I usually hate writing posts about the anime blogosphere, so this will be a very different post from usual. Please be warned that this post is going to be way too long (the longest post I have written) and possibly very boring. In fact, I have set this as an aside because I would rather keep it aside from my relevant posts and away from readers looking for anime or yuri. Feel free to “too long; didn’t read” this.
Having said that, if you do not mind a post on meta or the Aniblog Tourney, then you might like this.
As I have mentioned before, I am in an Aniblog Tournament organized by fellow bloggers. In the recent round featuring Listless Ink and Random Curiosity, the poll and the result have both spurred up quite a conversation.
I would like to post my thoughts on the match and the tournament, and hopefully also clear some doubt and hostility.
Before I get to that… I am really glad to have more votes at the end of 5 days. I have all my readers and all the supporters to thank for that. For me, and hopefully for those who voted for me, this was not an empty victory. Your votes and your words of encouragement really warm my heart! (You know who you are. ^ ^)
I also want to thank the people who did not vote for me, but provided sound feedback. Scamp says I am too fluffy and Aorii cannot stand the huge ecchi pictures. Impz led the most fervent criticisms on post quality, and really forced me to re-evaluate my content. He also said some nice touching things. I actually pride myself on having a personable personality, and I am very glad Impz picked up on that.
Lastly, I really appreciate anyone who clicked into Listless Ink even if they decide to vote for Random C. I especially want to thank those, such as Megalith, who took the time to read a post or two.
Addressing some comments
Megalith called the victory a meaningless victory on the basis that if Random C tried, they would have easily garnered more votes. I would go even further to say that though Divine did not try, it was still a close poll that could have gone either way. This is really an indication of how respected Random C is in the anime blogosphere.
Furthermore, a few days ago, I talked to my brother about the tourney. Like my sister, he is not at all an anime fan, watching perhaps only a series every 6 months, and only because I begged. Yet when I mentioned anime blogs, the only ones he knows are Listless Ink (for obvious reasons), Sea Slugs (I showed it to him three years ago when I first tried blogging), and Random Curiosity. Random C has incredible reach and has done so much for the anime community as a whole.
Still, I am a blogger. As much as I want to be holy and claim to be above blog hits and comment counts, I am not. I write posts and I want people to read my posts. As such, I cherish all my readers. I love responding to their comments and I love engaging them through my posts. I have also met some really charming people because of this.
Being in the tournament gives RC around 100 more views out of thousands per day. I understand completely their passive stance. For me though, having 100 more views is a noticeable increase. This is a really good opportunity for a relatively fledgling blog to gain a wider readership. I have also gained some new regular commenters since the start of the tournament. As a blogger, I do not (and should not) feel bad about wanting to expand my readership in successive rounds.
In a similar vein, passerby scorns bloggers for treating a win as a big accomplishment and sees any celebratory posts to be misleading. For many bloggers who have not the age, who know little about SEO, or who do not have a mass readership, a new regular visitor, another comment, or even a mere extra view can indeed be a big deal. Just because Random C has the very well-deserved luxury of a large following does not mean that all blogs should not delight in an opportunity to gain more exposure.
For me, this “victory” is therefore not worthless. It meant that the community surrounding Listless Ink is expanding if only by a little bit. It represented recognition among some other bloggers. Most importantly, it shows that there are people who care about the blog enough to vote for it. Those, to me, are invaluable.
Addressing more comments
The other major point raised is that there is some voting manipulation by me or the tourney staff. This is really rather hurtful accusation as it questions the integrity of people. It is also my main reason for addressing the tournament directly.
I may want to win, I may be team Kurumi, but I did not fix the votes.
I did, however, go into the match with a specific strategy.
I am currently reading this fascinating book on Feng Shui and ancient tombs. In it, it describes every success, failure, and event as a product of timing and position. Feng Shui is the art of recognizing where things are best in a particular space-time through certain patterns based on mostly tradition and superstition. Taking a lesson from the book, I thought a bit about my position and my timing based on some patterns from past rounds.
Here are some things I observed. Listless Ink garners around 120 votes with minimal campaigning. In Random C’s last round, it had around 250 votes, many of which came whenever a link to the tournament is posted in the comments of Random C. Based on my own blog statistics, I thought I should be able to get 250 votes or so (not all my readers are bloggers or readers of the Aniblog Tourney).
My position in this tournament was not too disadvantaged both because I have some wonderful friends who follow the tournament, and also because Random C had expressed their passive stance. Knowing that, I wanted to have good timing as well.
There are some other subtleties to consider. Random C’s potential votes are endless, where as mine had an upper cap. Many people tend not to act when the results are set. To me, the key to moving on to the next round is amassing enough votes before the campaigning by Random C readers eventually sweeps the poll. Therefore, I tried to play the game as best as I could and monitored the results of the poll somewhat regularly.
Further, Scamp, Mefloraine, and RP did not engage in any fixing. My readers and I did not use proxies. I trust in all of our characters enough to know that we are honest and nice people. I think the result was simply a product of things going right in my direction.
At the end of day 1, Listless Ink was down by around 20 votes, which represented a 35-65% split. After some tweets, plurks, and friend posts, I still trailed behind with this difference. By the end of day 3, the lead still hovered around 20 votes. The poll was now 45-55% though. At this point, votes started rushing in from Random C. I then made a post that linked to the tournament on my blog. By the end of day 4, the results showed Listless Ink to be within 10 votes of Random C. Random C’s latest campaign link to the blog had rolled to near the bottom of its page and fewer votes were coming in. However, my campaigning was still going. By the middle of day 5, I was leading with 5-10 votes. This lead kept up until 13:00 GMT, when the poll officially closed. I took the link off my post.
Despite all these nonsense theories and plans, I actually expected a total loss as Random C is such an esteemed blog. All I had hoped for was a decent showing. Only with a lot of luck did I come out with a few more votes at the end. Had Random C fans posted the link more frequently in the comments, had the links been placed in more popular posts (such as Bleach or FMA), or had fan campaigns simply started earlier, I would not have pulled ahead. Interestingly, a new link to the poll was dropped in another of Random C’s post a few minutes after the poll closed, and more votes rushed in. I really had some lucky timing. When Megalith claims to have indirectly handed Listless Ink the victory, he is partly right.
Still, I give the most credit to my lovely supporters!
As I mentioned about my own blog, any success I have had with blogging had been because of the support of many and a lot of luck. This is no exception. I do not consider my blog superior to Random C. Divine and his team have a near unparalleled dedication to posting superb impressions and a large passionate following.
Similarly, I have very lovely and sweet readers, without whom, my blog would never have the success it has today.
*I hope this post is not in bad taste. Don’t take it too seriously.
*Please keep the comments somewhat nice and respectful.
*I promise to blog about anime in the next post. ^ ^
*Edit: I am not offended or hurt as much as simply surprised.