I’m not talking about any actual anime today. In fact, I,m not really talking about much. Just getting some feelings out so I can look at them properly and move on. This might not be for all my readers. I’ll get back to the good stuff tomorrow!
I want to talk a bit about how the anime WordPress community is shifting a little towards other platforms and why it’s not really for me.
For those of you who have been reading this blog for a while, you have probably heard me say that one of the reasons I started it, and one of the biggest benefits of this blog, is that it allows me to interact with other anime fans which is something I like. I don’t really have the chance to do so otherwise. I find it stimulating and just plain enjoyable. So thank you to all of you who allow me to do that. I really mean it.
WordPress has always had its ups and downs when it comes to community. Some periods will get more bustling with new bloggers coming in and shaking things up. People talking to each other, starting projects. Then other periods sort of calm down. Bloggers disappear, the community gets quieter. I would say that overall, there has been a slight decline in activity over the years but it’s generally an up and down.
But I have noticed something like a push towards other platforms. A few years ago it became commons for some bloggers to announce that they would no longer be visiting or commenting on other people’s blogs either due to lack of time or because they wanted to really focus on their output. It’s not everyone but it did happen with a few long-standing bloggers. Others didn’t quite announce it but effectively just did it, either only sticking to their own blogs or visiting the ones of close friends once in a while.
And this is fairly common now. At least it seems more common than it used to be. I remember when bloggers that didn’t at least occasionally comment on other people’s blogs and read and liked other posts were a super rare exception. Now I feel like they might be 50% if not more. The way bloggers view WordPress has become much more of a showcase for their work rather than a community.
I’m not saying this is a bad thing. It really does allow bloggers to concentrate on their content and put out great posts regularly. As someone who likes great posts, that’s a plus. But it does make the overall WordPress community a less…communal experience. And I could be wrong but I think it might also be tougher for new bloggers to stay motivated.
What I have seen instead of those earlier interactions is a push by a lot of longstanding bloggers to increasingly communicate and interact through Twitter, Discord or both. Bloggers will still use their blogs for long-form posts because that’s really the best venue for it. However, stray thoughts or stream of mind musings as well as actual conversations are going on on Twitter or Discord and probably other places I don’t know about. It’s getting pretty common for me to have people respond to my posts on Twitter instead of liking or commenting on my blog.
The move makes sense. Both Twitter and Discord allow for more real-time conversation and feedback. It creates the feeling and dynamic of an actual conversation in a way blog comments just don’t. It’s more personal and reactionary. It’s also easier in a way. I’ve noticed that through some unspoken rule a lot of people are less formal and less detailed when sharing thoughts over Twitter or Discord. They can just throw out a few words where they feel like they have to craft a proper and well thought-out paragraph on the comments.
Both Twitter and Discord are just far more practical platforms for real-time interactions. And they really should be as that’s what they are primarily designed for. It’s what all their features and mechanics are there to do. Prompt discussions.
And I am really not suited for either.
One of the things I have mentioned a few times is that I am an introvert. A lot of people identify as introverts but only about 25% of people actually are. And I am rather extreme at that. I find a lot of social interaction pleasant but sort of exhausting. And yes, that absolutely includes online interaction. I do enjoy it and I genuinely get very happy when I’m invited to participate in anything, but I can’t always keep up with it. And I do feel bad when I take a step back. Sometimes, I just got to do it.
To be clear it’s not that I’m shy or dislike social interactions, it’s just that for me, it’s a bit like Pizza. I really like Pizza and I’m always up for a slice, but if I eat a whole pizza in one sitting I’ll get sick and my stomach will hurt for a while. And then it’s going to be some time before I’m ready for more pizza. Does that make sense? It made sense in my head.
I also tend to like debate and discussing issues in a bit of detail. Not everything needs to be an essay but I’m not big on small talk. When I see someone mention that some show is the best anime of the season, I really want to know why they think that, maybe see some screencaps find out which character is their favourite and what other shows it reminds them of.
For all those reasons, trying to shout down trolls on Twitter or kidnaping conversations on Discord to suit my own needs, just isn’t very comfortable for me. It doesn’t really provide the sort of social interaction that suits me best. I realize that this is entirely a ME problem. Most people don’t have any of those issues. That’s why they like the Twitter and Discord conversations better in the first place.
But it does leave me in this spot where I have to figure out how to adapt and I’m not sure I can. I’m being a bit of a diva. I want a social experience but not too social… Talk about some serious non-problems. Ok, I actually made myself feel better. I think I might miss OWLS or just some sort of blogging group. A place where bloggers interact with each other’s blogs and share their thoughts. I don’t think there’s anything like that going on in the aniblogging community at the moment but I bet book bloggers have a few groups. Now that I’m writing more manga posts maybe I can sneak in!
I don’t know if anyone out there has these types of thoughts from time to time. And if you found something that works for you?