No I don’t think this is particularly significant in the scheme of things (the anime and manga industry, the related fandoms; even if only for the Macross and Gundam ones). Nonetheless it’s been a year, and we’ve published over two hundred posts. Some are forgettable and not that useful, and some less so. This post is really just to thank all our readers, subscribers, and commenters. You’ve made a salaryman’s anime and manga hobby exponentially less lonely.
So I’ll post here some of the things I learned blogging this hobby.
Archives and Productivity Matter
This assumes that you want to expand your readership. In the beginning I tried to write every day. I don’t recommend this; it’s simply unsustainable especially if you want to maintain a specific kind of post style, and length (of a high quality — even if only relative to your own standards). At some point this year I switched to an every-other-day publishing schedule. I don’t think that even this can be maintained without luck. I’ve been lucky so far, but I’m not counting on it.
Why is an archive important? I discovered that the majority of WRL’s page views are from archived posts: around 80% of daily views. After all, (current and popular shows notwithstanding — yeah I hit the jackpot with both Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 and Bakemonogatari) not that many people read our posts the day they publish.
This is especially true if I write about older, or relatively obscure shows. Nobody really is refreshing aggregator sites just to watch out for the latest blog posts on the Five Star Stories, but there are fans you want to reach. They’ll just find your posts at a later time.
When I said 80% of the daily page views of WRL are for the archives, I also mean 80% of that are from image searches. These people aren’t ‘readers,’ they just like the images I put on the post. So, what I’m saying is that images are a cheap and dirty way to inflate your page views. How do I know this? One of my favorite posts that I wrote myself: TOP GUNS: Gundam 0083 Stardust Memory meets Macross Plus as Anime that Have the Most Love for Mecha has well over 2,500 views as of this writing, and still get about 10-20 views a day. It also has over 4,000 words. So yeah, I don’t think I’m going to flatter myself by thinking all those people read and love this post.
So I don’t mistake them for a (relatively fast) growing readership. Why do I persist then? I play the numbers. Out of the 10 or 20 visitors that check that aformentioned post out, I may get 1 or 2 people who actually read it. Out of 10 or 20 people who read it might like it, and may visit WRL for more and become regular readers. I’ll take any kind of authentic growth, no matter how small.
More importantly, I really like how images make the post pretty, apart from underscoring assertions or claims I make in the post. A way around outright image dumps and galleries (things I personally dislike to do) is to use slideshows. So I won’t stop using images, though I will persist in finding better ways of using them.
Making Friends Matters
This is easy for me because I really like people, especially those who happen to like shows and books I like; those who recommend to me shows and books that I end up enjoying and writing about. Most of these people are bloggers too given the community I’m now part of. The mutual support, linking, sharing, and discussion makes it very fun and fulfilling for me. If you’re blogging to be famous or consequential, this may not mean much at all. However, what I enjoy best out of this hobby is organizing discussion around things I like. Making friends with readers, commenters, and other bloggers (of all kinds) facilitates this high I get out of the hobby.
So what does this mean in practical terms? This means visiting other bloggers’ posts, and contributing to the discussions they organize. Sometimes I feel incomplete if all I can say translates as ‘I enjoyed reading this,’ so I resolve to give all that I got to the discussions presented by the posts. After all, it’s what I appreciate most when people do leave comments here.
So, on to the love fest!
Note: some individuals mentioned belong in more than one cattegory.
Thank you to these people who I discovered anime blogging through, and some were the people who I solicited support from (they delivered too!):
- Owen S, Cruel Angel Thesis (My first discovery: “WTF is this and why is it so awesome?”)
- Iknight, The Animanachronism (My second, love at first sight)
- Coburn, Claiming Ground (My third, which got me thinking… “Maybe I can do this!”)
- Crusader, T.H.A.T. Anime Blog (My first episodic blog experience: Macross Frontier; gorgeous, delicious, deculture!)
- Kaioshin Sama, When Anime Past Meets Present (My second, Code Geass R2)
Thank you to these people who finally got me to blog, and were both huge in terms of support and influence:
- lbrevis, East Anyhow (My metaphorical mother, directly provoked me to write — and I did!)
- otou-san, Shameful Otaku Secret (My metaphorical father, shaped my fanboy ideology)
- Riex, OH! Hayaku (My metaphorical godfather, I learned a lot from him)
- Baka-Raptor, Baka-Raptor (My literal dinosaur, very generous in sharing notes on post-construction/development during our time at OH!)
- Sakura, Calamitous Intents (for being generous and fun to work with over at OH!)
How ghostlightning got to blog
The tentacle beast is Riex. He is evil. 4koma by otou-san.
Thank you to these people that let me collaborate with them, and provide all-around entertainment:
- digitalboy, Fuzakenna! (the first guy who ever showed interest)
- biankita, Hikkikomori-chan (our first guest writer!)
- lelangir, THE FAKKEN INTERNETS (the first to engage me in the most thought-provoking conversations about the anime blogging activity)
- lolikitsune, notdotq (showed me style, how to make trolling tasty, and fun in doing things together; he is also the aniblogging messiah #1, #2, and #4)
- omisyth, Grand Punk Railroad (always fun to disagree with, because he’s a good sport while remaining honest and forthright with his opinions; and even if he claims to fail to ENJOY EVERYTHING!)
- Pontifus, Pontifus/Superfanicom (For sharing Aria, and creating a place in the sphere for academic faggotry on animu and mango)
- Cuchlann, Cuchlann/Superfanicom (For being badass at academic faggotry on animu and mango)
- RyanA, Aloe Dream (Let me in on his ideas on developing melative further, and for patiently teaching me how to use it!)
Thank you to these people who discovered WRL very early on without me directly reaching out to them and provided very motivating messages!
- Martin, mono no aware (The very first, on WRL’s about page!)
- TheBigN, Drastic My Anime Blog (He’s still at it, discovering new blogs and giving encouragement)
- usagijen, The Scrumptious Anime Blog (For all the linking generosity, and for being a great person overall)
Filanibloggers, blogging from the inang bayan and from elsewhere, representing!
- schneider, Continuing World (mecha faggotry is much more fun with him around)
- bluemist, bluemist anime blog
- Rakuen, Are Are
- Shance, Rainbowspehre
- hazy undercover, Undercover
- Mai, A Gabriela Robin Site
- kairu ishimaru, Yoroshiku!
- KaeBoo, Babble Bam (makes my model kits pretty)
- msdzero, Anime-Zone
- foomafoo, Temporal Vortex
- Kanzeon, [:METANORN:]
- Zeroblade, Life in Quadrant 4
- picchar, picchar (For gorgeous, delicious, deculture Ranka illustration!)
Fainal category of thanks: MAI HOLMES! These are people I made friends with, share and discuss things with, sometimes collaborate with, and generally make the experience of this hobby a very pleasurable one:
- IcyStorm, minimum tempo (He sucks, and is a useless fag <3)
- Kaiserpingvin, Superfanicom (He should write more, and finish our collaboration project LOOK OUT FOR IT)
- animekritik, kritik der animationskraft (Enjoys the distinction of writing my favorite reads in the sphere, besides being a capital fellow overall)
- OGT, Anime wa Bakuhatsu da (Good to talk to, even better to read)
- animewriter/Chris K, Crystal Tokyo Anime Blog (great comments, too bad I’m not into the shows he often covers but he’s a good read nonetheless)
- The Sojourner, The Blue Fox Alley (It’s been an absolute joy to watch this person turn from a schizoid blogger to an Evoluder Ferret by the sheer power of COURAGE)
- gaguri, ha neul som (always interesting and I learn quite a bit over there too)
- omo, omonomonomonomonono (the worst person to quibble with, but has helped out WRL out of fun and goodwill; and I NEVAR FORGET such turns)
- Kabitzin, Sea Slugs! Anime Blog (most relaxedly hang-outable episodic blogging space in the web yo)
- panther, The Deathseeker (he’s made my blogging Bakemonogatari and Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 a lot more fun and interesting).
- jp meyer, 見ないで! ひとり言 (half the time I imagine he’s laughing at me and not just with me, but he keeps sharing the funnies)
- mellow bunny (mellowspace; for goodwill and kind favors. I look forward to collaborating!)
- 2DT, 2D Teleidoscope (New find! Good reads!)
- gloval (most valueable Macross fag commenter)
- Kiri: Opinion Prone, A Day Without Me: GAR GAR Stegosaurus (Are both excellent blogging females I owe apologies to for mistaking them as men TWSJB)
- gargron, Anime [squared] (devoted a post just to link to one of mine; I can’t advise such a move, but I do appreciate it)
- Jacob, SNAG vs. World (Thanks for Welcome to the NHK)
- 7, Exce7ion (Thanks for visualizing me as an otaku parent, my daughter will be born deep in winter)
- The Longcoat, Betsuni (I liked him better as Zechs, but he writes interesting Utena posts so whatever)
- CCY, Mega Megane Moe (unforgettable: him helping me get CCY 17 to run so I can finally play him in the game)
- drmchsr0, orz (for liking Nekki Basara, I think…)
- DonKangoJones, Kadian1364, Turambar, X10A_Freedom, sadakups (power-users/commenters here at WRL; they make posts worth writing yeah)
- Vendredi, FungaFuFu (consistently posts badass comments, and makes my posts more interesting than they are to begin with)
- Orion, Epic Win (when he mentioned WRL as part of his “Holy Trinity” of reads I jizzed in my pants, etc etc)
Special shoutout to mechafetish, asher, LOLJohn, Legendary Girl A (my otaku and borderline otaku friends), and of course mai waifu sybilant — who doesn’t only indulge me this hobby, but is also game enough to guest post once and a while.
For all those who commented here, who are friends on MAL or on twitter that I didn’t mention; and new bloggers and commenters who generously visited thanks to Bakemonogatari and Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, thank you for taking the time to read, even if you didn’t enjoy it. It’s all good.
What to expect in the future?
In all honesty I don’t know. I’ve had some time to write the past months which will evaporate soon: with a second job and a baby on the way I don’t think the publishing schedule can be maintained. That said, WRL is not going away, I’ll finish whatever show I start writing about, and Macross love will always be remembered here.