Believe it or not, today marks the 14th anniversary of Anime Blogging. It’s so long since I started my blog in 2009, during my first year of college. While my tastes in Anime have changed over the years, I primarily focus on schoolgirl slice of life and Yuri anime. Also, in 2011, I started my Japanese language studies.
As I head to my 15 years of blogging, which, believe it or not, has been that long, it’s time to focus on brief thoughts on my 14th year of blogging and plans for the future.
My 14th year of blogging is pretty much the same as my 13th year. Sure, I didn’t attend any anime conventions due to the risk of catching COVID-19 and the lack of guests, so I didn’t bother going. However, while the interactions slightly declined compared to the 13th year, it’s still not bad. As expected, there were a lot of good titles that aired during that time.
Of course, the most significant change during my 14th year of blogging is Elon Musk buying Twitter and opening my Mastodon server. I played around with Mastodon in 2018 but shut down my first server because hardly anyone was using it. I gave it another try since I knew that Twitter would go downhill, and I was right. Sakurajima is the server I set up as an alternative for people who create content on Japanese media, a place to talk about Japanese media or anything while promoting their works. It has grown steadily since its inception.
The challenging part is, of course, leaving Twitter. The changes of banning third-party links and unbanning them were the final straw. Even with that, negative changes made it obvious I made the right decision. Things like allowing alt-right and racists back on the platform, banning third-party clients, and putting the public API behind a paywall. I plan to run it for the foreseeable future. People are free to donate monthly to help me offset the operating costs.
Sure, losing ties to some existing mutual followers who won’t move to Mastodon was painful, but I made new followers. In addition, I’m about 98 followers short compared to the total number of followers I had before leaving Twitter permanently. Also, this decision made it a little harder to promote my content since Twitter was the alternative avenue for doing so. It remains to be seen how the Fediverse will promote my content.
Still, I’m doubling down in adding links to other bloggers’ posts when and if Twitter finally collapses or goes the way of MySpace. While some refuse the fact that Twitter is dying, it is in a slow or maybe near future death. So whenever you have enough of Twitter, want to move to a smaller Mastodon server, or if Twitter finally collapses, we will be here at Sakurajima. We plan to build an even stronger Anime blogging and Japanese media content creator community, just like what AnimeBlogger.net was in the late 2000s and early/mid-2010s before it died.
As for the future of this blog, I have a lot in store. There are many yuri works to cover in 2023. I also plan to eventually commission art for the blog mascot. I’m still working out the details since I need the ability to modify the work and use it for commercial purposes. Also, I haven’t decided yet if I will plan to attend Otakon in Washington, DC, this year, but I will make the decision in April/May. Or I might just save the money for a trip to Japan maybe. Still, it depends.
Either way, I hope to wrap up WaniKani and finish more native Japanese materials in preparation for the JLPT. I am leaning towards taking N2 since I will know all the N2 kanji and complete all Quartet II by then. I hope to start clearing a sizable chunk of my backlog to improve my reading comprehension. Listening still needs a lot of work, but we’ll get there.
With that, hopefully, the 15th year will be a big one, and there is a lot in store. Can we make it to the elusive 20th anniversary? Time can only tell, as a lot can happen in 6 years. Of course, I would also like to thank my subscribers and followers who continue to support us. We appreciate the support and continue to do so.
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