Editorial Day: Perfectionist Me

Last week, I happened to stop lusting after TF2 hats long enough to read Scamp’s post on real people.  First of all, I didn’t know he got a girlfriend.  I didn’t know when mef and Owen got together, either.  I didn’t know that canon and I got together, either.  But more importantly, it got me thinking…

Why do we blog?

I want to find other people interested in anime!

I’d say no.  If you really wanted a community of anime fans, you’d join a forum, IRC, twitter, google group, etc.  Of course, most bloggers are involved in at least one of those.  Blogs are lonely islands, not much of a community to talk to.  Forums, on the other hand, are centered around discussion and socializing.  You can get off ideas much more quickly in a thread or in a tweet than in a long series of blog posts.

Actually, I changed my mind.  I want to share my ideas about anime!

Well, that’s only partially valid.

If all you wanted to do was to share an idea, you wouldn’t be posting it on a blog… especially not one with a small readership.  Sharing implies socializing, and building up a blog to a community large and stable enough for your ideas to be heard takes much more work and time than most of us peasant-tier people would be willing to spend.

Forums provide a pre-built community and audience willing to hear your ideas and reply to them.  Twitter takes some work (pushing the “follow” button and typing @_____ before a tweet), but it’s not hard either.  Blogging is a step-by-step, “you comment on my blog, I comment on yours” process.  Readers have to be lured in one by one.  There has to be some other reason why we all decided to blog.

Then what is the reason, smartybriefs?

When it comes down to it, blogs are a way of cementing our ideas into the web.  It’s sad to see a blogger leave the sphere, and even sadder when his old website goes down.  Those ideas were created to stay for years on end.

Blogs give a sense of permanence that forums and other social media just can’t compete with.  Just try and find some of my tweets from 2010.  Twitter is designed so that new ideas are always at the top, so whatever good ideas that do come out on Twitter get buried under hundreds of tweets about the weather and links to youtube videos.  Forums are a few times better, but your thoughts and other peoples’ thoughts all get mixed together so you’d still have to sift through pages of threads to find your personal ideas.

So in the end, the answer is: “To get my ideas down.”

Of course, this is my conclusion.  It’s what I came to after taking my 10th grade English teacher’s advice and kept asking “why?”  For bloggers with lofty goals (publishing, making money), their reason is going to be radically different.  But for those of us in the niche anime blogosphere, I think this covers it.

You’re awfully Socrates today.  What’s the matter?  And why does this matter?

I’d prefer to say I’m exceptionally Aristotle.  I could extend the reason above to better explain why I do what I do.

Getting my ideas down onto a website simply isn’t good enough for me.  I need something to be proud of.  For me, a blog needs to show the best of a person, whether is be in terms of their writing or of their personality.  So when I see a messy blog like Chocolate Syrupy Waffles or people trying too hard to be who they aren’t, it annoys me.  It’s not professional.  I know you can do better.  It betrays the very essence of what I believe a blog is about.

More things that annoy me:

  • Blog update posts.  What a waste of a perfectly good post.  Why point out something like a banner change when I can see it?
  • A series of posts that doesn’t end, or a category or tag that has just one post under it.
  • Speaking of tags, if you want to make random comments in your tags, don’t make a tag cloud or expect people to search posts via tags.  This goes into my whole spiel about categories and tags that you may have heard before.
  • Link exchange.  The blogroll should be like the blog.  A blog should contain the most well-nurtured, polished posts you can write.  Similarly, a blogroll should contain your favorite blogs.  It should not be a list of all the schmucks who care enough to post something on your link exchange page.

People call me a troll all the time.  Maybe I am.  But not always.  I put my principles before all else, and I go out of my way to emphasize what I think.  And people say I troll.

But wait, your blog isn’t perfect!

Yeah, it isn’t.  Finally, we get to Perfectionist Me.

Put vinegar and baking soda together, and you have a shitty 5th grade science fair poster.  This blog is the potato smack-dab in the middle of that poster.  It’s a result of my ideas clashing with my personality.  I am both a perfectionist and a drifter.  I want to get things exact, down to the very last Angstrom.  But nothing holds my attention for long, so my blog ends up a combination of both shit and shinola.

But maybe that’s okay.  In the past, I would’ve considered switching blogs.  Now, I miss those posts that I’ve lost forever.  I remember spending quite some time writing posts like “Short Shorts” and trying real hard to make my posts about Railgun sound as fanboy as possible.  This strange little book at the crossroads of Nichijou and Hat Fortress represents who I am today.

Back in the day, they called me Platocrates, philosopher king of physics.

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21 Comments on “Editorial Day: Perfectionist Me”

  1. kiddtic says:

    Awesome article dude, what you said pretty much.

  2. […] for those not in the know, flomu has declared today, the 28th of December, to be a day for us lowly episodic/what-have-you bloggers […]

  3. krizzlybear says:

    I blog because I just love writing. It can be utter shit, which it usually is 99% of the time, but having something archived on the internet like you said is very convenient. I certainly do have a lofty goal of publication, but blogging gets in the way of doing so. Many times I’ve found myself thinking I should be working on a manuscript instead. In a way, blogging is a writer’s way of procrastinating from actually writing, not that I have anything against that or anything.

    • flomu says:

      Personally, I hate writing. Writing implies that I have to check over whatever I’ve written to make sure other people understand it. But why should they understand it? I’m the one writing it, not them!

      This is why I’m majoring in a STEM field.

      P.S.: It is my belief that 50% of what you learn in school comes from procrastination on Wikipedia. The other 50% comes from WoW (49%, real life experiences, value of *pfft* teamwork) and the SAT (1%, test taking and performing under pressure).

      I often tell myself that I’m wasting time blogging/commenting/TWITTER, THE BANE OF MY EXISTENCE and that I should be doing something else. But as you said, it’s not all bad. As long as you feel proud/happy at the end of the day, it’s fine.

      But then once you fail your math test because you didn’t study because you were blogging…

  4. TRazor says:

    Yeah, we blog for the same reason we scribble our name on our class desks – to leave our mark. That’s where it begins. Soon, you get an audience (or so I hear) and your new goal in blogging becomes to entertain them. Most of the fun in blogging was “just writing down my thoughts” in the initial stage, but as it goes on, a large part of your enjoyment depends on the response you get from the community. Blogging satisfies our ego.

    That’s how it is for me anyway. And I’m just honest about it.

    • flomu says:

      In my high school physics class, I sat in the front and etched a maze into the table. The guy sitting next to me drew penises. I’m sure he was gay for me.

      Yeah, that audience doesn’t come easily. You have to whore yourself out on Twitter or pressure the SCCSAV guys into reading your posts. Ego is good. Ego means you are proud of what you have written, and the community response simply helps you confirm your pride. But watch out – the audience won’t always like what you post (unless you’re a 2DT or a Kabitzin, both of whom never change their blogging style).

      In my case, I am my toughest critic. There are dozens of unpublished posts on this blog, all because I deemed them too bad for publication. I’ve got my own millimeter wave scanner and pat-down team filter for my terrorist posts all bundled up in my blog.

  5. TRazor says:

    Oh and uhh, just for the perfectionist in you, this editorial missed the 1000 word mark by 14 words.

  6. Mushyrulez says:

    Hi I write good posts on my good blog that has good design

    right

    :>

    (for some people, blogging is just about getting things out. It’s not a portfolio. It’s a large twitter. then again, certain people who think like that get no views but OH WELL)

    P.S. well off the coast of finlands

  7. reiseng says:

    That was a great post. The only problem is that I seem to have some bad “comment” tags lying around. Hmm, I guess I should fix that habit of mine, but you can blame Master Scamp for teaching me to do that.

    As for why I write blog posts when so few people actually bother to read them?
    Well, you said it first: “To keep a record”.

    There is a reason why I have begun to mention characters Full Names at least once per post (Just started doing this), why I always talk about my history with some particular anime or manga.

    Or, why I try to write down my thought process without actually organising it well.

    It’s all because I want to be able to come back years from now, look at my posts, drink my tea (made from fresh otaku blood of course) and say: “Oh heavens, why, I now see that my lacklustre performance was nothing more than a product of my own witless writing”. I write so, I can nostalgia over my own posts and stuff that happened a long time ago.

    • reiseng says:

      Oh, and I somewhat wish I was a perfectionist like you. I correct any mistakes I find, and try to avoid bad posts, but my standards are pretty low compared to yours!

    • flomu says:

      Scamp is a really terrible. Don’t learn from him, he hates Nichijou. Besides, I’m all for strange tags as long as you don’t expect people to actually use them. Scamp’s tags are sometimes funny.

      Keeping a record is like keeping a… record. It’s embarrassing sometimes but ultimately this mindset will force you to churn out something you can be proud of. Or witless writing. But at least it’s there!

      Perfectionism sucks. If you were me, you’d be tearing your hair out and raging at the stupid Guilty Crown picture every time you see your blog. Being lazy bum is suffering…

  8. Yi says:

    There are some truly keen insights here, seriously, on the reasons many of us blog. I think when I started, it really is so that I could keep a record, and be proud of things I churn out. As my readership grew, blogging became much more of a thing to feed my ego, which isn’t really a bad thing at all. Recently, I’ve kind of pulled back a lot more from blogging again, and I think I’m back to writing for the sake of a consistent recording of ideas and projects. I’ve been in the anime blogging thing for a while I guess…

    Also, I love that thing you said about blogs: if someone’s going to start one, she should really put her best effort into it. It’s why I tend to dislike messy or half-hearted blogs, but then again, who really likes them?

    • flomu says:

      That feeling when you just start blogging is amazing. It feels like you have the power to do anything, and that you are so lucky to have a small corner of the internet to call yours. And it’s that enthusiasm I want to see from everybody. Polish a post until it’s blindingly bright, publish it, and feel great about it.

      When you start to let things like stats get in the way, you’ve got a problem. It’s way easier to get hits by posting tons of trashy sensationalized posts (a la Sankaku) than it is by writing a diary. But it’s that diary that people want to see. Bloggers should lay their hearts out and write what they damn well please!

      But then again, what others damn well please isn’t what I damn well want. So thus CONFLICT and DRAMA appear! Poo! Bah!

      Thanks for the comment. This reply is pretty much 90% irrelevant but whatever

      • Yi says:

        Yes, that feeling of all these wonderful hopes and drive to create… I still strive for it these days as much as I can. Still, I wouldn’t say caring about stats is a problem. It’s merely a different mindset to approach blogging.

  9. pororoca says:

    I see you still haven’t gotten over that penis shown in a post with the “Not Safe for Work” headline. Well really it was “NOT SAFE FOR ANYONE” because I wanted to vent out my anger on a rapist by pointing a penis towards his direction, but then again, I’m pretty damn confused as to why you weren’t offended by everything else in Bondage Game cause I sure as shit was offended enough to point a penis at the antagonist. You’ll be glad to know that I have stopped posting penises on hentai posts, so you can take a breather now if you wish, unless suffocating on the fumes of your own hatred for anything different.

    You see, I don’t always do reviews of filthy hentai (and even with that I usually use much more wholesome censors to block out the naughty bits, so I apologize on behalf of the penis I did in only one post). I like doing episodics on current anime and some fun little Top 10 lists for holidays because the thing is I love writing and I love anime. I blog essentially because it gives me an outlet where I am able to experiment and tinker with new ideas, all the while trying to spice it up with humor and insight (again, this has nothing to do with the Bondage Game posts because I venomously hated that series and posted what vitriol I was thinking of at the time). Honestly, you brag about being a professional and bagging on other sites for not fitting your standards of professionalism on not-for-profit anime blogs and yet there’s little to no aim within your posts aside from hatred of blogs that weird you out and a hardcore obsession with whatever show tickles your fancy at the time. Had Bandai Entertainment not gone under recently, I’d be compelled to say you were hired to endorse Nichijou in every post your do.

    Well keep at it with the constant name changes and furious masturbation over Nichijou, Misaka, and your own ego, because maybe some day, your “professionalism” (or rather self-absorption masquerading as professionalism) just might make you the greatest blogger on the planet.


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