It’s that time again, folks. The Backloggers Anniversary has rolled around again, and I honestly can’t believe we’ve been doing this 4 years at this point. Granted, we’ve had our ups and downs in terms of activity and the first year of starting up really doesn’t count anyway, but hey, at least we can say that we’re still doing it and still intend to continue doing it for a while. So no worries about us going anywhere anytime soon; we’re here to stay!
We’ve got a lot of ground to cover with this year’s anniversary post, so let’s just go ahead and get right to it!
Taking a Look at 2018
If you look back at every anniversary post we’ve done thus far, you’ll notice that we never have a constant decline in our goals that we set for ourselves, and every year we manage to meet them in some form or another. We may not be the most successful blog in the Anisphere, but we’re definitely one that constantly improves ourselves and attempts to keep current with the times in as many ways as possible.
This year, we’ve gained so much support in terms of followers, comments, and Twitter interactions, and the stats themselves reflect on how much our blog has grown over the years. It’s absolutely amazing to see our blog that used to get 2-7 views on days we updated now end up getting over double that on days when we don’t post anything at all, which just goes to show how much we’ve grown. It’s just satisfying to see something you’ve created rise up from the ground and be successful, even if it’s not the most successful out of the ones around.
We as the Backloggers have definitely tried to make this blog something to stand out among other blogs in the Anisphere, and I think we’ve accomplished that thus far in our blogging journey. Thanks everyone that’s supported us and will (hopefully) continue to support us for many years to come!
That aside, we’ve had some major blunders this past year too due to all sorts of personal issues, and for the final time, we will say that we apologize for those times where we lacked content, updates, and general announcements about what was happening. We did a disservice to you guys, and we are truly sorry for that.
But now that it’s a new year, we’re going to put those blunders behind us, learn from them, and move forward in a new(ish) direction, with new strategies in how to deal with those issues when the time arises. For those of you that have stuck with us thus far despite our messes and issues, again, thank you.
A Better Road in 2019
If you’ve been a follower here for a while, you may have noticed the increase in content as soon as the new year started. While we’re honestly feeling a bit revitalized when the new year and the new season rolled around, we also have tons of new plans of action in order to keep the content rolling out semi-consistently, an issue that we’ve struggled with in the past. Our back-end organization and scheduling will be a lot more stable than the past year was, and I think that will make everything a lot smoother and more efficient in general for the blog.
You may have also noticed that we’ve started some new ideas in terms of how to keep our content constantly flowing by making shorter posts instead of making longer posts delving into detailed topics. That’s not to say that we’re eliminating those sorts of posts, but for now, we’re minimizing them in order just to get back in the swing of things. Feel free to continue expecting them in the future, but perhaps in smaller amounts than past years.
Mostly, the goal from us this year is to keep the level interaction via comments and Twitter at the same level of priority as we did last year, but also managing to keep it from affecting our stream of content as well. We still really want those interactions from you guys, and we love responding and thinking about complex topics with you guys in the comments, so we absolutely want to keep that going strong as much as we can.
To keep it all of this from overwhelming us though, we had to make some tough content cuts for the better of our goals.
Blog Content Changes
We like to keep people guessing about what the newest piece of content will be at the Backloggers, and this year, we’ve already have some pretty interesting reveals.
Mythos has already started his “Picks of the Month” series, based around manga, light novels, and other media where you have do that “read a book” thing. We’ve been lacking in that particular aspect of content so it’s been a great addition to the blog, so expect more of that in the future!
As far as seasonal content goes, you may have noticed that we started doing the seasonal show posts and then they vanished as fast they appeared. This was due to trying to manage our own complicated writing strategy, and when we ran into issues, they pretty much became unrecoverable. When the system started crumbling beneath us in the middle of summer, it was clear to us that we needed to rethink our strategy.
Enter the “Season Sampler” posts! You may have seen a few in the past, but it’s definitely coming back in full force now. Instead of having a full series covered, we’re now going to cover episodes of shows that we feel like covering. For example, you may see a show with only episodes 4 and 8 written about for one show while another show may have episodes 1 and 11 written about.
We did this in order to keep our seasonal discussion open and interesting instead of railroading our content on a particular show. Plus with three people covering different shows and episodes, we’re bound to get a variety of discussion and thoughts from you guys as well. It may seem jumpier and less consistent at first, but it’s a change that will keep the seasonal content feeling fresh and active in the long run.
The last major change is that the monthly round-up posts… aren’t monthly anymore either. They’ll be a similar formula to the seasonal posts where they’ll be more intermittent, but will hopefully deep delve into those particular posts a lot better than before. We still may have one occasionally where we highlight a whole bunch of posts about a topic or within a time-frame like before, but it will be more uncommon than in the past.
Moving forward, we want to give community posts about a show/topic more attention than we’ve been giving them, as we weren’t really getting the level of discussion we wanted from the round-ups before. They began to feel redundant and weren’t exactly in focus with what our blog is about, in-depth examination of anime-related topics. Instead, expect more posts in the same vein and format of the other group-think articles we’ve done about community topics in the past.
They will likely not happen monthly, as they require a good bit of work and coordination from us, but it will provide a better outlet for that discussion-driven critical analysis that we love.
Changes aside, we’ll still have the same content as we always have. Expect the in-depth posts at irregular intervals, but still at the same level of quality that we’ve been releasing them. We’ll also still have the normal podcast alongside the seasonal one, as we feel those are in a good spot in terms of quality at the moment with our improved editing changes.
And finally, to cap off the past year and prepare to venture into the new one, we have our own comments about our year in blogging below.
Oh shit! I’m first!
I find it really hard to do these kinds of things where I talk about myself. Do I repeat my overly repeated apologies for a lack of content and updates? Do I look to the future and make promises I’m afraid of keeping? I think I’ll try something different this year, instead.
Rather than be specific, I’ll give a general promise that this year on the blog, and in my life in general, I promise to be not just be more active in a content sense, but also active in interacting with others. When we started this blog, I wanted to get my own opinions out there, sure, but I also just wanted to talk to others and listen to what all they had to say. I’m no stranger to having other people in the room that are infinitely smarter and more capable than myself and I think it helps to keep that in mind when talking with others that as much as I may love my own opinion, maybe they have a better one.
So I’ll commit to doing more than this past year, partly for guilt of the lack I did before, but especially since I’m in a much healthier situation that what I was last year as far as my mental health and have the energy to push myself to do more. And I’ll also put that energy into making sure I interact with the community, support you guys when I can, and always push for something positive. This group of diverse and lovingly weird anime nerds has been one of my favorite groups to have been a part of and I want to make sure I don’t miss out on what makes it that amazing of a space to be: You guys.
Genuinely and truly thank for for everything. I hope to see and listen to you all a lot in this coming year.
Oh shit! I’m in the middle!
I’m not going to lie, 2018 was maybe simultaneously the most stressful and most fulfilling part of my life. I got out of a toxic, long-term relationship, moved back to my home state, rekindled some old friendships, sparked the most supportive, fulfilling relationship of my life, got what has been, for the last few years, my dream job, moved into a new apartment, and have been planning classes from scratch. It’s been hard, but immensely gratifying.
Unfortunately, you’ll notice that in that blurb above I didn’t mention much about the blog. That’s because though this was a great year for me, I have never been this stressed in my life, and it definitely took a substantial toll on my ability to just sit down and work on anything for the blog. Time spent working on blog stuff was time I wasn’t planning a class or grading, and that just wouldn’t jive with how I was trying to approach my new job. As a result, 2018 was a bit of a dry spell for me, creatively speaking, for the Backloggers blog.
That being said, I was at least able to take time to watch a good bit of anime, both last year and leading into this new year, and as a whole, I feel better than ever. Heck, coming out of the gate, I have a post about W’z that I had a ton of fun(?) writing that just came out, so you should definitely give it a read if you get the chance. Starting the year by getting something out after having what was essentially a long-term hiatus feels incredible, and I don’t plan on losing that feeling any time soon. You can expect to be hearing more from me this year, so be on the lookout!
Oh shit! I’m last!
This year has been a crazy one for me in general, and it honestly took me a long time for me to adjust to a lot of the hectic adventures of my work for me to even feel like I managed to get anything accomplished otherwise. This, especially midway through the year, really put a damper on my blogging habits, but I really wanted to continue to push my fellow friends/blog-mates into keeping up their work as well. Turns out it worked out pretty well, considering I was just fully out of commission for a while, and it really buffered out the decline in content that would’ve suffer had it been just me on my own. They really do a lot for the blog and I’m thankful that they’re here.
Now that I’m dealing with my crazy work situation better, I can fully put my efforts back into the blog, hoping that it continues to surpass anything I could’ve ever dreamed of, and that’s a pretty high order considering where this blog has gone already. It’s again you guys as the community that keep us going, and while sometimes I get driven mad with all the crazy drama and antics that the community has in store, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Thank you guys for continuing to support us, and I hope to continue to be able to contribute to this blog and the community in the ways that I have in the past, along with many more!
…As long as the amount of puns in this post doesn’t make Tofu hunt me down, that is. Sorry (not sorry)!
We can’t manage to ever make these as short as they need to be, so I appreciate everyone that took the time to read through that huge messy glob of text, but we hope it was at least informative!
Thanks to all that have been and will continue to be supportive of us, whether you’re a long time reader or just managed to stumble upon this post by a sheer miracle!
Cheers to a successful and better year for all!