Can A Blog be an Island

That title is a bit unclear. I was trying to resume a complex thought in a few words and I failed. Today I want to think a bit about the practice of bloggers cutting themselves off from the blogging community.

First I should say that I have no judgment call about it. I still think there’s no right or wrong way to blog. I’m just curious about the phenomenon as I’ve seen it happen a few times now and frankly there are aspects of it that are attractive.

anime attractive

this was one of the first images to come up when I googled anime attractive and it made me happy.

There are a few successful bloggers that pretty much never interact with other bloggers unless it’s in their own comments section. They don’t keep up with the WordPress community, they don’t read other people’s posts and they don’t comment or follow anyone. Their blogging experience is contained to their own blogs.

I know a few bloggers like that and like I said some are very successful. Usually those that have been around for many years and post very regularly. These are blogs that were likely not create by people looking for a social network and their model is a bit different from a lot of other blogs. Also these specific blogs have always been that way to the best of my knowledge. Usually they have a better following off of WordPress and occasionally they are professional blogs which pay for their posts.

But there’s also another type of solitary blogger. Bloggers that are very involved and active in the aniblogging community and then for whatever reason (lack of time or getting burned out for instance) decide to withdraw more or less completely. Sometimes these are publicized moves. The blogger will announce they are moving their blog off WordPress but will keep posting or that they are taking a break from reading other people’s blogs for a while. Sometimes they just sort of stop liking stuff but don’t really mention it or anything.

Takakura.Kanba.full.934626

this image may be a touch more dramatic than warranted by the post

I understand the urge. As someone who does still read and strive to discover a lot of anime blogs, it really can be very time consuming. I also know that some people can get tied of reading other bloggers poo poo their favourite shows or take a contrary position in an issue that’s important to them. There are a few good reasons to not venture out of your blog too much.

Then there are practical reasons. When you also write your own blog, you want to keep your mind and voice fresh. Someone might worry about inadvertently copying someone’s style because they’ve been reading so many if their posts, or sticking to the same old subject as everyone else because it’s easy to get sucked into groupthink. Those are viable worries. A lot of comedians and professional authors also go through periods of avoiding contemporaries works for those types of reasons.

In practice though, I’ve yet to see it really work out. The blogs that are thriving without much/any contact with the community were that way when I started but I haven’t really seen any blogger successfully transition from one to the other yet. I do think it’s possible though. It’s just a matter of figuring out what one wants from their blog, in my opinion.

touken ranbu

now I,m just putting random picture I like! by Pixiv Id 5693721  who also has awesome Natsume pics!

I should say that I’m coming at this entirely from outside observation and a few conversations I’ve had on the subject with bloggers that have tried it out. I have not personally ever tried to pull out of public interaction with other bloggers.

From what I gather one of the big issues some bloggers run across when making this type of move is a drop in interaction. Because of the way WordPress works, it’s much easier for other bloggers to like and comment on posts. A lot of people won’t want to bother creating an account just to click a little star and I understand them. Moreover anime bloggers are the type of people who already enjoy writing about anime in a public forum and are likely to have thoughts on the subject as they have researched their own posts. So if your readership becomes more mainstream and less saturated with other bloggers, it’s not unusual to see likes and comments drop off, even if views actually increase.

A lot of bloggers are well aware of this and prepared for the hit but when it comes to actually not getting any feedback on posts, it can be more demotivating than anticipated.

Shijima.Mei.

somehow this turned into a fanart post… by Critai

Another more unexpected hurdle I have heard is that passion feeds passion. Without a community around them to get excited about the new anime season or giddy about currently airing shows, some people start getting less excited about anime themselves and move on to something else, which they feel they can share with a fandom. They also don’t care as much about issues they have no one to discuss with. So eventually they start blogging less or move on to completely different topics. And then the anime audience that is still following them starts to dwindle as well if the new topics don’t interest them.

I understand that all things considered, the WordPress anime blogging community is pretty small and if one want to make it big they’ll want to reach a wider audience. With limited time available, it’s normal that they’ll want to free up the time invested in cultivating a blogger readership and spend it on promoting their blogs to a more general public. All of that makes sense but it does come with a few obstacles. And the few people I have talked to didn’t expect them. I’m not quite sure if there’s a formula to navigate these obstacles with limited negative impacts.

Do you have any tricks for keeping motivation with less interaction? How about a way to keep up interaction without sacrificing all your free time?

Rini 2020 (2)

it’s a pickle

Irina

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

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40 Responses

  1. I immediately understood the title of your post, it wasn’t unclear at all, at least not to me… I think my blog may be one of the ‘islands’ you’re referring to. But I think my blog is an island only because its author happens to be an island as well. I definitely have a desire to have more of an involvement with the community, but I think a sense of comfortable solitude may be holding me back. This is the case in other life areas as well… I have all the ‘requisite’ social media accounts, but rarely use and post on any of them. Hopefully this might change, but this is where I am right now. Anyway, your blog is one of a handful that I read on a regular basis, and my commenting here might be a first. I find your content to be informative, engaging and, above all, relatable (eg. this post). Keep it up!

    • Irina says:

      I think you’re pretty relatable yourself and limiting interaction has some real benefits. I’m also super lazy about my social media accounts but on the up side I’m rarely upset about what twitter said…

  2. K.A.L.T says:

    I’d think my blog is quite the island with a few regular visitors and others who drop in every now and then. After all, every since I came back and started being more of an anime blogger, I haven’t really reached out to many others. I’m just happily writing for my small audience and feel satisfied enough when I see you and/or karandi like my anime posts. As for reading other people’s blogs, I’ve only really been reading yours. Either because I’m satisfied enough with just having your essay blog posts or just cause I’m lazy to look for more like yours. In the past, I really did worry about reading too many of others blogs in case it would affect my writing though. After a while I realised it didn’t really matter though. Since my writing tone and style could change based on the anime I just finished watching anyways.

    Least importantly, why does your avatar look so smug in the last picture? XD

    • Irina says:

      I’m not sure…i wanted to convey a sort of I don’t really have any answers but it came off more like I don’t care… My ava game was a bit off…

      And Im really honoured to be on your read list!

  3. I’m still learning and am still new to the blogging community, I did have an older blog that was an island but expanded from that! I was pretty involved with it and the community it brought, but after awhile just lost the motivation to carry on with it due to some family issues and having to deal with someone stalking me through that blog and putting it down, I’m still thinking on closing that one down along with the account as I started this new account to try again but it’s like losing apart of me you know…

    Sometimes people find it hard to communicate due to others actions, after I had someone close to me stalk me on all my social media platforms last year, i just struggled to socialise through them with others and it even affected my old blog as I ended up being closed off because of that.

    • Irina says:

      Oh that sounds horrible. I get why you would be a bit put off

      • It was horrible, but I am slowly putting it behind me now, I can’t let people like that win, it’s why I decided not to use social media as a way to advertise my blog and just stick to the community here on wordpress, it’s a much safer option for now and most of the traffic from my old blog was mainly community members on wordpress anyway

  4. Lizzo says:

    In the beginning my blog was definitely an island. Partially because I wasn’t familiar with the platform and unaware of the community but also because blogging at the time was hard for. I actually started reading other blogs because of followers, likes and comments. (they were few and far in between but was enough to get me started) My thinking was, I should reciprocate the love me and my blog mates were receiving. I gradually started reading more and more. Commenting when I have something to say. I feel like saying “Nice post” feels lazy but I still do that from time to time because Hearing from reader feels nice. I remember what it was like back when I was a baby blogger.

    Now my blog is still like 50 percent an island. The other 50 percent, I return from sea to interact with the people. I’ve been embraced by quite a few bloggers in the community and its important to pay it forward. And also cuz, I really enjoy reading people’s others writing.

    The main reason for my island status is due to that fact that I am trying to build out a business. Most of a free time goes into that. Yeah you’re right, Most of our readers come out outside of wordpress.

  5. I find myself reading so many of the blogs I follow I end up not blogging myself.

    If I see a post that is really interesting I may end up creating a reply that is as long as a blog post itself. It eats into my limited time but I enjoyed it so I don’t care. I enjoy reading other blogs and if you got a like from me you know for sure I read it and thought it good.

    I love it when a post generates lots of long comments. You are exceptionally good at drawing people into the conversation. I envy you that beyond words. And you are closing in on 2000 followers. We need to throw you a party.

  6. I think there’s a happy medium, I think it’s a difficult game of identity and image to a degree. I haven’t fully introduced myself through my content to this aniblogger community so I’m sure there’s people out their that’s first impression of me is “Irina’s movie friend” or “Diet Dr. Jon Spencer”.

    My early days was a lot of being a content producer and not consuming much. I like to thing I’ve opened up to a lot of people since then; still I think you should have be an independent entity. I don’t plan on making controversial posts or behavior, but if I did rub people the wrong way I wouldn’t want anyone to be guilty by association. I should be a sole brand entity so that any aversion towards me is directed as such and not innocent parties who would be answering for my nonsense because I’m seen in their cohort.

    Establish yourself and engage and learn form others its a process and it’s only as fun as you make it.

  7. Goatius says:

    I think blogs are deeply personal for most people, but feelings come and go, so they’re not sustainable reasons for blogging. I started blogging because I want to get ideas and feelings out of my head, and it’s nice to share those thoughts with people. But the investment has to be worth the reward: if life presents other issues that need more attention, or if I’m exhausted by internet trolls, then blogging isn’t going to be enjoyable. I’ve started and stopped a few blogs for these reasons.

    Nowadays, I try blogging once every other week. It helps me practice my writing, and serves as a branding tool for my professional life. It sounds like a job, but the difference is I’m blogging about things I enjoy. Maybe the shift in perspective will help me blog for many years to come.

  8. Yon Nyan says:

    When I began, I was definitely an island. But that was mostly out of circumstance. I was a newbie and I didn’t know a lick of anything about an online community. It was my first time experiencing what a blog was, both as a writer and a reader. But then as I got some regulars and found blogs of my own to follow, that changed a bit. I wanted to interact more, but I was always felt afraid of sounding like an idiot, or of saying something that the bloggers wouldn’t like. I very much try not to be an island now because that sense of community and camaraderie is one of the main things that I love so much about blogging, and the element that’s helped me the most with coping with things like depression and anxiety. But I’m still an anxious mess when it comes to dropping comments. I’m just so socially awkward (even worse in a face to face situations) that even when I want to comment on something, I feel like others are writing such profound stuff and I’m just being an awkward potato that’s off-putting. Or I’m scared of not having anything unique to contribute. I have been working on overcoming my fears, but social interactions are still a very new and difficult thing for me (it’s why I originally started YouTube!). In terms of having time, that’s a bit different. When I began blogging full-time, I had no idea how to balance everything that goes into it. After a lot of trial and error, I ended up creating a schedule where the first thing I do is devote my time to blog hopping and commenting before I work on creating content. I also give myself a time limit because it can be so easy to get swept away in reading everyone else’s awesome stuff. Then throughout the day, if I have a break here or there, I’ll check out some new posts for the day and try to stay up-to-date. Doesn’t always work, but I do try it. The only time things get really messed up for me is when I’m sick. Then I can’t do shtick, lol, and have to play catch up on everything.

    • Irina says:

      This is so weird to read since when I first discovered your blog I was a bit intimidated and didn’t feel comfortable commenting cause I thought I would sound dumb… You’re posts were so involved and meaningful that I figured my thoughts would be petty and disappointing by comparaison

      • Yon Nyan says:

        Omg, thank you. But, wow, I’m in total shock because that’s how I felt about your blog when I first started following you! Hell, I still feel that way sometimes. 😮😮

  9. Anonymous says:

    Personally for me i am a very solitary person and i only interact with people on a as need to basis.
    I don’t really interact with questions at all thats really off topic or if its something that can easily lead to a heated argument.
    If if do get a question about a particular post i have read through email since i don’t really get comments on any of my posts but then again i only just started. I would be sure to answer the questions and do my best to respond to many replys as i could do because.
    Then again i’m not very familar with the wordpress community since i really had no idea about the existence of wordpress since i went with Wix.
    So the only real wordpress blogs i would read is either Moegamer since i share the same kind of viewpoints as he has or your blog since we both share similar beliefs and interests as well too when it comes to anime.
    Also then comes time management as well too since i spend most of my day watching,reading or playing stuff for upcoming reviews so reading other blogs in order for me to learn how to better myself as a blogger is something i make a point to do as well from time to time.
    Right now i’m doing my best to be as active as i can be with not only blogging but also the anime and Japanese video game fandom as well too. By visting different anime and gaming forums (that isn’t Resetera)
    -K(rogueotakugamer)

  10. Blogging can be time-consuming and hard to reconcile with real work or hobby.

  11. Mari says:

    I had a different blog a few years ago (not anime related) where I didn’t reach out to the wider blogging community, and eventually shut it down due to lack of personal interest/motivation. I think having a community of people, regardless of how small, to talk and interact with makes me feel a lot better about what I’m doing and feel less alone. ❤️

  12. Sometimes I’ll wait a few days to read a post if it’s about and anime episode I’m reviewing and haven’t written on yet. What I’ve been doing is typing up my reviews and then I go and read other people’s reviews. It sometimes helps me look at things in a different6 way or I remember something that happened that I forgot. It helps me write better but it also helps so I not influenced by what I’ve read because I’ve already typed my post.

  13. alsmangablog says:

    I admit that I sometimes skip reading a post if it’s discussing a manga that I have plans to review for the very reason that you mention, I want to avoid having my opinions influenced by other bloggers. This doesn’t happen a lot, as the aniblogging community is generally more focused on anime than manga, but I guess I can see how that worry might keep some bloggers from interacting with the community.

    Personally, I feel like I get a lot out of being a part of the WordPress blogging community, including inspiration and encouragement. There are a lot of series that I’ve been inspired to check out by other peoples posts which weren’t initially on my radar and it’s always nice to have people like and comment on my posts.

  14. Pinkie says:

    First when I read the title I was thinking you were gonna tear my blog concept down.
    But turned out it was not so bad.

    I do not think the blogs most of us have would do well in isolation. I have a bloggers tap on my browser that has all the blog that interact with me or I interact with. I try to visit every single entry twice a week if possible,
    I am not big on discussing episodes usually or stuff like animation quality. Your content is something I find very easy to engage with. So stuff like that I visit more often.

    I am a scatterbrain that does not always find the time to do everything, so I am really happy if people post their new outings on twitter, that way I can usually find them.I also try to do my own tags and stuff like SMILE-Force to create a feeling of who is there.

    I do notice people like articles without reading them and I try to stay away from that.
    I might not always read an entire post but I am less likely to like I post I completely do not care about just to get people to like me back. Sometimes I also forget to like.. especially late in the evening so I do put an emphasis on people who comment, as there is a stronger sense of community coming from them.

    I do feel I am struggling to reach the core of the blog social sphere. My island has neighboring islands and a handful of people who frequent it but I do not think I am doing enough to reach the core of the community. You yourself being my closest link to that core. So clearly there is more work for me to be done, but I am actively trying to work on systems to be more active.

    • Irina says:

      I don’t know. I think of you as pretty integrated. Maybe it’s cause I find myself on your blog a lot. I know that when I get through too many posts in a row they can start to blurr together and I forget who said what

  15. aina says:

    Although I’m not really part of anime blogging community (blogger wise) these kind of questions can be a bit tricky, I think. Not only for aniblogging, but anything (content creators especially). In my case, as a reader and follower, interacting with bloggers I’m following can be time-consuming and mentally exhausting too, at times. Sort of like when you’re socializing a lot outside and you get tired of talking with lots of people feeling? That’s how I usually feel when I get overwhelmed after interacting with too many bloggers.

    When such thing happens, I take a break from reading people’s posts for certain amount of time and then come back when I’m ready again. The downside of this is that it can be a very long time and I’m surely gonna miss some old posts. But these days, I try to re-schedule my time spent on internet, putting a limit to how long I can be on the site so that I won’t get burned out.

    For the question regarding keeping up motivation with less interaction, I think it’s a matter of mindset. I’m not really in a position to talk about this though, so I’ll stop here. All in all, this is an interesting topic to discuss about.

  16. LitaKino says:

    It’s a do your best kind of thing. I try and read 10 posts a day max sometimes I don’t even reach that.

  17. See, I wish I could interact more. Time is the big factor though, and by the time I do get to catching up with posts, I often find other people ahve alreayd commented what I would have. Which leaves me wondering if I should add to it or not.

  1. March 12, 2020

    […] via Can A Blog be an Island — I drink and watch anime. […]

  2. April 5, 2020

    […] try not to skip these because like Irina said a few weeks back, I don’t think any anime blog can exist as an island. I like putting these together, and for better or worse, people like reading […]

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