The nymph’s, er my reply to the episodic brouhaha

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Just got home after working overtime, but I’m not sleepy yet. Why? Because hours ago corydorf posted the results of his ‘research’ titled Let’s Talk Numbers, Shall We? (This is Important Stuff People) LOL. And Michael followed it up with his An introspection, a reply and maybe a challenge: why do most anime bloggers write episode summaries and anime reviews?


My take on corydorf’s post

So why do episode summaries and anime reviews?

  • It’s a matter of inspiration

Because before I got my blog, I used to lurk around reading anime blogs. And back then (even now) I found them useful. And so I thought, maybe I can blog reviews too, if not for a lot of people, then maybe for my friends, and maybe the occasional surfer who will come across my blog. As it turned out, I also ended up blogging something I did not set out to do in the first place–per episode blogging.

  • It’s a matter of motivation

As some people have said in the Anime Nano forum, meeting other like-minded people is one reason for blogging. If you blog about your favorite series perhaps you could reach out to people who think like you too. Or for the e-p0n0s, whatever that really means. However petty the reason maybe, it is there.

  • It’s a matter of enjoyment

Ranting is fun. Poking fun at crappy anime shows/characters is fun. It’s also a stress reliever (or sometimes, the opposite). Looking back at my per episodes posts, yes, a lot of them are crappy (especially the Evangelion ones). But when I started out with Jyu Oh Sei, I was actually enjoying blogging it. Never mind if sometimes, it became a tiresome chore.

  • It’s a matter of practicality

Episode summaries are easier to do than editorials. And the demand is there too.

Other observations on corydorf’s post:

  1. How do you reconcile the fact that a lot, if not most, blogs on blogsuki are also on Anime Nano?
  2. I’d like more data, like what I commented before in his post–So how many months/weeks of posts did you count to come up with the data? How many posts in all? How many blogs?
  3. Graphs for better comparison LOL.

My take on Michael’s post:

Having stated my reference as to not being the only proponent of thoughts regarding this matter, I shall point you to a concept in economics that pervades most basic economics courses today: the concept of supply and demand. I won’t go into the nitty-gritty of economics or of psychology, but the concept of excess supply simply states that the more surplus there is, the more noticeable the degradation of quality (allocative inefficiency) – and this may be what Cory addresses as the lack of creativity and the lack of quality. This produces diminishing returns as the people who blog on episode summaries and anime reviews become more and more – the quality degrades even further.

I agree. Sometimes, more doesn’t mean better. With the onslaught of per-episode summaries, those who have probably been blogging longer, like Memento or Random Curiousity, will probably retain their readership. On the other hand, as more blogs join the per-episode bandwagon (myself included), the main problem would be how to catch the target audience’s interest–and retain them. It’s like selling fruits in the street, how do you differentiate your product from the stall next to you? How do you convince customers your apples/oranges/mangoes are better? I see four ways here:

  1. Be the first to post. Yes, that requires either you live in Japan, have access to the shows and can blog speedily after it airs. That requires knowlege of Nihongo, and a good one at that.
  2. You provide good insight/comments. This usually means you must be good at perception, criticism etc etc. It also adds to your cred if you’ve read the manga. That may mean I don’t have cred since I don’t read manga. I’m gonna have to change that lol.
  3. It does help if you blog about popular shows, but it’s also good to blog those shows with little exposure. psgels does that best, I think.
  4. Do things differently. For example, Azure Flame does parodies. Or offer lots of info/stuff not normally seen on other blogs. Find your niche.

As other honest bloggers will tell you, we want to be read. We want to be appreciated with what we write. We would like our e-p0n0s to grow. What would be the easiest way to prove that we are being read? It is through hits and comments; however comments are more significant to the normal anime blogger because it is active feedback.

This is true, but when I started out blogging I thought, well it’s not about the hits and the comments; as long as I am able to express myself, everything’s fine. But then again, as the cliche goes, no man is an island. It does get lonelier after you’ve written a lot and still the hits/comments are small. Without the aggregrators (Anime Nano and Animeblogger Antenna) and spammers, my blog stats would probably still be in the hundreds right now. I can still remember the time when I kept refreshing blog stats, and checking on my number of subscribers on Anime Nano. Now, the number of subscribers doesn’t bother me anymore; most people who click from the Nano are not logged in anyway. I’ve come to accept my paltry blog stats with the fact that I don’t post a lot, and I rarely blog about popular shows regularly.

My conclusion

So yes, more variety is indeed needed. Like, less of uguu and more about the singing dead girls in New York? 😄

Ok, seriously. I like what corydorf is doing, he’s challenging bloggers to improve. It’s all good for us, the more entertaining, interesting, informative posts, the better. But then again, what type of posts a blogger does, it’s his/her decision to make. I also think it’s best if people are able to write whatever they want to write–if you don’t like it, then don’t read it. But it would be interesting to see how much of an impact corydorf’s bitching-er challenge will have on the current blogging landscape.

It’s past 12 AM here in the Philippines. corydorf this is your fault, I should be in Dreamland by now. And since I have to sleep now, if there are any comments I’ll only be able to respond tomorrow.

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6 responses »

  1. Definitely lots of brouhaha about this the past 12 hours or so. Honestly, I don’t think it’s a huge deal. Anime bloggers will break out of their episode only shell and will start doing feature entries. BUT I think episode reviews are important because a lot of times, a particular episode might spawn some thoughts or concerns and it’s hard to express that without doing a few of the entire episode.

    Still, I agree. More variety is better, and it will make for higher quality reading in the anime blogging community.

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