Mainichi Anime Yume turned 8 years old a little over a month ago, and as usual, I forgot all about it until this week. But better late than never! (especially since I failed to make an anniversary post last year) Although my blogging has seen some changes this year, I still intend to keep it up for as long as I can, despite the fact that blogging itself may be fading away…
My blogging got a bit disjointed in the middle of the year due to changes in my life, but I’m glad that I was able to keep it up most of the year. This more flexible schedule I laid out for myself since then (posting every 10-14 days) has been working well for me, so I intend to keep it going. But besides being a belated 8-year anniversary post, I also want to discuss a related topic about blogging in general. Myself and many other anime bloggers have noticed that blogging just doesn’t seem to be as popular a hobby, or supplement to a hobby, as it used to be. I’ve seen evidence of this personally as I’ve noticed the gradual decrease of activity on the once major blog aggregators like Anime Nano and AnimeBlogger.net. Everyday I used to check Anime Nano and it would be filled with new posts, with new blogs being indexed pretty regularly. But now, each day I check there’s barely 1 or 2 new pages of posts, usually by the same handful of blogs, with a new blog popping up very rarely. Many prevalent anime blogs from the mid-2000s have disappeared, with few new ones lasting long enough to take their place. The bloggers themselves are sometimes still part of the community, but only on places like Twitter where posting is much quicker and easier.
During the past year there’s been buzz around the blogsphere that blogging has sort of become a dying art in recent years. The main reason is because social media has become increasingly geared towards quick and easy content that doesn’t take more than a few seconds to a few minutes to get through: Twitter is only 140 characters per post, Instagram is only for images and videos less than 15 seconds long, Vine videos can only be 6 seconds long, the majority of Facebook posts are either a few sentences, a few images, or videos no longer than a couple of minutes, and while podcasts and vlogs may be long, they only require listening on the viewers’ part, so people can do other things while listening to them. Everything is all about speed and passively-obtainable, instant gratification, which is more easily gotten through images, videos, and short posts, as opposed to a blog article of several paragraphs which requires not only more than a few minutes to read, but more pro-activity on the part of the viewer who has to, well, actually use their brain to read and comprehend extensively written content. Even very popular blogs nowadays, like BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Cracked, and Kotaku, have very easily accessible designs with a lot of pictures, big headlines to skim through, and posts that can usually be absorbed by just glancing at its pictures and a few sentences, with content that isn’t too deep and heavy for the mind to digest before moving onto the next thing. Combine that with the “instant gratification” overflow of text messaging replacing things like email and written letters, and we’re looking at a generation that would find reading a piece of non-fiction for more than 10 minutes without pictures and videos to help them along, to be “too long.”
But while it may be true that blogging isn’t as popular as it was when I started 8 years ago, I still don’t see extensive prose writing completely disappearing from the social corners of the Internet anytime soon. I’m inclined to agree with MangaTherapy that, as long as reading is still a popular pastime for people, text-filled blog articles will always have a place. I believe that if people are really into something, they’ll want to read all about other people’s thoughts on that something and won’t be satisfied with just pictures and videos. Anime blogging in particular also has an edge because it’s a niche hobby that the aforementioned big-daddy blogs like BuzzFeed and Huffington Post don’t cover in any kind of detail. So the only place you can find things like a detailed review of Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun or an analysis of seinen manga tropes, is on the humble blogs of fellow fans who are knowledgeable and passionate about what they’re writing. Not everyone has the proper equipment to make their own YouTube videos or podcasts for their blogging, so typing it out in text form is still the easiest way.
Blogging as a hobby isn’t easy to keep up in today’s busy world. Taking 30 seconds to post a tweet on Twitter or upload a picture to Tumblr takes way less time and energy than typing out several organized paragraphs about a complex topic. So I don’t blame the many anime bloggers I’ve seen drop out of the ‘sphere over the years, not because they’re not into anime anymore (though that often is a factor), but because they just don’t have the time. So in an era where the written word is becoming increasingly compromised and glossed over, I’m glad that I still do have the time and motivation to write passionately about my hobbies. I can’t predict the future, so I can’t say how long I’ll be able to keep it up, but I’m sure I will as long as I’m able. I love writing and I have hobbies I love, so I can’t see myself ever getting tired of writing about them ;)