The Social Consciousness of WordPress Anime

No don’t worry, I’m not here to rant and rave on the latest social justice talking points. I think I’ve done more than enough of that lately! Besides, I’m not annoyed at anything at the moment. Quite to the contrary in fact. I’m in an inexplicably good mood. As I write this, the spring season is just around the corner, the little of the new anime roster I’ve seen looks fantastic, and this lady’s fancy is once again turning to love for the corner of the anime community I’m acquainted with.

Princess-Jellyfish

well hello there!

And I think it’s because you guys are so kick**s that you’re making the rest of the community look bad in comparison. What am I talking about? Have you not given up on that question yet? I made a questionable choice. I went to YouTube and Reddit for anime side content… At least I know for sure you guys are the best!

Let me be clear, I’m exaggerating to prove a point. I know there are some truly lovely anime communities on both of those platforms and I also have known some jerks around WordPress. But I noticed a few trends in my very limited exposure that I’m glad I don’t have to deal with.

I’m just going to get this right out. I’m biased, because Reddit is scary. It’s fun to read but there’s something about the thread structure and users of Reddit that I personally find intimidating and I wouldn’t feel welcome to post. It’s probably in my head. It just seems like the posts I read so quickly fall into name calling or uncomfortably casual discrimination in the replies that I feel alienated.

When I think about how even very mild constructive criticism in the comments is a rarity around here, let alone an actual insult, it’s day and night.

YouTube is different in its representation of our community. well maybe it’s not. I just don’t bother to read past the top couple of comments on videos… What I often find funny about the YouTube anime channels, the big ones at least, is the forced conflicting personalities. I think most of these are pretty authentic anime fans who watch and enjoy a wide variety of shows. Some of them also have some pretty obvious gatekeeping tendencies or at least the drive and wish to share more obscure aspects of their beloved media with the larger public. However they’re also pressured by algorithms and market trends. Especially YouTubers that are trying to make a living off their videos.

As such, these creators will often be compelled to put out video after video on the same few very popular series. Stick to topical drama or superficially explore click baity subjects, focusing on broad appeal to as wide an audience as possible to ensure a living wage. While in the process becoming, on the surface at least, very similar to those fans they denounce. There’s a slight animosity that comes through or at least an apathy.

just because

this is not what I thought it would be… (found it here)

This gets passed on to the audience that feels a sympathetic frustration. It makes our community seem much more negative than it really is.

Again, these are generalizations. I’m sure there are some fantastic Anitubers. Why does that sound so dirty? I probably just fell on the wrong people at the wrong time. After all, we’ve read horror stories about voice actors terrorized by obsessive fans. It would be extremely foolish to think that’s the norm.

But the point is, you guys don’t do that. Anibloggers I have known, and that’s starting to be quite a few, range from pure sunshine and optimism to fresh spring flowers and cautious optimism. Maybe it’s the non confrontational nature of a blog post format. Maybe it’s the lack of pressure that comes from working on a platform that is notoriously unlucrative.

poor anime girl

this is turning into a real art post… (by E9L)

Maybe blogs as a medium simply attracts less competitive and more introspective folks which makes for a calmer, easier to integrate community. I don’t actually know. I’m taking wild guesses. Because in the end, we are essentially the same community. We share the same interests. We often have a lot of tastes and hobbies in common. If we were all in a room together, we’d find something to chat about, which isn’t necessarily true of anyone.

So is it just the platform? If I took the plunge and started posting on Reddit would I find myself suddenly a lot shorter on patience. Would the faster back and forth forum like format and the pressure of upvotes teach me to create shorter blunted arguments to get my point across more effectively if less tactfully? What about YouTube? Would I get drunk on views and become a romance anime channel or something? Would the constant drive for achievement creep into me and rob me of my fun? Would it change anything at all?

I don’t know.

makise-kurisu-okabe-rintarou-anime-girl-art-free-stock-photos-images-hd-wallpaper

what have I become?

Or maybe the platform we choose is an inherent reflection of who we are and bloggers are different animals. More timid and relaxed. A little more sensitive maybe, then again…

I’m just speculating out loud here, and for no good reason at that. There’s no point into splitting our little group up in any way. At the end of the day, if you like anime so much that you want to create your own content around it, I salute you. If you seek out that content because you enjoy discussing your favourite shows, I welcome you!

So tell me, have you noticed a distinct difference in tone and delivery from one platform to the next or am I coocoo banana pants? And if you have noticed a difference, which is your favorite?

anime laast supper

Irina

I'm much nicer than I seem, we should be friends!

You may also like...

56 Responses

  1. I think you bring up a valid consideration/concern when comparing these platforms

    Its worth noting that YouTube as a platform is constantly undergoing massive changes to its infrastructure and how it advertises to consumers. The algorithm is constantly changing and as a result you have vloggers madly pursuing a technological advantage to generate a livable wage. At what point an ani youtuber starts to do so bleeds into their content so its incredible transparent when rambling essays about an obscure ’80s mech series suddenly gets swapped out for top 10 lists and seasonal impressions. And I have no issue with those sorts of products, just so long as the creator doesn’t forget his roots and neglects type of content that gave them a fan base to begin with. I understand that livelihoods rest on some of these videos, but I can see why some viewers eventually become alienated by nonstop pandering to the masses.

    Conversely, the wordpress communities doesn’t have as many financial tie-ins and readers are possibly more willing to sift through intricate observations and diaries compared to youtube viewers. I don’t think you’re coocoo banana pants.

    What do you think about that, KKKUUURRIIISSSTTIINNNAAA?

    • Irina says:

      well that was quite the analysis. Platform dictates content to a certain point which then determines the audience and it’s one big spiral

  2. lealea477 says:

    I think it helps that we are all on an even playing field.
    With the other platforms it’s more about watching the loudest speakers and then reacting to them.

  3. Lumi says:

    Reddit is a horrible place for newcomers. You have to REALLY get used to how offhandedly knowledgeable and smart people are (or at least,how much they THINK they are), and how the hivemind works. Dissenting opinions and misunderstandings are aplenty,and while I post my work there to moderate success, I don’t like the negativity it can bring sometimes.

    I tend to just browse for what’s hot.

  4. LitaKino says:

    Redit is a suck ass forum cannot disagree there Irina. I hate it. You know I say wordpress ani blogging community all the way wohooo hehe. as for a small youtuber depending on who you come to know and your audience, you build you’re own atmosphere. Youtube’s click bait and other problems don’t hinder me because my channel aint monetised which some people have come to think mine is lol

    I like the small audience I’ve build on youtube of the people who watch my videos. I have no idea how long I’ll be doing youtube for but long as I am making the most of my rambles and old anime talk. I like to think I’m different to other youtubers as my content is so random every video ahaha lol I never stick to seasonal for one fact lol.

  5. Lizzo says:

    Reddit can be pretty vicious. I still post our stuff on there from time to time. We also have a YouTube channel and I feel like that’s an entirely different machine. The way we create on there is different then WordPress. I feel WordPress is alot easier but I like that YouTube allows me to be more creative so the interaction is definitely different.

  6. crazyidiot78 says:

    I don’t get many comments, that aren’t spam so I can’t say much about the anime blogging community. That being said I do notice that you guys cover a number of topics I can’t touch given my real world job as a teacher. I don’t do much on youtube so I can’t add much there. I will say that I haven’t found Reddit to be to bad when I post there, beyond the occassional keep your science out of my anime stuff. (animescience101)

  7. Ty-chama says:

    Maybe you should try producing content for Reddit or YouTube? You could document your findings! Perhaps you’d answer some of the questions you fielded in your post?

  8. AK says:

    I feel like things are much more personal on wordpress, in a good way. Not enough room on Twitter to make meaningful statements (though I do use it sometimes.) Reddit is too full of jerks. Same goes for Youtube, and add a gallon of drama to mix with that. I haven’t noticed any “toxicity” or infighting here of the kind you see in other places. I’m not exactly an anime blogger, I guess, but I’m in a sort of adjacent area to that, and I really like the community.

  9. Krystallina says:

    Interesting analysis with a lot to consider!
    I like WordPress because it’s much less…pushy I guess, for a lack of better term.
    I mean, we as consumers are also to blame. Go on YouTube for anything, and most of us gravitate to whatever has the highest view count on there. Then it just becomes a sort of echo chamber where the same uploaders get all get the views.
    However, search for something on Google or WordPress itself, and you’re not going to see those stats initially, if at all. Even other indicators — for example, the number of likes — isn’t a good representation, so the audience is more apt to take a “risk” on someone new. And thus writers take a chance on writing something new.
    So I think WordPress is more about the bloggers challenging themselves to raise their stats rather than raising stats to impress others, and that creates a nice community here.

    • “I mean, we as consumers are also to blame.”

      Key concept!

      Whether it’s politics or Youtube — we empower what we give our attention to.

    • Irina says:

      Interesting. So the platform is naturally less prone to homogeneity so it allows us to try stuff ut which is more fun for bloggers?

      • Krystallina says:

        I think print/writing in general has more room to experiment because visual media (movies, etc.) is more expensive to make, so the creators are more likely to go with what works and gets audience’s attention.

  10. As somebody who was on the verge of packing it on being associated with the anime community, both your blog and the WP anime community at large gave me a renewed interest in both the medium and my own fandom. You are right on the money that it’s wildly different from the fandom as a whole, and I think you hit the nail on the head as to why: it takes a certain degree of deliberateness to make a blog and write long-form about something. There’s a lot less inclination to fire off flippant garbage or peddle in outrage here.

    Annnyway. Great post, as always. 💖

  11. Wonderful post as always! It’s funny because today I was thinking about my blog and how amazing the aniblogging community is on here! Reddit scares me too as it’s just so vast and I don’t know where to start and who I’d meet on there. YouTube is a medium I enjoy from the shadows 😂 I just watch videos and don’t engage with the anime community on there much more than that. But WordPress is something special as I feel so comfortable sharing my voice and opinions on here and I know I can have calm, collected and very civilised discussions no matter what people’s opinions are! It’s amazing!

  12. The medium is the message

  13. Aldael says:

    Well said, well said. It even seems strange how intellectual WordPress anime community is. I guess it couldn’t be otherwise since people spend lots of time polishing their posts. And that’s a big difference compared to Reddit where you can post almost anything with minimal effort and get maximal (though transient) results. YouTube seems clearly divided to content creators vs content consumers, the later faction being the majority, so equal interaction between both parties seems hardly possible. There on the other hand the majority of readers are writers themselves, and one who pours effort is definitely going to stand on equal ground with someone else who’s also both a reader and a writer. This equality probably is one of the best thing about the platform. Also, not too many people participate in ani-blogging activities, so naturally it makes the community tighter-knit and more internally dependent. Which is great.

  14. Dewbond says:

    I think it all comes down to what you want out of your content. Youtube is so strict in what makes money these days that often youtubers have to go either for clickbaity rage videos, or long and smug-ass video essays. Reddit I’ve always found is where people go to post memes and discuss the latest season of episodes. r/Anime is a place I visit multiple times a day and I have yet to see any real cesspit activities aside from fans falling in and out of love for a series depending on the week.

    As for WordPress? I think it again is what you want out of your content. I came here from Tumblr because I liked the blogging options, and frankly I wanted to get off of that horrible website even before the porn ban. My blog is a personal venture, a place to talk about anime and whatever comes to mind, I would never ever try to make money from it, because if I did then I have to start making content that sells.

    I do think it would be cool of some of the bloggers got together more often for discussions or joint reviews (which some of you are doing) and try to make the community a bit more tight nit, but then again we all are here for different reasons.

  15. LaurelsCode says:

    I agree with you, wordpress anime community is very soft. I kinda like that
    I think communicating something through writing makes it somehow more thoughtful, so when I read a post of someone I know they probably put their heart on it. Besides that, it is easier to be mean to someone when the place where they produce content feel impersonal. What I mean is that all YouTube and reddit comment sections are the same visually wise, but when you go to blog you can see how a person has chosen a background or arranged their menu bars in certain way. It is personalized, so you get feel like if you were invited to see something someone treasures.
    Nice post :), I enjoyed reading it.

    • Irina says:

      That is a fantastic point that had not occured to me. A blog feels like your invited in someone’s home rather than their storefront…

  16. Reddit’s interesting. I enjoy reading the content, but I’m not inclined — at all! — to post there. It reminds me a lot of the old USENET days. On the plus side, many subreddits are well-defined communities with their own rules of behavior; on the negative side, well, many subreddits are well-defined communities…

    “As such, these creators will often be compelled to put out video after video on the same few very popular series. Stick to topical drama or superficially explore click baity subjects, focusing on broad appeal to as wide an audience as possible to ensure a living wage. ”

    I think you nailed it. YouTube monetary success is tied completely to views, because that drives ad revenue. It’s tough to establish a long-term audience that’s not reactionary.

    “Maybe it’s the lack of pressure that comes from working on a platform that is notoriously unlucrative.”

    I think that’s part of it. More precisely, WordPress is not financially lucrative. Since I don’t define blogging success in terms of dollars, through, I find WordPress lucrative in terms of sharing ideas and broadening horizons (if I may stretch the definition of lucrative!).

    “Or maybe the platform we choose is an inherent reflection of who we are and bloggers are different animals. More timid and relaxed. A little more sensitive maybe, then again…”

    I think you’re really close there, but out of respect for some of our YouTube and Reddit brethren, I’d say that because of the platform’s reward system, we can afford to be more relaxed and sensitive. We have a greater opportunity, and it seems like lots of us at least try to take advantage of that.

    The dynamic is between the platform’s rewards systems and how each of us defines success.

    • Irina says:

      I wasn’t putting youtubers or redditers down, my idea is that the platform may appeal to different personality types. More ambitous or potential more goal oriented creators. I could be very wrong

  17. Yea, I feel like everyone on the otaku side of WordPress is quite soft compared to other platforms. I don’t really comment or interact with reddit anime posts or YouTubers that much, but on WordPress I just love so much of the content you guys post and I love how people here don’t argue about needless things \(^0^)/ Hooray for bloggers!

  18. ospreyshire says:

    Interesting viewpoints. I’ve noticed that about YouTube and Reddit with how toxic the response can be depending on opinions. At least on WordPress, there’s a better sense of civility. Not perfect, but at least I don’t feel like banging my head against the wall whenever I see disagreeing opinions.

  19. BiblioNyan says:

    I only visit Reddit once in a while, because as you said, it can definitely be intimidating, and they can be a lot more fierce with their negative comments. I tried YouTube for a long time. I did books first and then slowly tried to chat about anime, but it’s very difficult to find a foundation from and rise up. I mostly just wanted exposure so that I could interact with people who are of the same communities with similar interests. When all of that left me feeling very inadequate, I turned to blogging. It still took me a long time to become acclimated into the community and to meet new people, but they were all so inviting and willing to help me with things I didn’t know. It was nice to have discourse about differing opinions and it not turning into a shite fest. I’ve also noticed that bloggers do tend to have a calmer and more understanding mentality, even a more mature mentality when it comes to sharing differences about likes/dislikes and whatnot versus the other platforms. On rare occasions you’ll have one person who is a jackarse, but it’s not common at all. So, community wise, WordPress has been a fantastic platform.

    As a content creator, I just find it easier to express my creativity via words than anything else. With Reddit that’s hard to do without being criticised for every fucking thing, which can be extremely exhausting, not to mention very discouraging. Talking in front of a camera still makes me super anxious and uncomfortable and I always come off looking a blabbering moron. But writing as always been a companion of mine since I was a tiny person, so using it to pursue passions feels the most natural as well as the most fulfilling.

  20. I’ve had my Reddit account for 3 years now and I agree with what you said here. I browse regularly on r/anime and it feels way different from when I created a new account. Same goes with the subreddits I normally go to. If you go to a subreddit dedicated to one anime it’s either full of memes or thoughtful discussion. As of this time, r/anime wasn’t supposed to be like it was before.

    The biggest change was when I saw how r/araragi (The Monogatari series subreddit) grew. From the start there was in-depth discussions and people were actually respectful to each other. As time goes on things changed (better or worse). Lately is now just people participating in a popularity contest for best girl. Even with that, the fans know their place in the internet but no one has been making up those post I used to look forward to. I’m now just a guy reminding them about a new novel release.

    As for YouTube, it’s a different beast. Don’t get me started on Facebook because it majority of people aren’t even aware of what anime is. After 1 year here, I’m really happy to have a place sharing my own thoughts.

  21. Pete Davison says:

    There’s definitely a different tone and culture to various platforms — although as you say, there are also subcultures within those platforms. YouTube is fairly widely regarded to be a cesspit, for example, but I’ve had nothing but extremely pleasant people in the comments on my videos, likely because they have a small scale and are niche interest. I’m sure the same is true for Reddit, but I just can’t be bothered dealing with the noise there. Same for Twitter — and with Twitter there are tools specifically designed for people to shove noise in the face of others.

    Blogging is absolutely an introspective, thoughtful medium. Even a simple post requires thought and consideration; it feels more like a piece of work and a creation than a social media post, because it *is*. Consequently, for the most part, people writing their own blogs will tend to consider what they’re going to write before they write it — and perhaps reread it a few times before hitting publish. Contrast with Twitter, where the norm is to have an immediate, visceral reaction to something and share that reaction — however ill-informed — with the world as soon as possible.

    I’m good with WordPress and my corner of YouTube at present. I’ve considered Twitch, as Matt suggests above, but I’m not a particular fan of doing things that are dependent on other people. To make Twitch worthwhile, you need people to show up to your streams, and primarily for practical reasons (most people I know who might be interested in my content are in a different time zone) that’s not something I can make happen easily. I’d much rather put my effort into asynchronous content like blogs and videos that people can enjoy any time rather than tying myself — and my audience — down to a schedule. That’s just me though, it really works for some people!

  22. Cactus Matt says:

    Great post. I’ve been thinking about moving on from WordPress (don’t worry it won’t fully happen yet, just “accidentally” paid for a new year of WP domain usage so I’ll be around at least another 11 months lol). But for me the only place I’d move on to is streaming on Twitch, which is arguably something I could do in conjunction with WP anyway. As for the other two options, I hate reddit and I tried YouTube (like 8 years ago and it wasn’t anime related and it went nowhere so I deleted all my videos). So that’s my random thoughts!

Leave me a comment and make my day!

%d bloggers like this: