The Aniblogosphere is-
So what better way to spend our time by pitting them against each other!
In 2008, a bunch of people, led by Impz from THAT Anime Blog, decided to set up the inaugural Anime Blog Awards. I started anime blogging just after it had ended so I didn’t really know much about it, but I did read the posts about the event. Posts pre the event occurring were quite excited about the thing, but those after the event seemed far from pleased. Many didn’t seem to even know who had won each award. There was obviously some drama, it was labled as just a chance for the big boys to pat each other on the back. I liked the idea of the awards, but there didn’t seem to be any plans to ressurect and improve the format. So I asked people on twitter about what had happened. Many of the people I talked seemed interested in some sort of knock out anime blog tournament. So, with quite a considerable amount of time on my hands, I went to AnimeNano and the now defunct AnimeBlips and drew up a list of all the anime blogs on their lists.
Not exactly the best planned procedure, was it now? It showed as well. Some of the complaints filed against the tourney when it set up were some legitimate concerns. Drama and trolling was inevitable, but we never had a set-in-stone method of dealing with them, which meant some of avoidable drama spiralled out of control (although crazy Tenchi Muyo fans is not something you can exactly plan for). It ran on for too long. It was a bit of a mistake to start the tourney without having consulted the people who ran the ABA’s 2 years back for advice on what went wrong with that, instead of drawing every conclusion from old blog posts that didn’t have the luxury of retrospect.
But the net result was definitely a positive, although often in ways I didn’t see happening. Instead of resulting in all the competing blogs with new readers, it gave a whole load of readers new blogs to read, which isn’t quite the same thing. I was wary about even allowing comments on the tourney, because most dorama could be avoided by closing comment. What it did allow was for readers to provide constructive criticism and discussion about the merits of various blogging methods, which really came as a massive surprise. This includes conversations that tread close to the dorama line, such as the merits of blogs like Colony Drop, because they still provided many different viewpoints to a style of blogging that a lot of people don’t like. Many people commented that it gave them a greater feel for what the aniblogosphere was like and made them feel like part of the sphere for a change. It also got more people to read Mecha Guignol, which is always a good thing.
Most of all, it was entertaining. It made the sphere a hell of an interesting place to watch for a while as blogs feigned ambivalence, only to change their tune and proclaim that, if they were in it, they might as well be in to win. It was endlessly entertaining to read the various call for votes posts, along with some of the surprising bitterness. It has forever warped to the way I see Tenchi Muyo. I don’t really have a moment to pick from the tourney though. The stress of running the thing made it all go by in a bit of a blur and thanks to RP and Mefloraine for helping out (along with our ninja admins that must not be named). I still plan to run the tourney again in two years time…wait, I mean 16 months time. Holy shit, that’s not that far away at all! Argh!!!