Having reached the one year point, I’ve decided to spend this week reflecting on what I’ve learned from blogging over the past 12 months, firmly keeping in mind I still have a lot to learn.
We’ve reached the last post of the anniversary. If you missed any of the follower features or what I learned posts please check them out here. It has been a great week reflecting on the blog and where I’m going. It has also been great hearing from my followers about their own experiences with blogging.
Onto the last post of What I’ve Learned and I save the best for last: Interaction.
I’ve said so many times that one of the main reasons I started the blog, other than to get writing again, was to have someone to talk to about anime. To be a part of a community that appreciated anime and wanted to dissect it, praise it, criticise it, mock it, have fun with it, fall in love, fall out of love, and go through the whole process again during the next season. It is incredibly fun to swap ideas and thoughts with others and the people I’ve met since starting the blog are the reason the blog has kept going and will continue to exist.
Blogging isn’t a one way street. You don’t just write the post, publish it, and wait for all the readers to swarm in and tell you how amazing the post is. If I’m posting about Attack on Titan season 2, then I am reading what others are writing about it and engaging them in a discussion, I’m following comments on Twitter, I’m laughing at screen captures or wincing if someone caught the moment Mike… Poor guy. Whichever way, I’m looking for a discussion. I’m not just throwing my post up there and waiting. That kind of defeats the purpose of joining a community if you are just going to throw a comment out there and then walk away.
As part of building ongoing interactions I try very hard to ensure I visit the blogs of anyone who comments on one of my posts as my first priority when I log on in the morning. Next I hit up the reader and I used to open every single post that had come out from people I followed from the day before, however time constraints sometimes prevent me getting to every post from people I’m following (particularly if something happened the day before and I didn’t read as many posts then as I probably should have).
When I have free time I type the titles of anime I’m currently blogging about into the reader to see who else is tagging posts with these. This is the main way I come across new and fairly cool blogs to read. I don’t comment on every post I read and I don’t like every post I read. When I like a post it is because I had fun reading it or find it informative, insightful or interesting (all the good ‘in’ words really). If I have something I want to say then I’ll comment. I really try to avoid commenting just for the sake of it and I’ve regularly started writing a comment, realised I’m saying nothing and delete it, settling for a like instead. There’s certainly posts where I just read them and walk away.
I think it is really important to be genuine in your online interactions (though some degree of tact is probably needed as well). If you want to be a part of the community you need to contribute to it, you need to value the contributions of others, and more importantly, you need to just be involved.
I’ve met some incredibly cool people in the year I’ve been blogging. I may not know their real names or faces, but I know how they feel about different genres of anime, who their anime crushes are, and what their likely reaction to a new title is going to be. More importantly, I value their opinions and I know that even if we disagree, we’ll have fun talking about it. I truly value the interactions and discussions I’ve had since starting this blog and as this is my final post for the anniversary series I do want to send out one more big thank-you to all the followers.
What I learned from blogging this year is that the online anime community is alive and thriving and being a part of it can be an incredible experience (just know that every community has one or two issues).
I did ask this in my first anniversary post, but I do want to continue to give back to the anime community and create even more interactions between people. That is partly why I run the In Case You Missed It posts on Monday and also why I decided as part of my anniversary to feature some of my followers, but I’m open to other suggestions of ways I can make my blog a bit more welcoming and interactive. Share your thoughts?
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