It’s coming to a 1-month mark of finally leaving the dumpster fire known as Twitter. But, of course, interacting with other anime bloggers has been a challenging aspect through the transition. I still struggle to receive comments compared to other bloggers, as seen in the last four posts, although others have it even worse.
With Twitter possibly becoming a worse place and even perhaps becoming Myspace or shut down entirely in the future, what will life be for Anime fans without Twitter? Sure, people mention Mastodon as an alternative to Twitter, but aren’t people forgetting about Anime Blogging?
You might think people should also start anime blogs and revive the medium since there is a community there too. I will share some thoughts about the state of the anime blogging community and why you should get involved. Also, I share some ideas on how to revive the community.
I relate to Irina’s experiences with the anime blogging community quite a bit. I prefer going on message boards when Anime Suki is active or replying to comments on my blog since I find it more comfortable doing so. Yes, I’m more of an introvert these days, and I prefer writing blog posts and, even back in the good old days since my childhood, hanging out on internet forums. I don’t have social anxiety as Gotou Hitori has, but I only talk to people with whom I am close or when I need to.
With other mediums like traditional social platforms and Discord, it’s hard to get noticed. Also, Social Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok is incredibly toxic and decremental to mental health. That is what we are finding out from Generation Z youth as algorithms feed them content on the platform, even ones that lead to extremist ideologies and misinformation along with unpleasant things. This is known as doom scrolling, making society worse and more polarized. It can even have disastrous effects, as seen with the January 6th Insurrection. This is not surprising since platforms need a way to make money, and this is how.
People must give up Twitter and find better alternatives to all big platforms. No big platforms owned by Twitter, Meta, and even TikTok are good. Things like Mastodon are an excellent alternative to Twitter, which has no algorithms. You just follow what interests you the most and interact with others.
Since the AniBlogosphere has mostly moved to Twitter and abandoned commenting on other blogs in favor, the community is not as active as it once was. I noticed that the number of comments I received after 2015 has declined. It was not until the last two years that I worked hard to bring it back up. Still, getting people to comment on my blog has been challenging.
I have complained about the lack of comments numerous times on my blog. This is frustrating since you spend a lot of time and effort putting together a post and receive no comments at all, maybe except for a few readers who comment on your blog. That is why people probably give up blogging, as nobody comments on their blogs and just talk about anime on big platforms like Twitter.
Twitter is collapsing under its weight, with employees leaving as the platform starts to break down. At the same time, Elon Musk continues to cater to far-right extremists while banning people he doesn’t like personally. Just today, a handful of popular third-party Twitter clients are now forbidden. With that, this brings an opportunity to rebuild the Anime Blogging community that mostly moved over to Twitter.
Sure, normie Anime-themed Mastodon servers that aren’t far-right have sprung up since the takeover. I set up a Mastodon community geared towards Anime bloggers, Japanese media critics, and their readers called Sakurajima. I plan to run this long-term and accept voluntary donations to offset the costs. Since Mastodon grew in popularity, easier-to-use clients such as Ivory, which I am using and Twitter-like frontends such as Elk, have sprung up.
The big plus of Mastodon is receiving actual interactions. I noticed my following has grown to about 50%, and I get way more interactions than I ever do on Twitter. This comes in replies, favorites, and boosts (basically retweeting in Mastodon land). Also, the conversations are insightful as well.
However, some downsides still make me go back to wanting more comments on my blog. Not everyone is willing to move to Mastodon since it looks complicated, although it’s not in reality. Some people just create accounts on Mastodon just in case and go back to posting on Twitter. Even so, there is still one alternative, and that is starting your own anime blog.
While I went through the reasons why you should start an anime blog, what makes it attractive is the discussions in the comment sections. They are basically like replies you will see in a forum thread or a toot on Mastodon.
I feel that the discussions from a blog post’s comment section and threads in an internet forum bring more insightful conversations than on social platforms and Discord. If you comment on someone else’s blog, in most cases, you will receive a comment back. This, in turn, creates a virtuous cycle and makes the person want to participate more in the anime blogging community. Note that I do reply to mostly every comment I get. However, with people not commenting on blog posts and only a handful can be extremely disheartening. This can cause people to become demotivated to blog and possibly give up or go on a permanent hiatus.
Believe it or not, blogs were also decentralized social networks before Mastodon became a thing. It was a good place before everything shifted from blogs to social platforms. The idea is we shouldn’t rely on platforms owned by large corporations that have their own interests. Instead, we should use social networks with open and decentralized social network protocols and participate in communities with the software we can control. Things like social network software that uses ActivityPub (e.g. Mastodon, Akkoma, Misskey, Pixelfed, etc), WordPress and internet forum software like Xenforo and Invision Power Board.
Given the adverse effects on society, anime fans and bloggers should promote the Fediverse and rebuild the blogging community. You can do so by commenting on other blogs and linking posts from other blogs on your post. Also, starting and participating in blogging activities like blogging awards and OWLs, which died out, can improve engagement in the anime blogging community, which it desperately needs.
Whenever Twitter finally shuts down or becomes the next Myspace, I feel that the age of corporately controlled social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok is over. We know the adverse effects it has on people and society.
When Twitter finally collapses, I think people shouldn’t flock to Reddit or yet another big centralized social platform. We need to move away from yet another corporate owned platforms. However, there is another platform besides the Fediverse that most anime fans overlook. Yes, this is anime blogging. With a shift back to decentralized, independent, and/or federated platforms, it becomes essential to revive and rebuild the anime blogging community. Everyone needs to do their part by commenting on posts and not just leave likes and become social again. I want to see the blogosphere go back to its former glory like in the early 2010s, and this opportunity is our best chance to make it happen.
The Main Takeaways:
- Twitter will, in no doubt, go the way of Myspace (e.g., become a shell of its former self with most users leaving) or shut down as a result of bankruptcy, government regulations, or technical issues that can make the platform beyond repair.
- The anime blogging community has faced declines in blogs going on hiatus and only a handful of blogs receiving comments. However, there is potential for that anime blogging community revival if more people comment on each other’s blogs.
- If you like a post, don’t just click the like button in WordPress reader or at the end of the post. Instead, try to leave a comment on their blog, as this will encourage bloggers to blog more. In addition, you might receive comments in return just for commenting on their blog. This will encourage bloggers to continue blogging and create a sense of community instead of creating cliques.
- Do your best to reply to every comment you receive. That way, there is a good chance they will return and leave more on other posts.
- Link other people’s blog posts relevant to yours to help your readers discover other blogs. Discovery will now be difficult without relying on social platforms with an algorithm. This will help readers find other anime bloggers and perspectives on a specific anime title. Also, this improves search engine optimization of other anime blogs. Linking to a blog post creates a trackback on their blog, which can help your SEO as well.
- Join our Mastodon community at Sakurajima. You can interact and follow other anime bloggers and creators on Mastodon, regardless of what server they are on. We also have an Internet forums community and a Pixelfed instance as well.
- If you want to revive the Anime Blogging community, start your own anime blog, follow and comment on other people’s posts besides just clicking the like button. The blogging community won’t recover if other blogs don’t receive comments.
- Most importantly, blog, comment, and “toot” more. Tweet and like less.
With that, what are your feelings about the anime blogging community currently? Do you think it will have a comeback once Twitter collapses or go the way of MySpace? What are you planning to do if big social platforms like Twitter and Facebook disappear? Share them in the comments.
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4 Comments… read them or add your own.
I agree that the anime blogging community has slowed down a lot over the past few years and that there aren’t as many active blogs as there used to be. I went through the links I have on the anime and manga blog list I have on my blog, and it was disheartening to see how many of them haven’t posted anything in the past 2-5 years. I’m still leaving those links in my list, though, in the hopes that maybe some of these bloggers will come back at some point.
I know I haven’t been the best at posting comments on other people’s posts or responding to comments on my blog posts, but I’m usually trying to juggle several things during the day and reading through blogs is something I’m fitting into my busy schedule. I hope that once my youngest heads off to college this fall, that it will free up my time a little more and I can put more effort into the comment side of blogging.
I think social media in general has caused a decline in blogging, but I do hope that there will be a return of blogging as social platforms are in a very questionable state. While we know that Twitter has been a disaster and who knows if it will survive by the end of the year. With a potential recession, Facebook might see a downward spiral as well and the US government might end up banning TikTok.
While centralized platforms has some advantages, it has a lot of disadvantages in terms of mental health. Also, do people want to create content on a platform they don’t control. I do see blogging as a possible alternative, as with the Jetpack plugin and a Jetpack addon, you can get a self-hosted WordPress blog interact with other WordPress.com blogs in the WordPress.com community. Also, WordPress self hosted has support for ActivityPub, which Mastodon uses, which makes it easy to get the blog become discoverable in the Fediverse. In fact, Tumblr and Flickr supposed to add ActivityPub support soon. It’s obvious where the direction social networking is going and it’s not big social platforms.
As for commenting, it does take me a while to respond to other people’s blog posts and reply to ones here as I work in the office three times a week. That is why most replies happen towards the end of the week, although I still have no obligations to meet besides my full time job. I can understand why are slow at responding to comments. I do hope the blogosphere become more social as there are blogs that are in worse shape than mine that don’t receive comments at all and I do want people to be social in the whole blogosphere besides just a few blogs. But blogging can become an alternative if those who still want to be part of the anime fandom, but don’t want to participate in any more social networking.
Sure, the potential Twitter collapse will be hard for those who rely on the platform to promote their works, but I do hope that things will work out and people build new communities elsewhere. That is why I am linking more to other blogger’s posts to help promote them as discovery is going to be harder once big social platforms become unviable.
Commenting isn’t easy either, I am too shy to talk to people I don’t know, so usually I just read and leave a like.
Understandable, I’m introverted in real life and I only really feel comfortable talking to people I know, even in high school, I didn’t really spend much time hanging out with friends and spend most of my time online. I find online communication a bit more comfortable for me.
There are other ways to share your thoughts about other posts such as linking back to it in your blog post with a short commentary. It will create a trackback on the blog you link to, which helps build traffic to your blog.