The End of Episodics

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Episodic blogging is something that I’ve stuck to for the past year or so, and while it’s mostly been a positive experience, I feel some changes are finally in order.

Being one of the original founders of Moe Alternative, I can safely say that this blog has undergone many changes since its inception a year and a half ago. Bloggers a many have come and gone more often than the average New York gigolo, and this may have had something to do with the style of blogging that I enforced up until now; episodic write-ups.

Looking back at myself when I first started blogging, I didn’t have very much experience writing about anime, so episodics gave me the opportunity to hone my skills on a regular basis. There was also the fear of the site falling off people’s radars if we were not able to pump out content on a regular basis. Along with many of our former bloggers falling victim to their own lives and leaving, I took it upon myself to help preserve the blog through weekly content.

Being blogger is suffering

Being blogger is suffering

However, recently I’ve been noticing a few problems with the chosen path of the blog – episodics tend to be very limiting, both with respect to the content and the self-fulfilment as a writer. For one, blogging about the same anime week after week introduces a certain degree of tedium. Unless the material varies widely from one episode to the next, I find that I end up repeating a lot of what I’ve said in the past by around the halfway mark. The story may have advanced, but more often than not, the themes of the work and my overall opinion will remain unchanged. After a while, what I end up pumping out week after week no longer challenges my writing abilities, as it’s far too easy to unconsciously recycle old ideas.

I’ve also been considering things from our reader’s point of view. Oddly enough, all it took was a simple question to help myself realize that a few changes were in order:

“What makes browsing Moe Alternative worth someone’s time?”

After that, the answer immediately became obvious to me. It wasn’t that I necessarily had to pump out regular content every week to maintain interest, since there may have not even been much of an interest to begin with. This stands to reason, as with episodics, it directly limits one’s audience to people who are watching said show and have just recently finished an episode. Even in the best case scenario of being punctual and getting these posts out on time, the regular readers may begin to lose interest once the content becomes stale.

What? I've been doing it wrong?

What? I’ve been doing it wrong?

While episodics may have been the easy solution to keeping the blog alive, now that I’ve managed to secure a consistent reader base and some long-term writers, it’s finally time to move on. Perhaps I haven’t been challenging myself enough as a writer by devising insightful articles that would allow for a broader, continuous appeal. Glancing through some of the other anime blogs with large followings, many of them don’t even bother with episodics, and instead pump out editorials every so often.  Although every blog will have its own success story, the take-home message seems to be quality over quantity.

This leaves us at the current juncture, the summer anime season of 2013. With a handful of terrible wonderful new shows airing, the community’s interest is at its peak, and this would be the best opportunity, if any, to try my hand at a new approach. To clarify, what I’m proposing is that I will no longer be doing episodic write-ups on a weekly basis. Instead, I may just draft some of my thoughts about a show after a few weeks or some editorials about stuff I’ve watched in the past. This will give me greater flexibility as a writer, which should hopefully renew interest and bring in some new readers.

Free from episodics

Free from episodics

With that said, the road ahead will certainly be a bumpy one; without weekly episodics, I do run the risk of becoming lazy with my postings. I’m hoping that won’t be the case, as blogging weekly for a year and a half should be a testament to my motivation to write. Best case scenario, it works. Worst case is that it doesn’t. Regardless, a chick will die if it cannot break the shell of its egg. It is finally time to break that shell.

I’m hoping that this post will help motivate other bloggers who are either just getting started or are finding their interest wavering, possibly due to episodic blogging. If you have any personal stories or advice that you would like to share, I would be happy to hear them in the comments.

Subtly Preaching Utena Philosophy

Subtly Preaching Utena Philosophy

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6 responses to “The End of Episodics

  1. Hah, thats funny. I was in the middle of revising my blog (both design-wise and content) when I saw this post. Indeed, episodics can feel like a routine task after a while, and it can force you to spend time on something you just don’t feel like you want to any longer. Not only do the strengths and flaws one points out in episodes eventually feel redundant over time, but there’s just not much to contribute save for digging into particular scene analyses. They have their uses, such as establishing easy readers and regularizing a weekly blogging schedule, but sometimes it can make a blogger too satisfied and not aim to branch out in writing material.

    Editorial-type posts are a great idea particularly for their wide range of creative applications, and I’m looking forward to what you end up contributing over this loveable new season.

    • Don Don Kun

      Funny thing, I was reading your Shingeki analysis (which took a while due to how LONG it was), and after I posted my comment, BAM!, your blog’s design changed.

      Anyway, I do at times feel I have to force myself to trudge through writing some of these episodics, especially when watching the material feels like a form of human torture (Aku no Hana). It’s almost easier to just do an editorial on specific scenes as opposed to episodics, as focusing in on one aspect will result in a more comprehensive analysis.

      I’m hoping that with this season, not clinging to episodics will propel me to devise some interesting topics that capture more people’s attention. Hopefully I won’t fall victim to laziness, which is the bane of most bloggers. :3

  2. >non-episodic
    >some editorials about a show I’ve watched in the past.

    inb4 Precure flood.

    Jokes aside, good luck as always and I do hope we harmonize on the shows we watch again one day so that I’ll read this blog more. I mean, there’s a certain scientific show that myself and your co-blogger, McNagah love right? :3

    • Don Don Kun

      Haha, as much as I love Precure, there’s not a whole lot to say ab- actually, that’s not a bad idea…

      Episodic blogging tended to limit me to only writing about 1-2 shows per season, so that’s a clear indication of how it alienated readers. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to harmonize about a couple shows in the future now that I have more Freedom.

      Finally, McNagah knows what he has to do if he wants me to watch Railgun. :3

  3. So, Alternative is basically turning into Experimental Gonzo Art? I feel like I’ve been someone’s inspiration! Not that I’m trying to plug in o-or anything. :3

    All jokes aside, I’m glad to see you changing some things. Hopefully things will run smoother than usual.

    • Don Don Kun

      Uh, yeah, nice attempt at trying to take credit there, buddy. >:3

      Jokes aside, thanks for the kind words and hopefully blogging goes smoothly on both of our ends. Looking forward to what you end up writing this season.