Blogging and journalism are like salt water and freshwater; to some anyways. Today, they are mixed; you can see the afternoon newspaper dying in the streets and reborn online with the likes of industry, pro bloggers and journalists who release bits of news in a blog format.
But are they suppose to? I guess this guy probably doesn’t think so. What surprised me was my own reaction about he being surprised at ANN’s relatively new tack in regards to internet reporting.
Undeniably true, however, is that ANN is getting more traffic the more they dabble in this so-called “huggle” readership. If you read the comments in that In Search Of post, one of the commenter mentioned this and, well, that’s what blogs are all about! At the same time, unlike other news blog sites that we might be familiar with, ANN is sort of in mid-transition between a more traditional news website to a news blog.
As one of the first major anime fandom company on the internet, I didn’t really pay ANN any mind because it utterly failed to serve my needs (mainly protonews and a source of industry hubbub which was primarily what AoDVD was for). At least, until their mighty encyclopedia started to gain momentum. As a factoid, the first anime entry in the database is Angel Links. That should give you a clue to its vintage.
[Coincidentally that was one of the first series that I’ve had the joy of watching the digital raws while the series was airing. (And the subsequent joy of dropping it.) Anyways.]
So, yes; if we took a look at what fan blogs are about this day and age, we’ll see how things break down:
- Episode reviews, previews, retrospectives
- News – Both straight-up news and entertaining news. Does Mainichi Daily News counts? But I was thinking more like, say, akibablog or Canned Dogs.
- Special features – Like a March madness tournament. Like blogging about your company’s Blu-Ray strategy. Like a sound clip from Yukana. But usually just reports from cons–the home of the huggles.
A lot of blogs mix them up, including this one. But I think that just lays out the things you will see ANN do more of. Being a commercial entity they already have a leg up on getting special interviews, so as a potential reader I hope they can do more of those.
The role of editorial bloggers and editorial blogging, however, is something else. To an extent, the power of blogging comes from the ability to do whatever you want with disregard to any kind of professional standard. If quality writing, professionalism and speed are important things for any publication, why is ANN getting the readership it gets?
Perhaps a better way to see the big picture is to understand how people gather information using the internet. And quite simply put, as long as it isn’t a time intensive and otherwise pain in the neck kind of a thing, people are quite content reading the words of a recent ESL person versus someone who has been writing professionally for decades. What is important is the information within, and does the information in the format presented serves the needs of the person looking for it. Or at least that’s how I judge the quality of information.
But that’s just how I see ANN, as a source of information. Different people perceive ANN as different things, after all.
That’s blogging in a nutshell IMO. After that it’s just a long sliding scale from awful to awesome. We are here to serve our huggling overlords, and many bloggers double duty as both. It doesn’t matter how we call ourselves, our readers can tell the difference (so we believe).
After all, it is the non-Serious-Business nature of internet blogging that makes amateur production feasible; there may very well be no incentive for a person to improve his or her blog if there is nothing to gain from it…much like how ANN has no incentive to improve the quality of its services?
It might be healthy to be obsessed with your blog’s traffic after all?