The two-year death and history repeating itself in the aniblogsphere
Your average anime blog do not live for very long.
I’m finding it difficult to find a starting point for this post so I’m going to simply start from where my interest in this topic sprung from. Recently, I had been flicking down through my blogroll, my reader and some other generally popular blogs and found out that a rather surprising number of them haven’t been around for that long (at least, from those who actually had a link to their archives) Want some examples?
There seems to be a cut-off point around about the start of 07 and I could find very few anime blogs that existed before that. But what’s far more interesting is to look at the names of those blogs that have been around for even longer. See if you can spot a trend in them.
“Aha~” you say. “They’re all episodic blogs!”. No, you’re missing the point. There are plenty of episodic blogs out there that die out just as regularly as editorial blogs. The word you’re looking for (thanks to Canon (Apr 07 in case you were wondering) for this) is Independence. You get the feeling that the likes of psgels, Omni, Kurogane and Jason Miao would continue to do what they’re doing until the end of time no matter what outside influences there are. What’s interesting is that some of their earlier posts show a more open (vulnerable?) side to them but they have now become these figureheads rather than one-of-the-ladz. Sea Slugs and THAT have stayed alive through the ability to go through a ‘rebirth’ without ever actually dying thanks to their team tendencies. Think about ti for a second: Who really runs THAT now? The original founder, Impz, has stopped posting, as has the other oldies like Extrange and Lelangir.
For non-episodics: Omonomono, Baka-Raptor, Karmaburn, Batezi, Anime Diet, Hashihime. Again, you’re looking at a certain degree of independence from the likes of Baka-Raptor, Hashihime and Karmaburn along with the ‘team blog’ revival trait of Anime Diet. Like how Kabitzin bucks the trend with Sea Slugs, so does Omonomono and Batezi but again you are seeing a slightly similar trait.
For your average anime blog though, the lifespan rarely goes beyond 3 years. In fact, the two year mark appears to be one the typical landmarks set to end you anime blogging career, immortalised by Subculture anime blog in what I consider to be the single greatest end to an anime blog ever (a trend Shameful Otaku Secret followed). Even to take a quick look at some recently deceased blogs, Kritik der Animationskraft lasted 14 months and Simplicity lasted 19 months. Mono no Aware seems to suggest he’s dead, right on the two year mark. There’s a few more too whose names I’ve forgotten but it certainly seems to be the trend. Even looking back through some of the oldest bloggers blogrolls, typically filled with dead blogs, there’s that usual 2 year killing point, give or take several months. Want a great example? Read this post on RIUVA. A post I’m quite glad I stumbled across (also serving to remind me what a good blog RIUVA used to be), it gives a brief history of anime blogging but also give a list of links of great anime blogs. How many of them died around the 3 year mark? The post was made December 06.
More info! (I did a lot of trawling about on the interwebs for this post) We have bloggers hitting that 2 year anniversary and feeling pretty jaded. Jinx (Jun 07) tried to leave but couldn’t. Ghostlightning posted this worrying comment about feeling like the community passing him by (and he’s been around even less time than I have!). Many blogs might not die but experience that horrible slow death, like Basugasubakuhatsu. Even bloody Chartfag is taking longer with each chart.
This posts intention is not to provide advice on how to keep your blog alive. How the hell would I know anyway? According to my statistics, I’m going to die within the next year, followed shortly by Rabbitpoets and Eye Sedso. But it’s certainly scary how history repeats itself. You know how many people seem to be complaining at the saturation of anime blogs. How the feed on Animenano is packed full of the same old same old (just to prove my point and my epic researching abilities, here’s evenmorelinks for you to click on. Heck, you even have Colony Drop, a blog dedicated to that very fact). Have any of you newfags heard of the drama that erupted on the first anime blog aggregator, blogsuki (the link is, unfortunately, dead. Which is a real shame because I still don’t know the full story). It was over the sheer amount of episodic blogs rehashing the same Haruhi episode over and over. Yup, three years ago they had that very same discussion. Links? Bluemist anime blog has something on anime blog saturation dated Nov 06, and to make it even more ironic he talks about how his passion for blogging dying. At this point he had been around for 2 and a half years. If anime blogs were saturated then, what do we have now?
History is repeating itself. As a generation comes and goes, they make the same mistakes and same judgements that the previous generation makes. There’s a three year generation gap that anime blogs conform to. Those who last longer than two years start seeing those who started alongside them drop off to be replaced by newbies, making them feel disenchanted. Those that stay on are normally those relatively unaffected by change. As much as I’d like to convince you that I won’t be affected by this two-year bug, I’m sure those now-dead bloggers thought they’d also continue on for longer. As much as I hate the idea that anime blogs are a slightly insular community, I’ve found myself similarly inside this community on twitter and whatnot. Heck, even this post is directed directly at other people in the aniblogpshere. And if those who were born around the same time as me all died, I can’t deny that it would kill a certain level of enthusiasm.
Don’t really have a fully-formed point to this post. I just did too much reading not to post about this. All I can say is learn from history. A history of the aniblogsphere would be nice. I’ve certainly learned a lot from my trawls.