With 2017 finally coming to an end, I hope everyone is enjoying the start of a year, ready to put last year behind us. We’re already in the midst of the Winter 2018 season, and I can already tell that 2018 is gonna be a blast! Here at the Backloggers, we have some things we want to celebrate, some things to apologize for, and some things we want to announce, and what better time to do all of those things than on the 3rd year anniversary?
Yep, our blog is still alive and we’re glad to say that!
Looking Back at 2017
One of the major things that we’re really proud of this year is managing to meet most of our goals for the year that we mentioned in last year’s anniversary post. We encouraged more interaction, we interacted with others more, and we still managed to create loads of content in the meantime. We even succeeded in completing 12 Days of Anime, which is a feat in of itself!
We may have not had any big-hitter posts like we did last year, but we still managed to garner way more support than when we did have one, which hopefully says something about how we’re approaching content and our audience.
One core quality that we value is that we want everyone to feel like they have a voice, whether in agreement or not. In doing this, we want you to feel encouraged to participate in our discussions through comments and Twitter without feeling that your ideas and voice will go unheard or potentially attacked for not being the same as ours. We encourage differing viewpoints, as that’s what makes discussion so interesting. It’s exactly one of the reasons we started this blog to begin with, in order to discuss and share anime opinions and views with other anime fans.
This is why we value this interaction so much, and we’re so glad that we’re seeing more and more of this as we continue to present our own views. For those who have interacted with us in the past year, thank you!
Getting into the more granular stat portions of our site, we’ve had massive gains in views, followers, and shout-outs to our blog, something that’s always good to see on a growing blog. Breaking 100 followers this year was one of the most satisfying achievements to encounter, and while that’s not a lot in the grand scheme of things, it is a lot to us, considering that when we first started, we wondered if we’d ever break 30. Thank you everyone that’s ever viewed this site or followed us, and I hope our content is living up to your expectations.
Planning for 2018
Speaking of living up to expectations, we feel that one thing that we should ultimately address is how bizarre of a year 2017 was for us. We started strong and ended strong, but the middle portion was a bit of a mess, and we apologize for that.
There were several weeks where scheduled posts never made it out, seasonal post weren’t on time (sometimes not even in the same season, for that matter), or there was just an overall lack of content with nothing being said about it. Radio silence doesn’t help us organize content to be posted, nor does it help as a reader knowing what’s happening, and we greatly apologize for those instances throughout the 2017 year.
However, we’re going to take dramatic steps to fix these sorts of incidents. We’re going to keep up with the content this year and actually have timely content instead of long pauses between them. We’re going to be clearer about when we’re having issues with releasing things and make announcements about it when it does, although we hope to minimize these as much as possible. We want to keep the content always rolling for you all to read, and that’s the number one priority for us. Life sometimes likes to interfere with that, but hopefully these changes will minimize and prevent delays in the future.
Along those lines, while we don’t really have any new plans or ideas as of now, we’re going to be doing more of the same as before, except there will ultimately be more than last year for the reasons stated above. We’re going to continue the seasonal posts, interact with the community, and release content as usual. That’s not to say we won’t have some additional surprises as the year goes on though, so keep on the look-out for different sorts of content!
Recent Changes for the Blog
If you’ve been a long-time reader or have looked at any of our content backlog, you’ll have noticed a few subtle changes that have happened over the year, and we’d like to take a few moments to address some of the reasoning behind those changes that hopefully will ultimately improve our content.
The most obvious and important one will be the seasonal posts, and how they’re released two episodes in one post now. This is a deliberate choice, and is something we’re currently experimenting with in order to allow more content to be released. We still want to maintain a focus on the seasonal posts, but we realized by doing one a week, it became hectic to handle by having three writers to coordinate with each other with the small time constraint of a week.
The two-episode a post format alleviates both of these issues and allows for more content to be produced alongside them. It’s not a set-in-stone formula change, but it’s something we’re trying out for a few seasons, so if you have any suggestions, changes, or if you just prefer the original method to the new one, please let us know.
We also started the round-up posts back in August in order to give shout-outs and commentary on some of the anime-esque discussion articles we read as well. This is something we’re planning to keep doing, as it’s perfectly in-line with the ideals of our blog to foster and contribute to discussion of anime. It also provides an easy outlet to post monthly updates about our blog and help guide new readers and newer anime go-ers as to what some of the hot discussions are in the community, so keep on the lookout for more of these!
We’d also just like to point out that we’re constantly improving the audio/video quality of both our seasonal and individual show podcasts, so if you haven’t checked those in a while (or perhaps your only experience is some of the older episodes), definitely go back and check out the more recent ones, as they’ve gone through some significant improvements.
As in the previous anniversary post, each of us will reflect on the year of 2017 and the future of 2018 regarding the blog.
Last year was a bit of a ride for me. For the most point, I was in a high of good vibes and larger opportunities. Got a great job opportunity, I put out some of my favorite articles I’ve written, and I loved seeing this blog grow, being able to contribute to that with two good friends of mine. Plus, after opening up a little, I finally felt like I was a part of this community by the end of it, interacting with peeps and celebrating some honestly amazing shows this year. (It was so damn strong all four seasons.)
There were personal issues but I put those on the back-burner to focus on what I loved. It’s kinda like when relatives or a good friend says they’re coming over in 30 minutes and you realize that your place is a mess so you stick everything in the closet and put a “Don’t open. Dead inside” sign on it, as the reference will make them laugh and not question what’s actually in there. However, constantly shoving things to the back of the mind and locking it causes the door to bulk and eventually blow open, spilling all over the floor. I spent two months wallowing in that, but then, I decided to pick one piece up and move it where it should be. Then another. And another.
I’m a work in progress but my promise for this blog and to myself is that I will fix this hot mess and get my voice back. This isn’t changing up who I am as much as just strengthening what’s here and especially for this blog, my writing. You can call it a house but if it’s missing a few walls, it probably needs a bit more before it deserves the name, so that’s what I’m doing. Buildin’ houses… This metaphor is getting off track…
My commitment this year is to deal with issues head on and knock them out harder than I’m going to knock out some of the posts for this blog. I want this year to be the best I can make it for my own articles and discussions and in order to do that, I want to also incorporate everything I can learn from you all. The best ideas come from interaction. I’ve been closed off for too long (and I’ve been talking about myself too much here). So please give me any feedback you can, agreeing or disagreeing, and I’ll try my best to also be there for you all, talking and conversing about this amazing medium we love.
2017 was a bizarre year for me. In some ways, it was the best year I have had to date. It was also the roughest year I have ever had, as well. Through a number of personal occurrences that I’m not going to get into here, I learned quite a bit about myself, and sitting here typing this in 2018, I feel like, and I am, a very different person from a year ago. But this past year, leading up to now, those changes I underwent really helped to shape me as a writer, as well, and I feel that I have now come to a point where I have a better view of myself in terms of who I am and what I can accomplish in this community.
The good and the bad had quite an impact on my choice of non-seasonal posts, though I did not realize that at the time of writing them, and I really feel like this year I have put out a lot of work that I am proud of. However, circumstances being what they were, I did not get as much done as I wanted to in 2017, and I was not anywhere near as active in the community as I would have liked. I’m starting off this year (or rather, I started in December of 2017) working to be out there more and engaging with folks in a way that can help our ani-blogging community grow, and can foster more creative discussion.
I’m not looking for this to be a “new year, new me” kind of thing. I’m not about that. I’m going to make this year a year that I can be proud of looking back, and have it be my most engaged year yet. I’ve got to this point with a lot of support from others (none more so than the other two dorks who write for The Backloggers), so I want to be able to look at them and genuinely say, from the bottom of my heart, that I did my best this year. And I want this best to be magnificent. Everyone, thanks for sticking with me this past year.
In my eyes, 2017 is one of those years I have mixed feelings about. A lot of good things happened, and a lot of really unfavorable things happened, even outside of the blog itself. I wish I could’ve done more, but I also feel guilty for not doing more. It’s a year where I feel like I pushed myself, but I could’ve pushed myself more. I’ve realized the mistakes I’ve made though, and by using those mistakes, I’ve now motivated myself to push this blog forward with all of my will, even if time constraints are tight at times. 12 Days of Anime this year was my first step in doing this, and it really paid off in terms of defeating the writer’s block I had throughout most of the year.
I say that, but I think we also did an excellent job on the blog this year, and I really enjoyed the year of 2017 as a whole. We’ve had a lot of fun and enjoyable moments as a blog and have gotten to share those with the community, and I hope that 2018 has more of those good moments for us. That’s what I want to strive for in 2018, emphasizing the good times together. The rough times will always come and go, but the good times will never be forgotten.
If you’ve managed to read this far (this post is really long, sorry), then we truly appreciate your investment into the blog and your continued support! We’re really trying to make this blog as involved in the anime community as possible, and we hope that desire shines through our content clearly.
Thank you for continuing to support and view our content, and we hope that you enjoy viewing it as much as we do creating it!