Now that I’ve had time to sit back and watch the aniblog tourney play out to a certain degree, I feel I can make some reasonable predictions on how this will pan out. First, there’s the issue of how many people will show up, which I shall now demonstrate using this poorly drawn graph.
There’s the original burst in hits as the tourney hits the scene, followed by a sharp drop as those who never really had much interest in the tourney in the first place stop visiting. The core audience of the tourney will make up most of the hits, mainly consisting of bloggers and those who read anime blogs on a regular enough basis to already be fairly in tune with anime blogs in general. There will also be a few people who show up randomly but these will make up a small percentage of the people visiting. Also, these people might be slightly put off by the number of blogs present along with the lower quality of those blogs on display. Hence the extra hits these blogs are getting are mainly coming from those inside the sphere already. An echo-chamber, circle wank, whatever you want to call it, is what’s happening. Not that the other blogs competing in the first round aren’t getting readers from outside the sphere. The tourney has gotten hits from places well outside the sphere, but it’s mainly an echo-chamber.
However the important thing here is that (sorry if I hurt some feelings here) the tourney is genuinely voting forward the better blogs. Not those that are most known inside the sphere or those with big reputations, but on the genuine quality of the blogs in question. Many will point to the fact that it’s mainly been on first impressions, which I’ll get to later. With the second round beginning and the bigger name blogs competing, more people will start showing up because of how interesting the match ups are. It’s already clear that the more interesting the match up on that week is, the more people pay attention. The Colony Drop post is tribute to that, which is why I kinda want them to win. A lot of these people aren’t actually visiting the sites in question or even voting in the other poll, but enough are for it to make a difference. And again, the genuinely good blogs should continue to advance. Case point here would be Mecha-Guignol, a relatively unknown blogger whose popularity has suddenly increased thanks to the tourney. Just look at how much more comments he’s got on his latest post compared to the older ones. Ah, I remember when there was only about 5 people who ever commented on that blog~
The important point here is that the randomers visiting the tourney will now be faced with rounds with genuinely good blogs competing. Better yet, a lot of these blogs have been voted up on first impressions, which means the randomers with the typical Internet interest span of maybe 20 seconds will be impressed quickly. And they will too start to visit these blogs and become readers. And this shall continue as the rounds progress. More people will start to follow the tourney as the rounds progress because the quality of the blogs on display will also increase. What people tend to forget is how few people actively search out anime blogs to read. Those who follow none will start to read those who ranked in the semis and the final. Those who only read the big ones will start to follow some of the other high quality ones that have progressed further. Basically, if you’re someone reading this post and feel rather overwhelmed by the tourney, it might be better to wait for some of the later rounds.
I said it on the opening post. This tourney is to promote good blogs who aren’t maybe getting the attention they deserve. So far, people are voting up the blogs they genuinely think are better. The only problem I can see thus far is that blogs that may appeal to a specific audience are losing out, which is just something that is an inherent flaw with democracy anyway. I personally like to err on the side of originality when voting in the tourney (for example, I voted both Colony Drop and Anime Instrumentality because they both cover things almost no other blogs do). I really hope people do continue to vote for the actual blogs themselves and not based on friendships, random twitter campaigns or reputation that they were once a good blogger.
As for the question people really care about; who is going to win the thing, I’ve noticed a certain tendency to vote against episodic blogs, although pretty much all the big guns in the episodic blogging world got byes in the first round. Those thinking Random Curiosity will steamroll the thing are totally underestimating the backlash people will have to these types of blogs. I am a betting man though, so my guess would be for Sea Slugs to win the whole thing (they’re number one seed for a reason). I think it largely depends on how good the most recent posts are on the editorial blogs are when they are featured. What do you guys think?
::Note:: this is the optimistic view. The pessimistic view is that almost everyone stops caring after the first round and it becomes a total circle jerk between a select few