Doraemon scolds Makoto.

Seeing as I was easily disposed of in the first round of the Anime Blog Tournament, I accepted it as all being right and good with the natural order of things, and moved on.

However, I was reminded of this again with all the blogger commentary about the loss of Random Curiosity (note that it's often referred to as "Random Curiosity's Loss", rather than "Listless Ink's Win"), which apparently came with a lot of baggage that I had honestly not been aware of. It is like walking along a pristine garden path, noticing an interesting stone, lifting it up, and seeing things wriggling underneath.

It is not a good advertisement for anyone.

As someone who is mostly on the outside of all of this (I don't have time to hang out in #animeblogger like I used to), I explored the commentary with a sort of morbid fascination. A lot of the back-and-forth is apparently on a new cycle; the initial volleys had been fired long before, and the only evidence of their existence are their echoes, and the inference that something must have happened to keep these people tilting at each other like this.

Remember Koom Valley.

From what I can tell, the contest organizers… didn't like Random Curiosity? Liked Random Curiosity? Didn't like RC, but voted for RC? Didn't like RC, voted for RC, and then somehow fixed the match such that RC lost? I don't know anymore; denials and recriminations fly hard and fast, and I feel a little sorry for Listless Ink that their blog was caught up in all of this through no fault of their own.

I've never quite grasped the concept of the Anime Blog Tournament anyway, mainly because the organizers had better things to do (like, say, actually running the tournament) than answer my insipid questions. On the one hand, we're assured that no action on our parts need to be taken, which implies that the ABT organizers would deal with the advertising of their own tournament themselves, on top of the inevitable drama that accompanies a competition format.

And drama will exist, because this is the Internet, where everything posted becomes a sort of performance art. Quite often, the commentary on a given subject makes it obvious that the commenter is simply not interested in a meaningful discussion, from the way it is phrased. The comment is no longer a contribution to the discussion, but has turned into stand-up comedy. Hecklers do not wish to engage in a formal debate, I think.

Early on, I asked what would happen to the losers of each bracket, once the voting is over and the post falls off the main page. I still have not obtained a definite answer, but one thing which got tossed about was "you'll get more hits on your blog due to exposure". Let's see how this worked out:

Before the Anime Blog Tournament: About 500 to 700 hits daily, with spikes peaking over 1000 hits when someone links GamerS on a forum or something.

During the Anime Blog Tournament: About 600 to 700 hits daily. GamerS did not pick up any new viewers during this time.

After the Anime Blog Tournament: About 500 to 700 hits daily, with spikes peaking over 1000 hits when someone links GamerS on a forum or something.

How many of these are spambots will be an exercise left for the reader, because I haven't a clue how to find out.

An anecdote does not make a statistic, but lacking other sources, it is the only thing I can present. My blog was respectably unknown, remained respectably unknown during my time in the tournament, and will apparently remain respectably unknown until the end of time, or until the servers die, whichever comes first.

Presumably my life as an anime blogger will have the same general arc in the eyes of the general public: blog started, screencap comic irregularly updated, blog ended. So it goes.

While I'd appreciate a larger readership, what I really want is a larger commenter base. This tends to come with the larger readership anyway, in the sense that the more people there are watching a train wreck, the more likely there will be someone in there willing to wade in and help. And yet, this doesn't really answer for the other people just watching.

It is like performing your finest acts, displaying your masterpieces of creation, in front of a silent, faceless crowd. You cannot tell whether they are unmoving, or unmoved.

7 Responses to “A Random Result”
  1. Clicked on the curious title at Nano says:

    A thoughtful post. It's unfortunate that the tourney seems to be more hype than results for blogs like yours. For what it's worth, I'll probably be back.

  2. Chris says:

    I'm writing a comment! That means I'm a commenter, right?

    On a less flippant note… "insipid"? You're not one of those annoying people who just toss words like "decimate" into their sentences because they look cool, are you? I was particularly surprised because you seem very articulate to me.

    Ehh… semantics. Anyway, I think one reason why you have so few commenters is that your posts are too well-thought out with little room for childish sniping, but also little room for disagreement, and there's only so many people who are prepared to type out words to the effect of "Amen, brother". The price for pre-emptively killing Drama (internet drama I think deserves to be a proper noun) is a lack of comments. That's not to say you should stop doing what you're doing, since at least 500 people (be optimistic!) seem to be happy.

    Of course, this comes fresh from the peanut gallery. If someone who actually has experience managing a blog chimes in, it's probably best to just ignore me.

  3. DKellis says:

    Insipid, as in without much interest or significance. The organizers don't have to answer me, especially since I got knocked out in the first round, and so I'm not really any sort of Major Voice in the Community. They are under no obligations to answer my queries, and even if they did, I can't affect anything anyway.

    I don't use "decimate" all that much despite wanting to, mainly because it's hard to determine if it's really one in ten.

    While I appreciate the kind words, I have to admit that I'm pretty easy to provoke (for example, impugning or misrepresenting my motives). That few people so far have done so is probably a sign that I'm not worth stirring up, since this is only a tiny corner of the animeblogger community.

  4. anon says:

    Well, if theres more GamerS…

  5. Chris says:

    This comment lark is great fun! Let's do some more!

    While the use of insipid may be technically correct, it is a very weird way of using it.

    Ehh… semantics. Anyway, from what I've seen, even if you are easy to provoke, you don't fly into a rage and embarrass yourself. That 'dignity', if you like, is what separates you from the ranks of those individuals who have featured articles on Encyclopaedia Dramatica.

    P.S. Thank God you know what decimate means. Seeing it used wrongly is a pet peeve of mine.

  6. Wonderduck says:

    Oddly, I had a very similar moment regarding commentators on my blog recently.