Every blogger holds an egg in their soul.
When some Dorama such as the fansub one appears on the horizon, 3 types of bloggers will arrive on the scene. They are the "Extra! Extra! Read all about it!" newspaper boy, the wise old man with insight and then there are the bandwagon hoppers.
The newspaper boys always appear on the scene first with a bunch of hyperlinks, providing little or no value add. Regardless, they are a core component of the blogging cycle as the old wise men and the bandwagon hoppers won’t be surfing the news on the dorama without the hyperlinks.
The wise old men make stands which are reasoned and most importantly, FRESH. Despite old men being NOT FRESH and having an oyaji smell, these online old sages ([Jeff Lawson], JP Meyer and obviously that Justin guy from ANN) qualify for old menhood by virtue (wow I just quoted a Gundam name) of their original ideas and opinions. The key qualifier here is originality actually.
The bandwagon hoppers are then the hordes of clones who pop up and rewrite what the old men have written, be it in boring, passionate or humourous forms. Needless to say, I myself am a bandwagon hopper, albeit one with 3 penises and toilet humour. Bandwagon hoppers generally don’t have the nous, life experience or wisdom to create an intelligent, original view. What they always think is their view, is actually the views of others whose works they have read. Read enough of others’ opinions and you’ll think it’s yours.
The anime blogging scene is growing exponentially, with Maestro giving out free animeblogger accounts like Azuma Kazuma makes bread. Not a bad thing obviously, but there lies the increasing difficulty of "becoming BIG!" as Kawachi says. Why am I referencing Yakitate! Japan? Because I’m rewatching it at the moment and it is fucking good. Ever since I got into Food Science, I’ve been able to understand the show a lot better. The first 26 episodes are certainly one of the shining examples of Oudou Shounen anime. But again I digress. So it’s difficult to become big, since there are tonnes of competitors, in that sense.
It’s like we are all rivals for Cool and Spicy Hinamori Amu.
While most people would think using the word "competitor" or even "rival" for fellow bloggers is a bit overboard, the truth is that readers = consumers, they have a right to pick who to read, and limited currency in the form of time and attention span. If a blogger wants to get readers, as is always the case but nobody really admits to it, he should tailor his blog to meet the market demand.
You can blog for your own vanity, like "Oh I’m so clever, I write deep posts with big words like Curdmurgeonic Psionipathic Amino-butyric Encelopathy" but if nobody reads it, you’re only satisfying yourself. Which may be fine if that’s all you’re looking for, but I’m sure most bloggers are after something bigger. A suitable analogy would be the current anime industry in Japan. They are not changing their business model, they are rigid old turds who blame the consumers for seeking alternative sources because their own products are marketed in a poor fashion. An expensive R2 DVD purchase can be equated to spending 1000kJ of energy reading through some long winding text, which may have good content, but is difficult to read. The blogger who writes such a post may complain, "But it’s the readers who are stupid! They can’t understand the wonderful text I wrote painstakingly! It’s their loss!". Too bad nobody else will feel the same way.
Going on to a hugely unrelated note, I would like to talk about the above mentioned evolutionary pattern. All bloggers, it seems, when having existed long enough, evolve. But not according to Darwin’s theory. Let’s see a step-by-step process guide on evolving.
Worst costume out of the 3. My favourite is Spade.
1. Start off by creating a blog. We shan’t concern ourselves with the administrative evolution, such as moving to new domains and all that. This is the birth phase.
2. Upon writing on blog, all bloggers will establish some sort of aim and scope which they will write on.
3. Writing these sort of articles, the blogger will get better at them and perhaps, attract an audience. Or, these sort of articles don’t appeal, and bloggers loses interest. He may then choose to quit blogging, or to write about other topics. This is the attrition phase, where the unfit are weeded out and those who survive are the adaptable ones with enough motivation to overcome their shortcomings.
4. There is a purification of blogging topics going on at this phase and the blogger will focus on this effective and well-liked topic/format. The blogger will be defined in this way for the rest of his blogging career. For some, it will be episodic summaries and reports, for others it will be editorials. Or figure reviews.Take for example my case, where most people seem to think I’m some sort of figure reviewer blogger, even though I post figure reviews once a month which means approximately 1/30 of my posts are figure reviews. This is known as the stationary phrase, where optimum perceived evolution has occured. The blogger is now considered in his golden age.
5. Here is the tricky part. After stagnating in his pet topic for perhaps a year or so, he will start to feel bored whether or not his readers feel the same. Doing the same things over and over again, he loses the drive which made him put in a lot of effort in the first place. This is where he starts to move onto dynamic blogging, which is the final phase until he moves on in real life.
First, let us learn about static content and dynamic content, as defined by me. Static content is basically stuff that you actually plan to write about, where research is done, pictures are taken, and the theme is something which is evergreen or has always been there. For instance, "How to Date an Otaku Girlfriend" or "The Science of Figurine Materials" or a review on Gatekeepers. Static content requires a lot of effort, time and is preferred by most readers since these articles can be found on Google and still be relevant.
Dynamic content is quite the opposite. [Kurogane] is a staunch advocate of dynamic content, and the age of his blog provides a clue to the reason why. Dynamic content is something a blogger feels like pouring out, perhaps after watching a poignant scene in his favourite anime, or seeing an opportunity for a post. The content is generally short, without pictures or just the one, and done without research. In other words, it is a rant/rave but do not let the negative implications of the word scare you, because dynamic content can be well-reasoned and articulate. What makes it dynamic is that it is spontaneous but quickly dies in terms of relevance. Examples include my recent Neuro post, and almost all of [Kurogane], Jpmeyer, [Jeff Lawson] and Alex [Moy]‘s posts. One issue about dynamic content is that of "branding". Even if a certain dynamic post was not considered well-written, people still comment extensively, if the blogger is a famous one. A good example is [Danny Choo], who gets hundreds of comments for posting a picture of Japanese erm something. This sometimes irks the lesser-known bloggers still in the stage of static content, who have spent good man-hours producing a masterpiece but have no one to read it.
It is true that people read bloggers who they know and have come to like, even if their posts are poor by absolute standards. A good example is how I always read [DarkMirage] and JP Meyer even if they are writing about some angry juvenile love issue or in the latter’s case, Naruto Yaoi.
Look, 3 Pom Poms!
Now having explained the concepts of the two forms of content, we can very easily observe that the older the blogger, the more likely he uses dynamic content. There are several reasons for this.
The blogger has run out of static content. This is very true in most cases, there are only some many otaku culture issues one can talk about before it gets old. In fact, most of the editorials of the new bloggers just repeat what the previous generation has said in their own static content editorials. It’s not to say that the new birds are copying, but the pool of static content is very small and it takes a creative mind to source out what hasn’t already been said by the plethora of other bloggers.
The blogger has grown tired of the efforts needed to blog extensively. Dynamic content is short, sweet and to the point. It is the crystallisation of the blogger’s desire to express the pent-up emotions and opinions LOUDLY, at its summit. Like if I’m crying when watching Yakitate Japan because it’s soooo good, I’ll write up a short 3-4 paragraph post which will feel very different from a longish essay that is reasoned and balanced. That is the reason why I’ve never written any reviews about my favourite shows, GitS, Gintama, Last Exile and Planetes. When I really want to write a proper review, the powerful feelings which have been generated have all but dissipated. Sometimes, these impromptu mini-posts serve to influence readers into liking these shows more effectively due to the powerful positive feelings channeled through the dynamic content.
The blogger is now too busy in real life. This applies to many, in particular working adults, many of who are the more respected bloggers.
In conclusion, all bloggers generally follow this path of evolution. There is only blogdeath after the dynamic phase. Or worse, monetary blogging, where you keep going for the sake of your adsense or TLA.