Like a more general anime blog, the sort that would hew closer to the stereotype, I have been keeping track of K-On as the episodes appear. Judging by the flow of messages on Twitter, this is Not A Good Thing. Mind you, it's not as though this anime blog is so well-known as to attract Twittered attention, but the messages are posted as a general rage against the blogosphere, and as such I am caught in the splash damage of the AoE.
The primary complaint appears to be a lack of diversity in reading material. I can sort of relate: if the entirety of the Animeblogger Antenna was taken up by reviews of Gundam models, I would give up for the day and go play City of Heroes or something. Therefore, a blog feed consisting of endless K-On posts would not hold much appeal for anyone who is not interested.
However, the title of this blog would indicate that K-On is likely to be a major part of my bloggable thoughts. I don't have to blog about it, in the same way that I didn't blog about Hidamari Sketch despite my great liking of it, but it should not be a surprise that I might post something K-On-esque on a regular basis.
And if I am not to blog about K-On… why? What is preventing me from doing so? Why shouldn't I blog about what I want to? Do I have some responsibility towards my readers, whoever they are, to post mainly stuff they would want to read about?
These are not rhetorical questions. I do think it's a fascinating topic. I've asked these questions before, to myself and to others, and the only thing remotely resembling an answer I've received is "it depends".
One aspect of this answer is that I am free to post what I want, and everyone else is free to not read it, based on the title and excerpt in their feed reader. A related question then arises: how important are readers to me? Do I care if I lose my entire audience?
Personally speaking, I do not really need a zillion hits on my stats or whatever, but I'd like at least some (preferably more) people willing to comment when I'm being too weird. It serves the purpose of a sanity check, to bring me back in line with The Common People: when I created a story arc in the City of Heroes Mission Architect, for example, I needed people to tell me that the dialogue was way overdone (I still think it's too emo, but then I'm in the middle of rewriting it) and the custom critters were too difficult. So I need some readers, but I do not need many readers.
A great many real life examples illustrate very clearly the dangers of being complacent with regards to keeping one's audience, no matter how modest the critical mass is. So in this sense, I do have some responsibility to post about stuff that readers want to read.
What do readers want to read? From the stats counter, this blog may as well be renamed "Nanoha GamerS", but I've overused that joke, so I'll speculate that people who come across my blog are likely to expect, well, moe. Reading further, they may alter their expectations to include a general mellow attitude towards bishoujo anime in general, a clear lack of interest in Manly Shows, and passive-aggressive sniping at impoliteness by other bloggers and blog commenters. If I start deriding the latest bishoujo harem comedy anime for no reason other than its genre, then readers will probably check to see if it's April 1st. Audiences tend to want something different, but not too different.
And they probably do not expect anything more than amateurish off-the-cuff remarks. I can go "the blogger may be considered an opinion leader within the framework of Katz and Lazarsfeld's multi-step flow theory via their simulated identity rather than their real-world identity (Booth 2008), defined in some part by their online social relations as noted by Dalsgaard (2008)" but then that seems like far too much effort to read, much less write or research, especially for a blog about cute anime girls and the ogling thereof. (See: Rembrandt comic book.)
That, I would think, is the extent of my responsibility to my readers: to present myself (or to be more precise my blog) as a viable option, but not necessarily an alternative, for them to spend a few minutes every week reading, and obtaining some measure of enjoyment from that activity, but still remain true to what I want to write about. In other words, you may not like what I'm talking about, but how I say it should be at least somewhat entertaining.
It's like a standard bishoujo moe harem comedy anime: there may be plenty more of its type out there, but I try not to let it impact my enjoyment of this anime, at this time. Lamentations over the state of the industry comes later (or, in my case, not at all; I'm perfectly happy with the endless stream of bishoujo anime being churned out); now, we watch.
And readers should keep in mind that this is a hobby, and if I am no longer enjoying it or do not have the prospect of a pleasant reaction in the near future, then it is my responsibility to myself to stop, until the happy bits return. This is a major part of why I've not written a Card Captor Sakura episode summary for a while: I still love the series, but I'd like to keep loving the series and naming it as my number one anime of all time. If I force myself to write an episode summary, I'll soon associate the Bad Feelings with the show, and my love of the show will be tainted. I am rationing my viewing to prevent burnout on that one specific anime.
Meanwhile, I continue to make Nanoha GamerS comics because I don't care if I get sick of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, or the Nanoha franchise in general. It holds no special place in my pantheon of Favourite Shows, except that it's quite easy to make fun of in a non-malicious manner, what with taking itself Very Seriously.
So it goes.