Editorial Day: Perfectionist MePosted: December 28, 2011 | |
Last week, I happened to stop lusting after TF2 hats long enough to read Scamp’s post on real people. First of all, I didn’t know he got a girlfriend. I didn’t know when mef and Owen got together, either. I didn’t know that canon and I got together, either. But more importantly, it got me thinking…
Why do we blog?
I want to find other people interested in anime!
I’d say no. If you really wanted a community of anime fans, you’d join a forum, IRC, twitter, google group, etc. Of course, most bloggers are involved in at least one of those. Blogs are lonely islands, not much of a community to talk to. Forums, on the other hand, are centered around discussion and socializing. You can get off ideas much more quickly in a thread or in a tweet than in a long series of blog posts.
Actually, I changed my mind. I want to share my ideas about anime!
Well, that’s only partially valid.
If all you wanted to do was to share an idea, you wouldn’t be posting it on a blog… especially not one with a small readership. Sharing implies socializing, and building up a blog to a community large and stable enough for your ideas to be heard takes much more work and time than most of us peasant-tier people would be willing to spend.
Forums provide a pre-built community and audience willing to hear your ideas and reply to them. Twitter takes some work (pushing the “follow” button and typing @_____ before a tweet), but it’s not hard either. Blogging is a step-by-step, “you comment on my blog, I comment on yours” process. Readers have to be lured in one by one. There has to be some other reason why we all decided to blog.
Then what is the reason, smartybriefs?
When it comes down to it, blogs are a way of cementing our ideas into the web. It’s sad to see a blogger leave the sphere, and even sadder when his old website goes down. Those ideas were created to stay for years on end.
Blogs give a sense of permanence that forums and other social media just can’t compete with. Just try and find some of my tweets from 2010. Twitter is designed so that new ideas are always at the top, so whatever good ideas that do come out on Twitter get buried under hundreds of tweets about the weather and links to youtube videos. Forums are a few times better, but your thoughts and other peoples’ thoughts all get mixed together so you’d still have to sift through pages of threads to find your personal ideas.
So in the end, the answer is: “To get my ideas down.”
Of course, this is my conclusion. It’s what I came to after taking my 10th grade English teacher’s advice and kept asking “why?” For bloggers with lofty goals (publishing, making money), their reason is going to be radically different. But for those of us in the niche anime blogosphere, I think this covers it.
You’re awfully Socrates today. What’s the matter? And why does this matter?
I’d prefer to say I’m exceptionally Aristotle. I could extend the reason above to better explain why I do what I do.
Getting my ideas down onto a website simply isn’t good enough for me. I need something to be proud of. For me, a blog needs to show the best of a person, whether is be in terms of their writing or of their personality. So when I see a messy blog like Chocolate Syrupy Waffles or people trying too hard to be who they aren’t, it annoys me. It’s not professional. I know you can do better. It betrays the very essence of what I believe a blog is about.
More things that annoy me:
- Blog update posts. What a waste of a perfectly good post. Why point out something like a banner change when I can see it?
- A series of posts that doesn’t end, or a category or tag that has just one post under it.
- Speaking of tags, if you want to make random comments in your tags, don’t make a tag cloud or expect people to search posts via tags. This goes into my whole spiel about categories and tags that you may have heard before.
- Link exchange. The blogroll should be like the blog. A blog should contain the most well-nurtured, polished posts you can write. Similarly, a blogroll should contain your favorite blogs. It should not be a list of all the schmucks who care enough to post something on your link exchange page.
But wait, your blog isn’t perfect!
Yeah, it isn’t. Finally, we get to Perfectionist Me.
Put vinegar and baking soda together, and you have a shitty 5th grade science fair poster. This blog is the potato smack-dab in the middle of that poster. It’s a result of my ideas clashing with my personality. I am both a perfectionist and a drifter. I want to get things exact, down to the very last Angstrom. But nothing holds my attention for long, so my blog ends up a combination of both shit and shinola.
But maybe that’s okay. In the past, I would’ve considered switching blogs. Now, I miss those posts that I’ve lost forever. I remember spending quite some time writing posts like “Short Shorts” and trying real hard to make my posts about Railgun sound as fanboy as possible. This strange little book at the crossroads of Nichijou and Hat Fortress represents who I am today.
Back in the day, they called me Platocrates, philosopher king of physics.