Hey everyone! Hope you guys are having a pretty good start to 2017 after the train wreck of 2016. We kicked it up near the end of 2016, but if you think that’s the end of our surge of posting, well, you were wrong.
Our Year in Review
We were going to make one of these posts for our first anniversary in 2016, but awkwardly we didn’t even know it was the 1st anniversary of our blog until a week after it happened. After that total embarrassment (just add that to the list of why 2016 was bad), we absolutely had to make sure that we didn’t miss this one. It’s kind of funny in hindsight, but never will we have a 1st year anniversary post on this website for that reason.
To be completely honest, between the start of this blog and July 2016, we just did whatever we felt like with our posts. We had tons of fun coming up with post ideas, making the podcast episodes with the full group of 3, and just dabbling in any cool idea that we thought would be fun to make and share. Obviously, some were absolutely solid and others we might regret posting, but that’s kind of the fun of starting out; you get to make mistakes.
After July, we developed a more rigorous schedule and started producing podcasts more frequently, although they’re less podcasts and more of just us talking amongst ourselves, but that’s all podcasts really are anyway, right? We also started doing seasonal podcasts again after taking a brief hiatus from those to just resurrect our blog. To become closer to the community, we began sharing our opinions and thoughts of seasonal anime on Twitter, which has been by far one of the most successful methods for us.
This led us to making our first collective response post, and that post generated the most traffic we’ve ever received on the blog in a single day. This was a huge turning point for us, as we finally made a post do exactly what we wanted it to do: create more discussion and communicate ideas with other content creators, and to understand their viewpoints as well. We have always wanted to have our voice heard by the community and this post was our first large-scale instance of this happening. We’d like to extend special thanks to Amelia Cook (@neutralfemale) for both giving us the recognition we needed and being courteous to us even though our post was written with points of disagreement to her original article. Also, check out her site she helps run called AnimeFeminist; it’s pretty neat.
After the big splash our post made, we continued to move at a steady pace, talking with our viewers and readers as we had time to allot. While we think we could have given everyone more in 2016 (we waded through hell trying to beat our post count for 2015, which we still didn’t manage to do), we were absolutely satisfied with the outcome and the effect we’ve been able to generate. In our eyes, the discussions you have with us are pretty much half of this blog. We love the symbiotic relationship that we can give our readers and we love to get responses back. However, we’re still not quite satisfied with the amount we put out, as we realize that to have the discussions we want, we have to continue making the content that we want as well.
Moving Forward in 2017
In 2017, we’re going to take what we learned from 2016 and put it into motion: more consistent posting like we have done in the past, more activity on Twitter from us, and exploring new ideas to foster even more talking points among the community.
We’ve already started doing this by putting our first new idea into action: episodic airing anime post responses. In short, we pick an anime and one of us writes about episode 1, and the next person will write about episode 2, keeping some ideas in mind from the post about episode 1. It’s basically a call and answer between writers while also talking about the episode in question. This idea is still in the experimental stage, but we wanted a way to create discussion amongst ourselves while also making it accessible to follow along with each week for readers to easily join in on our ramblings. Our idea will make more sense as more posts are released, and we’ll refine the idea as more seasons go by, so be ready for more of that this coming season.
As for everything else, we’re pretty much just going to keep it the same as before. We plan to still release a post every 3rd Thursday and release a podcast every 3rd Monday, with some planned surprises here or there. Those think-pieces are something we love writing and are pretty much a staple of how each of us view things differently, so those will not be going away anytime soon. We also have been throwing around some other ideas between each other, so expect some new things from us in 2017! We’re gonna try and keep the content flowing as much as possible; trust us.
Just Keep Being Awesome
If you have any feedback and/or cool ideas that you’d like to see, definitely let us know! Or, if you just want to leave a comment on how awesome we are (or how shitty we are, whatever you feel is appropriate), then do that as well. Your feedback is the only way we can really judge how we’re doing or if what we’re doing is effective, as all three of us have learned we aren’t very good judges of that.
We also want to thank everyone that’s followed our blog, talked to us on Twitter, responded to posts/videos, and just overall supported us as we’ve gone through several phases of activity over the past two years. No matter if you’re a regular or just a one-time passerby viewer, we appreciate you taking the time to read our thoughts.
As a final sendoff to 2016, we’d each like to share a few words of our thoughts and experiences about our blogging journey thus far.
A few years back, in what was up to that point an unequivocally terrible summer for all of us, Mythos, Owningmatt and I, all more or less strangers to one another, decided to hang out and watch anime together. What followed was a magical year or so of late nights and early mornings tearing through series with reckless abandon, and probably the strangest story of how I met two of my closest friends and co-contributors. When I was eventually approached with the idea of launching The Backloggers, I had no idea that it would become anything more than just an extension of our group’s casual anime viewings. After two years of The Backloggers (and about one year of serious work being put out by myself due to other obligations), it’s been a humbling experience being a part of this great community and the flow of ideas that comes with it. It’s invigorating, it’s wonderful making these connections with other anime fans and bloggers, and it’s only pushing me to get more out there in 2017 for those who have been reading, and for those I hope for us to reach on the road ahead.
I’d like to talk about a moment in Love Live! Sunshine!! that I feel corresponds well with our blog. In the anime, when all of the girls are finally together and they talk about the concept of becoming popular even though nobody knows who they are. They mention a concept of “turning their 0 fans into 1” and how that’s their current goal to aim for. While I can’t really say I’d be happy with just 1 fan for the blog, I do feel the same concept applies to us. If we can create one discussion that never existed before or plant one new idea into someone else’s mind, I feel like our job is accomplished. Just like the girls dream of in Love Live! Sunshine!!, I hope one day we can make a meaningful impact upon the community just as other influential people before us have done.
It seems like a lot of things happen to me because I’m mad. A few years ago, I watched OreImo at someone’s request and flipped a table over that atrocity of an ending. I needed to vent in some way and that’s actually how I found Owningmatt. We bonded over a mutual hate for crappy endings and a love of romance shows. Not too long after, Tofu wormed into my heart when he joined in on the conversation while all three of us were at college, probably needing to do actual work but watching anime instead. We were inseparable but while we had fun talking, but we didn’t really have an outlet outside of our own very small circle… or triangle. It’s fun to talk amongst ourselves, but it’s even better with more people.
Then I got mad about something else. I noticed several posts online stating a show I liked had no redeemable value and was more than a little irked. I mean, it’s totally awesome to have an opinion, but at least back it up! Their lack of defense and an overall pessimistic viewpoint had me upset all over again. I felt I needed to do something and, as both Owningmatt and Tofu can attest, I tend to rant when I’m mad. So that’s what I did. That became our first post on here and after a few more, we all felt like we were doing something neat. Sure, no one was reading, but it was at least fun. Then we had our first follower, The Afictionado, and my mind was blown that anyone even read something that I wrote, let alone enjoyed it enough to throw me a like. (Thank you so much, Alex!) It was a wonderful start.
We’re two years in now and I’m less quick to anger, which is probably for the best. I’m better able to imitate some semblance of maturity now. While all three of us tend to get busy with work outside of the blog, we promise to always try to write something fun and invite discussion from you all. I don’t ever want to just be on some high horse speaking down to others. I’m a terrible rider and I feel bad for the animal that has to lug my ass around. I’d much rather just sit down on a couch with some friends and have a nice chat. So please don’t be afraid to speak up. Heck, tell me a story! I love hearing about new people and their ideas.
So anyways, see you all later in 2017!
We absolutely appreciate your support and hope you continue to support us in the future!