What do you like to read and why? (reviews, commentaries, editorials)
I love editorials and commentaries; they are thought provoking, they might enlighten me on a subject I don ‘t know much about, and they provide different perspectives that are always needed to make your anime/manga experience more holistic. That doesn’t mean I don’t check out review blogs; it’s just that usually checking 2-3 for a single episode or series is enough for me to get what I want, i.e. spoilers/ opinions/ an idea of what the anime is about and if I should watch it.
What do you do when you stumble across a new blog?
The first thing to check out would be to scroll down the first page and see if I can find posts with anime/manga/ topics I’m interested in, and read some. If the first page results are full with anime/manga I don’t know or don’t follow or aren’t of the genre I’m interested in, I’ll go to Categories/ Menu to try digging up things I like. Then, perhaps I’ll search for the first posts from the archive to see how long does a blogger blog, what was his first post about, and if he’s improved a lot on his/her way (or is a natural talent). After all this search, I usually decide to go check the About page to learn more about the blogger him/herself. Granted I end up visiting the blog often, I get interested in the blogroll, too. I might excavate other good blogs, as well.
First page posts -> Categories/Menu -> Archive -> About page (-> Blogroll)
What must a good animanga blog have and do?
Animanga blogs are about visual culture, right? So I expect that a great animanga blog to have a template that involves colors and posts that inlude pictures. Yes, people do judge a book by its cover, the template is the first impression, it’s the environment where you read the content and if your visitors find it unpleasant, dull or tiring, then it’s simple: they won’t stay to discover your content. If your posts are over 2 paragraphs long and you expose them in their full form on the first page, I feel like you force me to read and rub the content on my face- not very polite. Also, you write for an internet audience. If I wanted to read a book, I’d go pick up one, so walls of texts without images explaining or decorating your thoughts are totally the wrong way to go; I won’t read you unless I know the content concerns me a lot.
While talking about text and content, it’s important to ask the question of how long is too long, hence what is considered tl;dr. That’s a bit subjective, but I’d say that over 1 page (around 3-4 medium paragraphs) in Microsoft Word in 11-12 points in the most oftenly used fonts starts getting long. But that doesn’t make it automatically tl;dr. There are a few tricks to get around it. I already mentioned the insertion of pictures: every 3-4 paragraphs there should be a picture. Otherwise, even though I don’t have problem reading extended texts, if you don’t have enough ‘breathers’, I’ll start asking how much do I have to finish reading the damn thing. Another trick is to have a medium instead of a small-sized column or smaller font (but be careful not to be too small). Oh and repetitions aren’t needed. You give the impression you want to just fill space or that you think lowly of your readers. A good blog knows how to handle such issues.
What else? Functionality is key concept. The reader must be able to navigate through the content easily. Thus separate sections/tabs on the menu for categories/tags, archive, subscription options, contact options and of course info about the blogger(s) should exist and be visible.
What blogging behaviors annoy you?
Some bloggers really forget that they write for an audience or that an audience reads them. This is analyzed in three main complaints:
1. One or two comments may be left unaswered once in awhile, because perhaps you don’t have something to add or you are very busy, but if you keep not answering my comments, don’t expect me to comment again. You are giving me the message that my opinion doesn’t matter at all; in which case just close your comment section or write for a newspaper or magazine.
2. Learning new vocabulary can be fascinating; but when the rate of new words to the size of the text goes up beyond a point where difficulties grasping the general idea of the text arise… there’s a problem. Do you want people to understand you or are you showing off? Do you intend to make your readers feel incompetent and lead them to a love-hate relationship with you?
3. Don’t assume that the readers know your nickname. State it clearly in the about section. Don’t force them to go searching around comments to guess it.
Lastly, there’s a tiny little thing that makes me feel akward when I encounter it, though it isn’t really important: horizontal pictures on the side of texts. I can’t explain it well, but in contrast to a vertical side picture, it corners the text and doesn’t let it breathe.