So it first started with the Otaku Elimination game and the criticism of anime blogs they decided to distribute. While some people seemed to recoil at the possibility of their writing being critiqued (usually from the people whose writing was in dire need of a kick up the hole funnily enough) most of the aniblogsphere embraced the prospect of finally receiving some constructive criticism. However, lets face it, the OEG isn’t exactly giving wonderful advice on how to improve your blog, certainly not while they’re in Danny Choo suck up genocide mode at the moment. So a man dangerously low on hit points decided that the best idea was to simply ask on the blog for constructive criticism. This followed suit over at Anime² (::Edit:: and later over at Mikitoism) so now over to Bokutachi no Blog.
I invite you all to provide us with constructive criticism.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be about me either, it can be for any of the writers on the blog. Although I will say that none of us have any sort of coding skills whatsoever so the layout will have to stay the exact same.
Upcoming is a long, meandering ramble that you can ignore if you would just like to provide critique.
I really don’t think this is the ideal way to provide constructive criticism for the blog, or the aniblogsphere in general. You’re instantly limiting your audience to people who obviously already read your blog and hence feel that your writing standard is up to scratch, obviously otherwise they wouldn’t be following you. This instantly limits the array of people providing critique. Then there’s the problem of how difficult it is to provide criticism. Lets say you do have an idea of how a writer could improve. You’ve got to first overcome the huge mental barrier of asking yourself what the hell gives you the right to give critique. This can especially ring true for non-bloggers and lurkers who might feel that, since this guy has been blogging for ages and you haven’t, he clearly knows better than you. Then there’s the difficulty of natural human kindness. I know this is the internet where anonymity reigns true but to say something truly harsh still takes quite an amount of mental strength. Even if you manage to overcome all these mental blockades you then have to deal with the problem of trying to form your critique into coherent english so the writer will understand what he feels you can improve on. This is much easier to do if you were just commenting on the design and layout of the blog but trying to comment one someones writing is insanely difficult and there’s a high chance you might just dive into vague sentences that mean nothing. I know this from personal experience with trying to provide critique on Anime squared. I must have spent 10 minutes deliberating over that comment.
Hence, I believe an Otaku Elimination Game styled blog is the ideal way to go. Lets face it, the OEG at the moment, while certainly fun to watch and has opened my eyes to the extraordinary number of Danny Choo suck ups there are, is hardly that far from a trolling site. But a troll that gets this much attention gets it for a reason. It hits on a nerve. Would Endless Eight have had as much an effect if it wasn’t Haruhi who pulled it? The dvd sales are proving exactly what people predicted, that people would scoop up the same crap, even if every episode was the same. The OEG hit on the fact that there is no form of constructive criticism on the aniblogsphere. People claim that the blogs are the greatest medium for uncensored opinion but there’s a hell of a difference between censorship and someone helping improve your writing skills.
So this OEG style aniblog critiquing blog thing. Ideally, it would have between 10-20 people behind it, preferably not all of them being bloggers already, each with noticeably different tastes, to review the aniblogsphere. Not an elimination game though. That’s nothing more than a competition, which is just a step away from patting the big boys on the back and telling them how marvelous they are. That’s where the Anime Blog Awards failed. It’s aim was to highlight great blogs that might not get enough attention but I think there’s already plenty of ways these new blogs can be found. Something I’ll do every few weeks is click on the most recently joined blogs on Animenano and take a look at each of them. Plus, isn’t that exactly what the intention of a blogroll is? Telling everyone what blogs you think are worth visiting? So yeah, the OEG styled critique blog. The pros of it are huge. Since these guys are in the are of providing constructive criticism, that pretty much renders all mental blocks obsolete and repeated critiquing will mean they should develop a knack for doing it. Practice makes perfect. The more blogs they review, the better they get at providing constructive criticism. The general quality of the aniblogsphere increases and everyone is happy.
So why don’t you start one then instead of whingeing about it? First, this is not the ideal time to go starting a project like this. The OEG has still only begun and it’s still very much a ‘wait and see’ situation going on. I’d argue that any project like this shouldn’t start until at least next year. The other thing is: I’m Scamp. I’m hardly a behemoth in the aniblog world. Bokutachi no Blog appears on about 10 blogrolls. I’d love to be part of such a project but this post will hardly be the rallying cry. But hopefully we have enough influence to at least put this idea in the back of peoples minds. If the OEG burns out, which I’d say there’s a 50/50 chance they will by the end of the year, then hopefully some bigwig, or maybe a collection of smallwigs, will remember this post and get the project going.
tl;dr Just provide critique for now. It’s the system being currently suggested and we’re always open to ways that we could improve the blog.