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Question: I wanted to ask your thoughts about anime influencers in the community. I’m certain some are good people, but do you think the status sometimes impairs their vision? From ShirayukiX
To be perfectly honest, this question stumped me. For one, even though there were a handful of names I might have thought of when thinking of influencers in the community, I don’t follow any of them. Most of them are on YouTube and while I’ve seen bits and pieces of videos or even a whole video that’s been shared on a blog, I don’t spend a great deal of time on YouTube for the simple fact that I tend to enjoy reading more than viewing (weird but true). More importantly, I’m just not that concerned with whether I agree with someone’s opinion or not. People who I enjoy reading or watching I’ll watch or read whether or not I agree with them and then I’ll happily go about finding and watching the anime I was interested in.
So I turned to Twitter and asked my followers who they thought the ‘influencers’ in the community were (and thanks to everyone who threw some names my way). Some fairly common names like Gigguk, Digibro and Mother’s Basement floated to the surface but what really surprised me was how indifferent most people were or unaware of who the ‘influencers’ actually were. Perhaps that is just because my sample is fairly small, but by and large people were more questioning whether a name they put in the list was actually an influncer than confident about it. I kind of drew back from the thread altogether once someone threw my name into the ring because I just don’t see myself as being anywhere near big enough for that (but then again, no one can agree on how big you need to be to be considered an influencer so what do I know).
Having determined that no one really knows who the influencers even are I did some research, watched some videos, read some posts, from the names that did come out of the discussion and ultimately, I don’t think I can answer the question. I certainly found content from most of the big names that I disagreed with, but that doesn’t mean the person in question has impaired vision so much as they have a different view on the situation. And without watching or reading significantly more material from any single one of these names, it seems really unfair to make a judgement about their overall perspective from the small sample I did look at.
Therefore, I’ll look at my own experience as a blogger and point out that I do not think it is possible to remain unaware that you are writing for an audience once you reach a certain point. When someone tells me they will pass on an anime I just pulled apart I wonder if maybe I was harsh or biased and just sent someone away from something they may have enjoyed, or someone tells me they will definitely check something out I start running through all the flaws in the show in my head that I didn’t mention in my review and wonder if maybe I should have.
But while I am aware that I have an audience, I don’t let that change my view. I like what I like and I dislike what I dislike. I try to read my posts before they publish to ensure that even if I hated something I’ve been fair to any points of merit that are worth noting. I try to balance praise with some of the more negative points when I’m writing a rave. But ultimately, I’m expressing an opinion, explaining my reasons, and leaving it to my readers to make up their minds. Which is what I would hope most people would do.
So, I haven’t really answered the question and I don’t think I can, but I think this question has raised quite a few other questions that I’d like to turn over to my audience.
01. What does it take to actually be an ‘influencer’ in the ani-blogging community?
02. What impact do influencers actually have on viewership, if any?
03. Who is an influencer that you follow or like and why?
04. Who is an influencer that you you don’t like and why?
Thanks for reading.
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