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April 19, 2012 / Bradley

RADIANT VICTORY, and Some Thoughts On the AniBlog Tourney

Despite what I said in an earlier post, victory tastes very sweet. Thank you to everyone who voted for me, and a special thanks to everyone who accepted my bribe and gave me feedback. I’ve been very busy with school this week, thus only leaving me time to approve comments and anxiously watch the votes come in. But I should have some feedback for everyone’s blogs up over the weekend- watch the comments in the “Oh gawd please vote for meeee” post for that.

I’ve been enjoying the tournament so far, and have already found several new blogs to follow over the past few rounds. I used to be able to count the number of anime blogs I enjoyed reading on one hand, but I hope by the end of the second round all my fingers and toes won’t be able to account for all my new favorites. This, to me, is the real point of the tournament- not to crown a new king of the nerds, but to help folks find new bloggers to enjoy. And it has done a great job with that.

On a related note, I want to push back against the idea that the tournament is just an exercise in communal self-wanking. Blogging may be a professional job with a large audience for huge topics like politics and technology, but for most subjects, especially very specialized ones, only a subset of a subset of a subset of a fandom care enough about a subject like Japanese cartoons to want to read opinions on it from people who aren’t paid a dime to do so. And who else would be more likely to do that reading than the very folks who want to write about it? If anything, this is a good chance for our little community to get more exposure, because we’ll be showcasing the best of the best in the coming weeks. I know from personal experience that one of the barriers to enjoying anime blogs is the difficulty of finding a good one- this contest takes care of that problem. It could be picked up as news by much larger sites like ANN, Crunchyroll or Japanator in the final rounds, and open our little community to the chance of getting more readers and contributors. And that isn’t self-wankery- in fact, that’s the very opposite of it.

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4 Comments

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  1. Scamp / Apr 19 2012 4:07 pm

    It could be picked up as news by much larger sites like ANN, Crunchyroll or Japanator in the final rounds, and open our little community to the chance of getting more readers and contributors

    That didn’t happen last time. A big problem is those that progress to the very final rounds are generally the big episodic blogs. Since a big complaint about anime blogs amongst non-blog readers is the prevalence of episodic blogs, I’m sceptical about non-readers being enthused by the eventual finalists.

    • Bradley / Apr 19 2012 4:15 pm

      It was also the tournament’s first round. I think the second time around with a larger pool gets your more respect. I can’t see ANN doing a write-up, but Crunchyroll and Japanator seem like fairly likely candidates to me. Maybe it’ll happen this time. If not, well, I still stand by my point.

  2. vamptvo / Apr 29 2012 4:58 pm

    Nah man, the Aniblog Tourney is entirely an internal thing. Scamp touched on it right there, but I’ll generalize it a bit — the values that the Tourney rewards are not values that anybody outside the community is going to align with. Just look at respected, editorial blogs like AniPages and The Manga Critic that got pushed out in the FIRST ROUND. Yes, taste in blogs is totally subjective, but losses like that show that the Tourney voters are looking for something very particular: episodic blogs and faux-intellectual “analysis,” with all real critical discourse neutered to keep from offending anybody. Why would the average ANN/Japanator/Crunchyroll reader care about that? They care about anime, not the absurdly meta blogging community that surrounds it.

    • Bradley / May 2 2012 10:55 pm

      My admittedly optimistic post was made in the flush of victory, well before AniPages and The Manga Critic lost their respective rounds, which surprised me. I was actually mad Benjamin lost, because I’m such of his blog. I’m not entirely sold on your cynical take, though, because I wonder if the primary reason they lost is simply subject matter. Other anime bloggers want to read about anime, and most anime fans aren’t interested in old/artistic/obscure anime. Not an encouraging explanation, but hey.

      Give me a couple days and let me see if I win or lose the next round. If I win, clearly these voters have excellent taste and no one will be able to tell me otherwise. If I lose, fuck ’em and blame the liberal media.

      In all your seriousness, I do think you’re making the mistake of attributing the things you like as the things everyone else should like. We’re both tired of hearing about the latest crazy promotional product Japanese companies are making for fans, but that sure won’t stop CR and ANN from posting about it because that’s where the clicks are. So I stand by that comment. The average ANN/CR/Japanator might care about it for the same reason they care about yet another poll about “WHICH CARTOON CREATES CREEPY LOSERS”: it’s a poll determining some great truth. Or something. Doesn’t mean it’s correct, right or even useful. But don’t tell them that.

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