Given the various posts floating in the blogosphere about the Aniblog Tourney and competition that came after the first round, I like to share some of my thoughts about the negative externalities of competition and why it’s not necessarily a good thing. (Image Source)
If you browse through all the posts on Anime Nano, Anime Blogger Antenna or any indexing site, you might notice some campaign posts or potshots regarding the AniBlog Tourney. Although the tourney’s original intension is to promote new blogs, it has created a bad feeling in the blogosphere where competition becomes the center issue while everything else like content becomes a second thought. Stuff like voting solely on design, begging for votes on social networks, vote manipulation and messing up the seeding shows that some people desperately want to win a popularity contest. I feel that stuff like this can become harmful for the blogosphere since the drama could turn off readers. Still, the tournament is not the only reason why it’s bad, but the purpose of blogging as a whole.
Several months back, AceRailgun brought up a good question, “Should people view Anime Blogging as a competition?” It’s understandable that some people care about how many visitors, page views, comments and subscribers they receive on their blog. For me, getting 300-500 visitors and 600-800 page views a day is nothing to become all excited about since it’s not an indicator for success. Sadly, some believe that because having high numbers will boost their ego, thus enable them to brag and put down newer blogs that struggle to get any. To me, this is rather childish to blog for popularity since you have to earn it by writing interesting content. Not to mention, people who blog for this reason can impact a longevity of a blog since the writer is only motivated by high numbers and can burn out easily just to maintain that number.
As for me, the reason I continue blogging after all these years is to share my thoughts and passion about the medium. For that reason, I never write posts just to grab attention and increase my hits. I only write what comes to my mind and I enjoy doing it. In addition, I like interacting with other people because it generates discussion and adds a sense of enjoyment. I have said this various times in the past, but Anime Blogging should be a fun activity. If this was the reason, people shouldn’t become too concerned about these statistics and just blog.
Even though most view competition as a good thing in real life, it doesn’t necessarily mean the same applies to Anime Blogging. It’s true that becoming popular is not easy since you have to write interesting posts and proofread them to build readership. People who just write for popularity won’t necessarily have the same passion, thus leading to an endless hiatus. Also, the tournament should make some more reforms to reduce the issues they currently face, especially for some new blogs who doesn’t stand a chance against the established ones.