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 AB.net 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.