What blog posts do you most regret writing?

Credit to linked pixiv user

It’s natural for our opinions to change over time as we acquire new knowledge and experiences, for us to realize we may have been hasty with our ideas, or that we just plain made a mistake. So it is with blogging as it is with other aspects of life; for those of us who have been blogging a long time, I’m sure we can all cite past posts where we wrote things we later regretted. Perhaps we wrote a post criticizing a particular anime only to find out after a second viewing some time later that it isn’t as bad as we first thought. Or maybe we wrote a post about a certain aspect of anime fandom that, as time went on and we became a more mature, well-versed fan, we realized we should have expressed our feelings differently. Today I thought I’d do some self-reflecting in that area and pick out posts that I’ve written over the years that I regret in some way now, and I would also like to invite my fellow anime bloggers to do the same…

I’m sure if I went through every post I’ve written since starting this blog in 2006, I would find more regretted posts than just the three I’ve discussed below. But these are the three I remember even though years have gone by, so that’s a good indication that they’re at least among the top regretted posts I’ve ever written.

So, without further adieu, let me start owning up to my mistakes!

—–

Where are all the female anime fans? *written September 21st, 2011*

In this post I discussed the lack I felt of female anime fans within the fandom. What was kinda funny about this one is that, if you look at some of the later comments, particularly the ones posted on October 3rd, over a week after writing the post, they’re all quite negative…and they’re all from people who had never commented on my blog before. I remember writing a reply to one only to have another negative comment from someone else I don’t know pop up. They kept coming one right after the other that day and it was weirding me out – the fact that none of them had Gravatars and they all came on the same day made me think that someone had linked the post on a popular site, perhaps an LJ page of like-minded people, and from there they all followed the link to my post.

But I digress, the negative comments did bring up some valid points and looking back on it now, I should have revised things I said, particularly in my 5th and 6th paragraphs. I made generalizations about how female fans relate to the hobby that I shouldn’t have and I really don’t have that much experience with a whole variety of fans to make the assumptions I did. I was mostly going by people I see at conventions and encounter online, which can’t accurately tell you the relationship these people have with their hobby. Plus I didn’t make it clear what I mean by an “anime fan” to begin with and what kind of relationship with the hobby that entails. So yeah, I don’t regret writing the entire post, but I regret a bunch of things I said in it.

—–

What prevents Americans from liking anime? *written November 13th, 2010*

In this post I discussed some reasons why I felt typical Americans can’t get into anime. The first reason I discussed, and the one I wrote the most about, is unfortunately the one I dearly regret. I said that anime’s emphasis on continuity in their stories is less appealing to “lazy” Americans who want to be able to watch and enjoy something right away and not have to worry about “starting from episode 1 in order to get what’s going on.” First of all, I made it seem like only anime has episodes with narrative continuity, while most American shows are episodic, which is not true. Even though I hardly watch American TV, I know there are plenty of American shows that have a continuing story. But honestly, with the prevalence of slice-of-life anime in recent years, there are just as many episodic anime as there are story-focused anime. Also, now that I think about it, if a show is genuinely good you should be able to watch it at any episode and enjoy it, whether it’s an episodic series or not. So the whole point I made of “anime has continuity and American shows don’t” doesn’t have much validity. The other points I made in the post after that are alright, I just regret those first few paragraphs.

—–

Is anime better than American cartoons and movies? *written September 21st, 2008*

Wow, two regretted posts on the same day, two years apart. September 21st is not my day for blogging apparently XD

This is one of my older posts, written almost five years ago, and it kinda shows in my writing style. I wasn’t quite out of the “anime is better than all other TV shows/movies” phase, and thus I was pretty biased in this post. I think the main problem with it is that it was too large a topic to discuss for one post – each of the subtitled sections I had in the post could have been posts in themselves, and I really needed to cite examples and delve further into each comparison. And again, I have little experience with American cartoons, TV shows, and movies, so who am I to make these comparisons anyway? This post was the result of my yearning to rationalize why I like anime so much and don’t care for American media, which ultimately doesn’t need any rationalizing because it’s just a matter of cultural preferences and personal tastes. And I really should have cited exceptional American TV shows and movies, as well as crappy anime, to balance things out. But yeah, I was too biased in this post and the ideas I brought up should have been expanded on with real examples. I brought up some good points, but as a whole, it’s definitely a post I regret.

—–

It’s funny that I can’t recall anything regretful in any anime review post I’ve written – only in editorial-type posts like this that discuss general anime fandom. Maybe it’s because I’ve watched so many series over the years that the only way I’d change my opinion is if I watch the series again, which I rarely do for any but my favorites. But anyway, I’d like to invite all of my fellow anime bloggers to also think about things they’ve said in past posts that they regret now. Perhaps even write a post about it the way I did here XD After all, it’s admirable when someone admits mistakes they’ve made or that their opinion has changed, especially here on the Internet where impregnable opinions seem to be the norm =P

28 Comments… read them or add your own.

  1. froggykun says:

    I haven’t been blogging enough to really think of any posts I regret, but I think from reading your list there’s one common factor that sticks out to me: making premature assumptions. I think it tends to leap out more in editorial-writing than reviews because we can accept reviews as being subjective, but when you write an editorial, you’re expected to back up your opinion with relevant examples so that you don’t appear narrow-minded about social issues.

    In any case, it’s always nice to look back on past mistakes and reflect on what you would have done differently. And it’s helpful for people like me reading your posts because then I know what to avoid doing. Though I will probably end up regretting a bunch of posts in the future XD Oh well.

    • Yumeka says:

      That’s a good point about the different expectations behind editorial versus review posts. People accept reviews as opinions about a show and it’s expected that they’ll either agree or disagree. But the kind of topics editorials cover are more general, dealing less with shows and more with people and ideas, which are simply more touchy subjects and thus readers expect more evidence to back up statements.

      And yes, please do learn from my mistakes as well as your own XD

  2. chikorita157 says:

    As for me, I have a long history of post that I regretted writing back in 2009 as I didn’t give too much regard to my writing quality. But aside from that, I do my research or gather my thoughts before writing a full on editorial… But here are two examples, which I should have given second thought before writing.

    Otaku Elimination, or Anime Blog Bashing? – November 2009 – I think most bloggers won’t remember this, but the old ones would… Back in 2009, someone started a blog called the Otaku Elimination Game, which bashed blogs of people who are pretending to be Otaku when they are actually not. Basically, this post criticizing their actions was considered feeding the trolls and maybe I shouldn’t have wrote this post.

    Moe and an Argument against Genre Elitist – Much more than just Cuteness – November 2010
    While I could have done this better, I mostly ranted about people who bashed moe and defending it, but not in a serious manner. Since then, I have watched more Anime and I still have more to say about the issue. I guess a revisiting is a big possibility in the near future.

    But yes, I think research and make sure you can back up your argument before writing will go a long way before writing a post… Probably not so much when you talking about your own experiences… It saves yourself from writing something embarrassing.

    • Yumeka says:

      I’ve always hated research when I was at school (luckily my college major didn’t require many research papers =P) so I typically avoid blog topics that would require me to cite statistics or link news articles. Most of the evidence I give is either from facts I already know, things that can be confirmed simply by viewing the anime I’m talking about, or from my own experiences. Sometimes I’ll need to cite sources but I generally avoid needing to =P

      As you know, I was around for the Otaku Elimination Game thing and I remember that post of yours. And I’ve read (and written) a lot of “pro-moe” posts over the years such as the one you mentioned. I always enjoy them so I look forward to your revised one if you ever get around to it =)

  3. Aleris Celt says:

    Haha there’s so many– all those depressing rants I used to write. But at least when I look back at them i’ll not only think about how foolish I was, but how i’ve improved, no matter how slightly.

    • Yumeka says:

      Heheh, I may have been the opposite in my early blogging years in that I was actually a lot less critical and “depressing” in my reviews of anime than I am now. I still always try to point out the good and the bad in every show I watch, but back when I was a newbie fan I thought all anime was “so cool!” and hardly said anything negative XD

  4. Artemis says:

    I’m sure anyone who’s ever used the internet on a regular basis has regretted at least a couple of things they’ve written, whether it be a whole blog post or just a stray comment. It’s good that you can recognise your mistakes though – even though it might really suck at the time, making them is how people grow. Anyone who doesn’t think they’ve ever made any mistakes is either lying or just incredibly lacking in self-awareness.

    • Yumeka says:

      Whenever I write something, even on the Internet, I always try and make sure it’s something significant. This is probably why, outside of my blog, I don’t really talk much online besides the occasional comment on particular blog posts that catch my eye and the very rare post on a forum. I once read a quote that went something like “Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something,” so I try to be like the former XD Of course, despite that I’ll still say things I regret here and there, like in these posts I mentioned, but with each mistake I learn what not to do next time =)

  5. Kai says:

    Now that when I think about it, there are not a lot of post that I really regretted posting. I tend to avoid topics that I think are sensitive, I always avoid posts that I think I don’t really have a solid knowledge of. Nowadays, I keep a lot of posts in my drafts and even though some of them are finished, I’m really taking my time in posting them. Seems like the more I keep them in my drafts, the more I hesitated since I might regret posting them without further revisions.

    • Yumeka says:

      I always write my blog posts the same day I post them, or within a few days, so I don’t have any drafts that stay in the queue for long. That’s just how I’ve kept my blogging schedule all these years – I usually come up with the blog topic, write it, and submit it all on the same day. I wonder if my blogging style would differ if I wrote posts more sporadically and kept them in drafts like you do ~_^

  6. Mauricio says:

    I regret basically every post I did during my teenage years OTL, I’m glad those WordPress blogs are now deleted…

    Now I prefer to write in a more neutral tone.

    • Yumeka says:

      LOL, I was already in college by the time I started this blog, but in my teenage years I wrote a lot on my old anime fan site. Looking back on it now, my writing wasn’t too bad, but I’m a bit regretful about how “newbie fangirly” I was back then, thinking everything in every anime was so “cute” or so “cool” XD

  7. seasons says:

    I’ve written some regrettable posts over the past few years. Once I come to my senses, I usually just delete them and hope that no one else ever remembers them in the future. I think it’s admirable when bloggers realize that they’ve made mistakes but then apologize for them (or at least discuss why they made said post in the first place) instead of whitewashing their past like I’m prone to do.

    My positive reviews of Oreimo and Working! are still up, despite the fact that I’ve changed my mind on them completely in the time that’s passed since I first watched and blogged about them. I don’t regret writing those but I wish I would have taken more time to understand my feelings about each series before trying to say anything about them. The only blog posts I can remember removing from my blog after being published were all rants about people on the Internet that I didn’t like for one reason or another. These were a waste of time to write and certainly a bigger waste of time for anyone else who actually read them. I think about those a lot now and that’s stopped me from writing any more of them ever since.

    http://cutfilmtovent.wordpress.com/2010/08/18/genshiken/

    I have no idea where all this anger and negativity was coming from. Yikes.

    • Yumeka says:

      Hmm, I’ve never considered deleting a post actually. I guess I’ve never said anything in a post that I regretted that much. Also, if it’s a post where people are posting a lot of disagreeing comments, like in the first post I mentioned, I feel like deleting the post is basically saying that you know you did wrong but rather than admit why and own up to it, you’ll just act like it never happened. I also don’t think there was any anime where I completely changed my opinion about it from negative to positive or positive to negative upon another viewing. But if that ever does happen, I may indeed write a post contradicting anything I said about that anime before and explain why.

  8. Cirris says:

    From the topics you posted i seen nothing that should have not debated. Sure, your opinions charge. Or, retrospectively you think you came off poorly. But it’s not worth beating yourself up over it.

    If anything, you could redo the topics in a blog and see whats changed in people’s opinions or your own. it could be an update with a retrospective twist when you look back at responses from then and now.

    • Yumeka says:

      I don’t think I’ll actually redo these posts exactly, but I may come up with a topic that’s related to them and perhaps cite them as “what I used to think” versus “what I think now.”

  9. Kal says:

    Well, I do not see much wrong with the posts either. Could be that I’m not female, nor from the US, and I like Anime over western shows as well, so they all seem fine :P

    I’ve read quite a few of your articles, but have never found anything really wrong, or our of place in any of them. I actually like your writing style, and find it pretty… neutral, I guess. Nothing really objectionable. So I do not see anything wrong with it. Well, I also try to read from the writers point of view (if possible), and have never seen any bad intentions to slight anyone, so I do not take it that way either.

    Anyway, you should never really regret anything done in the past. You should learn from it, sure, but not regret it. All the decisions we make, and things we do, are decided, and done with the information we have at the time. So while they make look like a “bad” decision now, they were probably “good” at the time. And if you go back in time to the same spot, with the same information, you’ll probably make the exact same decision :P So there should be nothing to regret in this case, and making those past decisions have made you a better writer anyway :)

    • Yumeka says:

      Thanks, it’s flattering that you think so highly of my writing ^_^ I appreciate all the comments and feedback you’ve given me over the years. Also glad that you didn’t find anything objectionable in my posts. You’re right that we should learn from our mistakes rather than spend time wallowing in regret ;)

  10. Shadowapple says:

    I read these posts and I didn’t really find them bad, but I did question the idea of the lack of female anime fans; where I come from I am the only guy who likes anime while every other local anime fan I know of are female.
    I’ve never done a blog, but I have done a few amateur anime reviews; I gave a rather scathing review for .Hack/Sign that I regret. The amount of messages I got for that review basically calling for my blood was quite disturbing.

    • Yumeka says:

      I guess it really depends on where you are and who you know as far as how many female anime fans versus male fans there are.

      The only anime review I’ve written where a lot of people disagreed with me was when I wrote a post defending Guilty Crown…and also a post about why I didn’t “get” Mawaru Penguindrum. But still, the comments were just civilized disagreeing and debating, nothing like calling for my blood or anything XD

  11. Nopy says:

    I’ve had some posts like the ones you’ve mentioned, but there is one specific post that I will never forget. It involved hikikomori.

    What I did was lock myself in a room for a while and try to live the hiki lifestyle and at the end of it wrote a piece about how if someone was voluntarily being a hiki, they should rethink their life and get some help. I got massive waves of insults and derogatory comments defending the lifestyle. It got so bad that Google actually picked up on all the negativity and dropped my blog into the equivalent of an internet black hole. I was forced to delete that post because it was literally killing my blog. Moral of the story: don’t attack any group that’s likely to be online 24/7.

  12. Mouse says:

    Hey,

    Nice post :)
    I’ve not been posting long enough to have any regrets yet but I’m sure it will be with my earlier posts in a few years time :P

    Just a quick heads up, I came across your blog after finding some of my content from my blog being scrapped onto this site -> Seems they also scrapped this from your site http://bleach.goblogle.com/what-blog-posts-do-you-most-regret-writing/

    Regards,
    Mouse

    • Yumeka says:

      Thanks for commenting =) Your blog looks nice, keep up the good work~

      Ugh, scrappers are annoying. I had trouble with a certain scrapper site a while ago and actually reported the site to my host. It was a hassle but the site was eventually forced to remove my content it was scrapping. This is the first new scrapper I’ve seen since…I might just let it slide since it’s kinda more trouble to get them shut down than it’s worth. At least this one is linking back to my site.

      • Mouse says:

        Thanks for your kind words :)

        I agree it can be a pain and I’m glad you got it sorted last time but I’m surprised your hosting company did anything. The best place to report any issues like this to is direct to the hosting company of the person who is doing the scrapping. I work for an Internet provider/host provider so I end up dealing with these issues every now and again.

        In this case bleach.goblogle.com is hosted on HostGater who have a nice form set-up to report this kind of issue – http://www.hostgator.com/dmca.php

        I reported mine last night, within a few hours they advised that they had emailed the person and they had 48 hours or would be suspended, this morning I had an email from the scrapper (in Korean so I can thank Google translate) which was a simple apology and my content has now vanished off the site.

        Just thought Id give you an update so you can get your content removed if you like.

        Take care and keep bloging :)

        • Yumeka says:

          Ah, sorry, when I said I reported it to “my” host, I actually meant “their” host…which I believe was also HostGator. My site is currently hosted on HostGator too (though it wasn’t back when I dealt with that other scrapper). Since you had good luck with getting this scrapper to take your content down, I’ll do it too. It is annoying getting those pingbacks from all my posts they scrapped XP

          • Mouse says:

            :) No worries, makes sense.

            I’m quite impressed with Host Gater in this instance anyway :)

            Hope you get it sorted :)
            Take care
            Mouse

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