Aniblog Stuff – Round 1 – In Review

This post was written by Dark_Sage. He is Dark_Sage.


I’m disappointed.


I never really knew much about the Aniblog community, so when I heard of this tournament, I thought to myself “Holy shit. I’m going to find a site here that I actually can look forward to visiting every day.”

But all I’ve seen so far are a few blogs to bookmark and check maybe once a month, and a sickening amount of “anime reviews/episodic reviews-only” blogs. The ratio of good:bad is ridiculous.

Me, after round 1

Was I expecting too much? A lot of these blogs have decent writers, and a few have interesting concepts, but the excecution across the board is lacking. There are some that did well, but “episodics-only” blogs have dominated the scene and I’m not sure why. Surely nobody is actually interested in reading about this shit. Perhaps episodic blogs dominate because the posts are easy to write and turn out, so it gives off the impression that you’re active when you write them.

Oh well, onto something else I can bitch about.



Let’s talk about these blogs’ “communities”. It seems that nobody visits any of the sites in this tournament besides other blog authors. So what you have are blog authors blogging to other blog authors, and that’s it.

Take Baka-Raptor’s Maddox-ripoff blog for example. Let’s pick a random post. Say, the “Biennial Review“. Over 90% of the 45 comments on the page are by Anibloggers (as of the time I wrote this post, which is like 4 days ago or something). Don’t they have any real readers beyond people desperately trying to pimp their own shitty blogs, hoping for a random click-through? This is pathetic. It’s almost like these blogs don’t try to create good content simply because they only care about getting other blog authors to read their shit. That’s not sustainable and it certainly doesn’t inspire growth.

People criticize the circle-jerkery of the tournament itself, and that’s quite valid, but once you start visiting all the comments sections of these blogs and see the exact same faces commenting on everything, it becomes clear that this circle-jerk is more like a sphere-jerk.

My expectation


The Aniblogsphere


I went into this thing with the honest intention of finding a site I could enjoy. And I thought that blogging about it would help you all figure out another site you’d really like to visit. It’s becoming clear that this may not happen — at least to the degree I expected. But hey, at least absolutely stomped every other blog nearly every other blog in the first round. We came in second overall, beat out by one fucking vote. 8th’s blog came in fourth.

MFW better than the rest

Anyway, unless people enjoyed the “Aniblog Stuff” posts I think I’m gonna avoid doing them for this round. I’ll still make a “Vote for me instead of those other kids” post, but I get the gist that a lot of you are bored with the daily posts right now. Round 3 will go back to the grind, though. I’ll see if I can spice that shit up.

I didn’t review days 8, 9, or 14. Sorry about that. If blog authors want full critiques, I will give them out in the comments, through email, or whatever. Lemme know.


Round 1 Notable Mentions:

These blogs either have a niche they excel in or they simply focus a lot on quality writing in their articles.


Note: I was pretty negative here. But it’s not my intention to dissuade blog authors from continuing their blogging fun. I’ll have a decent post up later explaining to people how to make a blog that actually gets readers, according to a guy who runs a blog that’s only moderately popular.

0 thoughts on “Aniblog Stuff – Round 1 – In Review”

    • Acchi Kocchi by… Tsumiki. Episode 3.

      I’m downloading Hyouka 02 from one of the groups on it right now, but it’ll take fucking 3 hours to download on this internet.

      So, hopefully two reviews tonight.

  1. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with episodic blogs. At least you haven’t provided a good reason for me to believe otherwise. There is something wrong with episodic blogs that are merely reaction pieces + summary, and that I can agree with, but there are some episodic blogs that do take care to give good analysis on every anime episode they write about. They’re able to give interesting points of discussion and have solid content.

    Granted a blog that can do a little bit of everything is probably the most ideal, but if they do what they do well, I don’t think there’s any reason to knock on their style.

    As for the shittiness of the blogs on tourney, well the aniblogoshpere is mostly compiled of shit. That’s for certain. However, there was probably no way for you to be able to ascertain the true quality of each and every blog you read in this tourney with the approach you took. You just seemed to get fatigued after a few of those day posts and took too many of the blogs at face value to really grasp what each blog was about. Though hopefully the competition getting whittled down will mitigate this.

    • Good analysis? That sounds like a very well-written article that would take me the same amount of time to read than watch the real episode. Analysis and reviews of anime don’t have anything wrong, if you write them for all the full series or every 10 episodes if the series is too long. But, again, why bother to read some long episodic review when I can watch the real thing?

  2. Oh, forgot.

    “…but once you start visiting all the comments sections of these blogs and see the exact same faces commenting on everything, it becomes clear that this circle-jerk is more like a sphere-jerk.”

    This is somewhat amusing considering how many comments on your posts are from fansubbers.

    • The thing is, the comments on aniblogs are generally there for self-promotion, rather than to fuel the discussion. Fansubbers come here to discuss the critiques of their projects, which leads to interesting and usually educational comments.

      By the way, I actually like the Aniblog review posts, so I’m sad to see that you’re skipping round 2.

  3. Sadly, it wasn’t surprising. To me, there isn’t much of a point in reading most of them unless you want to keep up with the latest anime/manga/what-have-you without -actually- watching/reading/keeping-up-with-them. Some have excellent niches, as you mentioned, but most don’t have a reason to exist beyond being like MySpace or Facebook – here’s what I do everyday!

    I’m busy enough to refrain from to wasting time on time-wasting blogs. As for the niche blogs…I’ll get around to seeing if their niche appeals to me…Someday.

  4. The tourney posts are fun. Sometimes it’s easy to choose which site to vote for. Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes your posts about the sites are more interesting than the sites themselves.

    I’ve been hoping to walk away with a batch of sites to read on a semi-regular basis. There’s maybe half a dozen that I’ve flagged to visit again. Given that I may only read a post or two per site, it’s easy enough to miss something that an additional perspective might catch.

    • Well, all right. Let me go please the people who come here for the fansub reviews and I’ll see if I can’t continue doing these posts.

  5. This tournament was had me wondering why I don’t run an anime blog. I’m sure I could easily beat out 90% of the ‘competition’.

    …but then I remembered that doing so would actually take some effort.

  6. Indeed, keep up the ‘AniBlog’ shit, D_S.
    Two things have happened after the first round: The competiton has been cut in half, and, more importantly, we now have a basic feel for each site. Unfortunately, some of the shit sites managed to get through… but /shrug, some good ones did as well. This will give us a chance to reevaluate the ones that didn’t suck, give a second chance to the ones that did, and hopefully come out feeling some sort of non-negative emotion (no, pity doesn’t count :P )

    Besides… since, like I mentioned earlier, we already have a basic feel for each site, you won’t really have to say much on a site or match-up that’s shit. Just mention that they haven’t changed their shitty ways! EZ.

  7. So, I ask you, for your next post: How do you make aniblogs reach a readership beyond just other bloggers?

    Write better content? Easier said than done. There is no one way to make one’s writing better. If you say follow a popular/”better” blogger’s style, that wouldn’t work either. For instance, if I take Whiners style, it would involve me calling every second person a faggot, which isn’t something I want to do. Each person does their own thing, their own style. If you like it, good, he’s got a reader then. If you don’t, well, that’s just how it is.

    Write less episodics? Technically, episodics get more hits than editorials because it gives a platform for people watching the anime week-by-week to discuss it with the author and know his thoughts on it. The main reason people don’t visit aniblogs is that they don’t care enough to read 500+ words on a topic. That’s why your average fan sticks to the forums, stream comments and Twitter. Episodics are usually shorter in length and easier to read. Those excellent writing blogs you mention (I agree with you, those blogs (except mon0r, which I don’t consider a blog) are awesome) are hardly popular. But those boring episodic blogs get lots of traffic and regular readership. What does that mean? People have shitty taste?

    Write fansub reviews? Apparently, this works. Which makes no sense at all to me considering I spend about 30sec deciding which subber to go with. Does this make me a “mindless zombie”? Yeah, probably does.

    At the end of the day, it is a blog and it’s the author’s two cents on the anime he’s watching. There is no way to make things “better”. Changing blogging styles just to get readers and commentors is kinda redundant, considering that that’s not why bloggers blog. Sure, it would be awesome to get thousands of hits and tons of comments…but if it means writing about stuff that I don’t want to in a style I don’t want to, then forget it, I don’t want to, because that would take all the fun out of blogging.

    Aniblogging has never been rewarding to most bloggers, in terms of views and comments, and we knew that full well when starting out. We (or at least me, can’t speak for everyone) do it for the fun of it. I’m not a very good writer, English isn’t my native language so I lack that eloquent writing you seem so fond of. But what matters is that I’m doin shit that I enjoy doin, even if that results in low following.

    I’m a tiny blogger who’s never really been popular and never will be and even some of my posts get 300 views in about 3 days. There aren’t that many anibloggers and I have no major source of traffic, especially so since I use images sparely. Which means, there are people reading, but not people commenting. Popular blogs, ones who will appear in the later rounds of the Tourney, probably get thousands of hits per post in a week (readers, because it’s too early for Google Image hits or other non-reader traffic), but only get around 40 comments. Does that mean that their blog is a sphere-jerk blog?

    (P.S I’m not “primarily a meta-blogger”. About 4 or 5 of my 300 posts are meta, but that’s about it.)

    • You write for an audience that includes yourself. I started out by writing things I would want to read. And hell, I still fucking blog that way. If you’re writing stuff that you, as a reader, would go out of your way to read, then you’ll be creating a community that will never die as long as you keep doing what you’re doing.

      I don’t suggest creating a fansub review site. What you should focus on is finding a niche of your own. You don’t have a goddamn thing that sets you apart from the crowd right now. So what makes me, as a reader, want to read your site over any others? Find that answer and exploit the hell out of it.

      If all you want is fucking views, shitty sites like Star-Crossed Blog set a good example. All you fucking need is screenshots tagged the right way, your posts SEO’d to fucking hell and back, and a goddamn post mill working non-stop. It’s easy. You just have to throw all your principles out the fucking window and resolve yourself to becoming a soulless hit counter.

      Of course, you haven’t fucking done that. Maybe you still fucking believe your site can become something other than generic trash. In that case, just fucking find something you’re passionate about and run with it. For me, it was fansubs and English. I’m sure YOU have something that you’re passionate about besides anime. See if you can work it into your blog and position yourself as THE go-to for that specific thing. It’s not easy, and it’s not quick, but if you don’t find some way to make yourself stand out, you simply won’t.

      And Jesus Christ, get rid of that “You might also like: ” shit. It’s fucking garish.

      • I think you just don’t “get” the point of aniblogging. It’s not for amassing a huge following or seeing who gets the most views and comments. Fuck that shit, because none of it counts for piss. Being popular in the online anime community ain’t gonna get me shit. No $$$ either. Having a bunch of people comment “Omigosh I love your blog!” might stroke my ego, but it ain’t shit in real life. We’re doing it for the fuck of it.

        I know my blog isn’t great, hell, everyone knows that. I’m not a good writer and I’m even worse at analyzing shit. But I write my shit because it’s my blog and I can. You don’t like it? Well, okay then. As long as I’m enjoying what I’m doing, I don’t think I should give a shit what you or anyone else thinks. I enjoy me posts, even if I am the only one. And to be honest, that’s all that should matter.

        I don’t even remember asking feedback about my blog… well whatever. Like you say, finding a niche isn’t all that easy. I’m passionate about wrestling. Does that mean I should mix anime and wrestling? That would be fucking shitty. It’s not about the niche, but about the writing. The writing should display the author’s personality, not a blatant niche category. A wrestling-anime blog can write “this show had german suplex move!!! super episode 8/10” as an entire post. You need a niche AND good writing personality. For example, you use “fucking” as the adjective for pretty much everything. That’s your style. If everyone had a niche like “fansub blog” “animation quality blog” “soundtrack blog” “megane girls blog”, the whole things would get far too gimmicky. Plus, if the authors wanted to write some different type of posts, they can’t, because their blog is too niche for it.

        • You don’t have to comment on DS’s overarching criticisms if you don’t want to. You do realise this, right? If you really don’t give a fuck what people think about your blog, stop giving a fuck.

          • @TRazor: you should learn from Marow opinion below…
            Even if you complain at D_S, you won’t gain anything.

            > As I blogger myself, I just want to thank you for these posts! Looking forward to the next one about readers. I wouldn’t even mind more criticism.

      • Hey, are you implying I’m not original, but a mere generic furry object?! Kyubey is sad to acknowledge this truth…but I’ll continue blogging in my way regardless…:P

        Seriously talking, I can’t stand wall of texts like the one you seems to prefer. Anything longer than 500-750 words is out of my little mascotte brain level of attention. :D

  8. As I blogger myself, I just want to thank you for these posts! Looking forward to the next one about readers. I wouldn’t even mind more criticism.

  9. Awww, I’m gonna miss the daily ‘Vote for X, Y, Z & Q’ posts… Was a shitload of fun to read through your ‘critique’ :p Guess I’ll have to wait ’till Round 3 to vote again. (Don’t have time to read through the blogs, but helping manipulate scores was pretty enjoyable).

  10. A fun post, if nothing else.
    It reminds me of someone I used to be back when I was in high school/colledge; so serious, confident, easily irritated, highly critical and sometimes pessimistic. Life sucks and the world is a rotten place, not to mention the aniblogsphere.

    What you said reflected the pain inside, it’s almost like you were trying to carry the world. You suffered for what the bad bloggers did but non of the bad blogger would remain oblivious anyway.

    My advice; Learn to let go.
    ps. I like your blog a lot and you’ll probably be more successful than most of us around here :)

    • Canne, my advice? if you think you are such a damn good psychiatrist, get a fucking degree and do it for a living.

      seriously, way too many of these wannabes that does more harm than good.

      • Funny that you should ask for my degree because in a matter of fact, I have one and I am doing it for a living :)

        But please note that I didn’t mean to offend you. I am sorry for being too judgmental. It’s actually not my place to say such a thing. I apologize *bow*

        • Yes, Canne, no offense intended, but the advice that you have given initially did not give the impression that you are a professional. The advice that you have give initially could have easily be something that you read off a horoscope. Here, let me give it a try: You harbor negative feelings inside you. The pain inside you is eating you alive. Try to think happier thoughts as you go about everyday life.” Do you see what I mean? It’s just super generic. It is what pissed me off and why I didn’t you were a professional. Again, no offense intended.

  11. Circlejerk: So are forums, which is what most of the blogosphere is. Very few blogs have ‘real readership’ beyond other bloggers. Those that do tended to be seeded higher anyway. Also don’t mistake the comment section for an accurate depiction of the readerbase. Bloggers are just the ones who are egotistical and want their voice heard.

    As for most blogs being shit, welcome to Sturgeons Law. Even more so with the seeding of more popular blogs meaning they don’t feature in the first round. The hope is that there will be a much higher percentage of quality blogs once we reach the group stages.

    I enjoyed reading the posts because you’re blunt, and everyone else in the blogosphere are too interconnected to be anything other than polite

    • Seeding of more popular blog in later rounds? Scamp are joking or do you really believe in your words right now?

      Metanorn at first round while Omari’s Sister at second round. Whiners at first round while Experiment in Manga at second round.

      It makes perfectly sense indeed…:D

      • The ones seeded higher did well in the previous tourney, I believe, thus the “those that have real readership tended to be seeded higher”.

  12. It needed to be said.

    To be fair, once in a while, anibloggers are actually inspired to comment by the content of each other’s posts. Most commenting, however, is done for self-promotion, reciprocity, some other type of blog politics, or they’re just giving their friends an ostukaresama deshita pat on the ass.

  13. “I get the gist that a lot of you are bored with the daily posts right now”

    when you stopped mercilessly ripping into the authors it wasn’t as fun to read

  14. Thanks for writing those posts. Although a good deal of people found them a bit rude, I am sure others found them helpful( I would have found them helpful to if you had actually told me why my blog was shitty!). Oh and, I am sure many sadistic bastards (such as myself) found them amusing as well.

    But yeah, I can understand why you don’t want to continue on with them. They were likely tiring and it’s not good to alienate your readers. I would however be quite happy if you continue to provide feedback on the match polls and stuff.

    Don’t they have any real readers beyond people desperately trying to pimp their own shitty blogs, hoping for a random click-through?

    As a not very popular blogger who likes to leave a few comments around the place, I can definitely vouch for the truth in that statement.

    I will however say that there are a few other reasons:

    Sometimes you see a post with no comment and you feel sorry for the blogger, so, you leave a comment.
    Sometimes, more than views, you want immediate attention, so, you attempt to leave a long, well thought out comment in the hopes that the original writer or someone else will praise you for your awesomeness.
    You actually agree with/like the content.

    Not all views are bloggers though. There are quite a few lurkers around (especially on more popular blogs). People are either too lazy to make an account, too shy to comment, too scared to comment or simply have nothing to comment.

    Scamp is right. In the Anime blogosphere, people are all too interconnected with each other to call out other people. I mean, I can’t say bad things about the stuff my “friends” do, can I? Or, well, I suppose I can, but it is risky. If only people likw Flomoe had more free time, this tourney would have been more fun if he had been here.

    Lastly, episodics are successful because they are easy to read whereas editorials and stuff require a considerable amount of brain power. Episodics tend to also have more variety, so, you get a larger reader base.

    I am not trying to tell you that episodics are good or anything, but that is probably why they are so common.

    I agree with most of your “good blog” picks.Though, to be honest, I ended up adding most of the blogs from this tourney to my reader. I couldn’t help it! I felt obliged to give a nod to people who try regardless of whether they succeed or not.


    • I find episodics and chaptersodics (totally not a word) to be complete shit. Why would I be interested in reading a manga summary or an anime summary? It doesn’t make any sense to me. I understand the goal is to generate discussion, but the way most blogs handle these posts means people need to be interested in discussing a show before they read the post. In that case, why not just join a forum and be done with it? Episodic blogs tend to be shit, plain and simple. The only time they’re worth going to are when the writers latch onto some aspect of the episode and present a discussion around THAT instead of just the events that happened in the show.

      Your site treats episodics the same as every other blog; I have no reason to visit your site over any other episodics clone. When it comes to your editorials, I’m actually repelled from your site. They’re terrible. Take your tsundere post:

      You aren’t funny. Your “jokes” hurt to read. Really. I was physically pained by how terrible they were. You go on a tangent in your tsundere post about fucking a girl underneath a tsundere shrine and think that relates to anything simply because you keep tossing the word “tsundere” around. It’s a shitload of random, middleschooler garbage punctuated by a retarded final argument where you say “So I guess Japan doesn’t like tsunderes.” What the fuck?

      You have no comedic timing, wit, or intelligent thought in your posts. The writing in that post made me want to strangle you. Your post goes on and on and it only gets more and more stupid. By the time I got to “animators create tsunderes, but I’d like more subtle tsunderes” my eyes had already started bleeding.

      You seem like you have a brain, so fucking use it. Write articles that are interesting beyond the standard “lol jello is so random” content and actually put some fucking thought into your site. If you really don’t understand why your site sucks, go to your favorite blogs and analyze the writing. Find out what makes them so interesting to you and apply that to your own work. I’m sure you can get better, but you have a long fucking way to go.

      • Thanks. I guess somewhere along the line, someone probably chuckled at something I said, so, I started to concentrate too hard on “entertainment value”.

        I was conceited, thanks for bringing me back down.

        I guess what you are trying to say is:
        1)Don’t try to be funny when you can’t be funny.
        2)Don’t go away from the point of your post.
        3)Try and be unique.

        To be honest, I don’t really know how I can exactly improve. I have never been one to do a deep analysis of anime, so, I can’t really make those kinds of posts. I try to make a point but still be entertaining. I guess I tried too hard on the funny part.

        You seem like you have a brain, so fucking use it.

        Oh, you flatter me!

        Thanks once more, you didn’t really have to give me feedback, but you did. I really appreciate that.

    • I agree with D_S. Adding to that:

      You have no posts between the March 18 and April 3 ones. Whiners has some long breaks too, yet people watch the site and flock to new posts when they are made. Why? D_S offers something unique and valuable to visitors. You can’t find analysis like his anywhere else.

      There’s a LOT more competition with episodic blogs. You have to step up your game if you want to stand out. Posting frequency is vital. New posts once a week is the minimum IMO, unless your posts are THAT good. Once you get a bright idea for making your writing stand out, try posting 2-3 times a week.

      Ultimately, it may be futile. That’s why I don’t even try to blog. I know I’d suck.

      • Yup! By the way, I don’t consider myself an episodic blog. Well, I guess I sort of am for Weekly Shonen (though my posts have been missing for the past few weeks), but yeah, I don’t have the energy and commitment required to pull of a true episodic blog.

        Thanks though, and you are totally right about the frequency thing. I am going to do my best to improve, but it’s kind of hard when you have school and each post takes several hours. (I don’t have school right now, but my job still takes a lot of time.) But yeah, this is a problem I will have do my best to fix.

        Ultimately, it may be futile. That’s why I don’t even try to blog. I know I’d suck.

        You won’t know you suck until D_S tells you you do. :P So, if you think you can set reasonable standards for yourself, and if you think you can meet them, or come close, then by all means, go ahead.

  15. As said by someone before:

    The common approach to anime blogging is to feature terrible “reviews” of the latest fansubbed garbage, three dozen pictures of some loser’s recently acquired girl figure or pages of embedded YouTube links. This sucks. It’s uninteresting and creates a dialog just barely above your average web-forum idiot-banter. Yet with few notable exceptions, most anime blogs follow this awful trend and fandom is all the worse for it.

    If the Internet is such a great tool for expressing opinions and ideas that can’t be found in more mainstream publications or venues, then why is anime fandom so brain dead and vapid? We can’t answer that, but we can show you that it doesn’t have to be that way. We can’t stop people from creating awful anime sites, but we can make one that doesn’t suck.

    Somehow I’m starting to think that Whiners may become an anime site that doesn’t suck.

  16. “Anyway, unless people enjoyed the “Aniblog Stuff” posts I think I’m gonna avoid doing them for this round.”

  17. Reading the comment section here has certainly given me a lot to think about. Even if I was spared the brunt of the criticism, I’ll definitely try to apply what was said here to my own blog a bit more. There’s always room for improvement, after all.

  18. Actually I do think the Aniblog Tourney’s been a whole lot of spherejerking. I must admit that my own blog’s hardly been through much activity up to the weeks before the first round itself.

    Yet, does it seem as though people are a bit…too concerned about how others have given feedback to their sites? I know a friend who completely overhauled his website and reorganized his blog’s writing team into 4 categories, making it sound horribly dreary and depressing to hear about. And then we have people who seem to do anything for the views, man. Like they change according to whatever others want just so they could potentially get more views.

    Of course, not that AOIA hasn’t changed at all, of course. But some people take it rather seriously, no? Trzr23 even raged up there somewhere. Wasn’t aniblogging about writing what we cared about?

    Keep the Aniblog posts up, dude.


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