out there. The catch… we have an very small audience to convey that to. Let’s face it, anime fans are too few in the entire world. Small audience, too many anime blogs.
So where are we heading? Back in the day, we only read a very select few blogs done by dedicated anime enthusiasts. Then more people came in and we became a community. Even more came, and the purpose of having a BlogRoll is fading away, because we are in the hundreds already. Now, even the blog aggregators/indexers are trying to limit the output because of our redundancy.
And so some of us are trying to promote the value of having something different, and I’m all for that. This shouldn’t mean that we now have to “cater” for our audience. That would be ego spreading. We have to somehow find a way to merge uniqueness with self-accomplishment. We need to try to put something interesting in our episode summaries to spice them up.
– Even if we are talking about the same Haruhi episode number X, let’s try to provide valuable insight instead of mere summaries. Discuss. I’m sure that with such a complicated plot, we have lots of thoughts to tell.
– We can insert some comment that Girl X is so cute… then insert cute picture. These little things are instantly readable, after all, most of our audience had probably watched the episode you are blogging already.
– Also, we can maybe try to promote the anime to those not watching it. Give some reasons why. Maybe they’ll be Haruhiism converts in the instant you say something like (OMG GREAT DANCE SEQUENCE! …insert video) to them.
– We can break outside the animated spectrum even. Maybe link some YouTube video of a cute girl dancing to Hare Hare Yukai (I wish). Or bring the news that single X is to be released next month. Or maybe link to a nice picture in a Japanese magazine. Remember, Haruhiism extends outwards.
– Most importantly, we need to enjoy all of those ourselves.
BUT despite all of this, I still think the way we blog anime, and the way people read what we say about anime, will never saturate.
Remember this well. As anime bloggers and fans, we have the literal bragging rights (getting arrogant again?) that we are better off than so many others. Face it, why are there other people blogging such trivial things such as “Oh and so I walked my dog to the park this morning…”, and why are so many people reading it? Isn’t that a waste of time? Okay, so you may argue that anime is killing so much time, maybe affecting social lives, but worthless blogging and reading worthless blogs is oh so much worse than that. With millions of people talking the talk over the internet through blogs, I think the intelligent readers demand “information” and “content” that MATTERS, rather than wasting time on uninteresting matters. For all of us anime fans, anime MATTERS.
Even if we think we are saturating ourselves, as long as it (anime) matters, I think we will be fine.