Looking ahead to 2010

There’s nothing like the end of the year to make you reflective. I had hoped to start this post off by proudly announcing that although I’d been accepted to grad school for September 2010, I still planned to continue the blog. Unfortunately, all four schools I applied to gave me the middle finger, and since I had given the middle finger to considering any safety schools, it created this whole endless eight cycle of middle fingers and left my future in flux.

But despite my uncertain state of work/study/future plans, there’s still a couple goals I’m committed to for Rabbit Poets:

  1. I want to it be a long term thing; to eventually become a mainstay like Sea Slugs, THAT, RC or Star Crossed.
  2. I don’t want to settle for same old, same old

What’s that mean for 2010?

New theme

First things first, I like Atahualpa, but I’m getting tired of it. So you can look forward to a new look, hopefully sometime within the next couple months (hopefully something without banners. I really hate making them). Sadly, the way I’ve sized my screenshots over the past 300+ posts has really limited my options by being a poor fit for themes following the increasingly popular 960 grid system. So I’ve been checking out different options and inspirations. Of all the blogs I’ve seen, I’d say I really like Ars Technica’s new site architecture. It’s not the snazziest, but I like the way the info is laid out and how you can easily access different categories and types of posts. Whatever I end up with will undoubtedly look somewhat different, but I’m planning to steal as much “inspiration” as I can. There’s also a 50/50 chance that I may jock we love maids and Sea Slugs and go mascot hunting at some point. I’m so ashamedly covetous over Aiko and Nama-chan.

Different posting style?

I’ve never liked the look of my individual posts, what with the block of text, followed by the block of images, repeated ad nauseum. It’s the most logical way to post about an episode, and certainly the easiest, but it looks so… plain. I’d much rather take a more print approach to it, where the images more naturally complement the text. I think Blindability over at Bokutachi does a fantastic job of integrating the pictures within the narrative, for example. Which brings me to a point of user feedback. The pictures I pick for each post make sense to me. But that’s just inside my head. If I was honest, I probably end up not looking at or skimming past pictures when I see them on other blogs (unless they’re central to the post like on THAT). So question for you, do you care about the pics, or would you prefer less of them?

Post length

I’d love to cover more shows. But I only have so much time to do so. So I either have to shorten the posts I write, or possibly find some co-writers. So again, I wouldn’t mind hearing your feedback. Are my episodic posts too long? Do your eyes glaze over, or are they ok, as is?.

New authors?

Adding another writer or two is something I’ve been thinking about, but haven’t come to a decision on. If I decide to go forward with it, I’ll post a formal request, probably sometime before the spring or summer seasons. But if you’re reading this and are thinking you might be interested, feel free to contact me @rabbitpoets. Episodics, editorials, I haven’t figured any of that out, so feel free to ask whatever questions you want. I am an open book

Anyway, regardless of whatever changes I end up making, cheers to a new year of anime that’s hopefully even better than the last!

19 Replies to “Looking ahead to 2010”

  1. Too bad about the grad school thing, but I wish you better luck in the future. What were you looking to go for, if you don’t mind me asking?

    Your blog is great to read and interact in, and I’m looking forward to what you do with your blog in the future. A new site design could be cool if you want to get one, though the current one is certainly clean and functional. I like the banners personally. A mascot might be fun, or perhaps rotating banners of RabbitPoets themed images like Mihoshi in the rabbit print yukata. The Ars Technica site is neat in terms of the content classification tabs, though in my opinion the individual post areas/pictures are a little too small for an anime blog.

    On posts, if you want to go with a more ‘printed’ looking format, Blindability is certainly a good writer to take a cue from (I’ve thought his posts are pretty neat looking too). That said, I really like the content and layout of your posts as they are now. In general I like longer posts that look at the episode as a whole in both recap and commentary, and a good amount of images interspersed throughout both remind the reader of what happened visually and help fix a moment that the writing discusses in the reader’s mind. When a post is too short or has no visual element, it doesn’t really draw me in. Covering more series is something I’ve thought about in my own blogging, but eventually I decided that I think the readers and I would have more fun with fewer covered series but with more/better content. But that’s just my view, and I’m sure you’ll make a sound decision when you take a look at your available time, what series are out, and how you write your posts.

    My preference for longer posts and a lot of images is my bias though, I do write for THAT after all 😀 . BTW, for the time being we’re using the old site, though hopefully the new one you linked to will be up soon (my hired help seems to have found the core problem.)

    Happy New Year!
    .-= ExecutiveOtaku´s last blog ..Comment on SDF Macross: Do You Remember Love (plus promised Macross Meal culinary tribute) by Magnus =-.

    1. I was applying for an MBA program. Not getting in isn’t the worst thing in the world. There’s still plenty of other good schools I’d consider, and it at least gives me extra time to save money for it. Although, I certainly wouldn’t have minded not dealing with the application process again. Oy.

      Thanks for the feedback. I’m actually a little surprised to see how much people actually like the screenshots (poll response-wise). I do like them as visual breaks, but wondered if people thought they were superfluous otherwise.

  2. Rabbitpoets the team blog? I’m looking forward to seeing how that develops. BTW, I thought that cute little snow-rabbit was the mascot. If you did end up with a mascot it have to be something with rabbit ears.

    Eh…I was going to click submit but I feel embarressed with such a small comment when EO wrote that one above me. All I can add is I do hope you stick around as long as the big boys. I’d hate to see one of my favourite blogs die
    .-= Scamp´s last blog ..A quick visual representation of anime in 2009 =-.

  3. I’m sorry to hear that about grad school. Sometimes you have to say F you, and just give them the middle finger. That, and there’s nothing wrong with taking a year off to figure things out.

    I wish you best of luck with the team blog. I’d be all over that, except I’m not good enough writer to write with you, and well, once bitten twice shy. I will pass on the advice though that if you do a team blog, you’ll need to maintain your position as boss–which means not disappearing, and being a consistent figure. It’s hard to get any respect as the leader if you’re never around. That, and have good communication and allow for flexibility. Not that I think you’d do badly on any of those points, I just want to try to point out the importance.
    .-= Janette´s last blog ..2009 Anime Overview =-.

    1. Yeah, you’re right. Plenty of time to think about what’s next. In the meanwhile, I’ll still be working. So at the very least I won’t be destitute. 😀

      Thanks for the advice, I’ll definitely keep that in mind. And I agree, just as I wouldn’t want a derelict writer, I think the flipside is definitely just as important.

  4. The length of the posts and pics are fine as they are imo. I found that you keep a good radio while keeping all key information regardless of the show you’re blogging about. That’s not exactly easy to do. Also I wouldn’t encourage you to cover more shows if you don’t have the time but I’d like to see random posts of shows every now and then that you have a certain interest in but haven’t talked about before. Mainly because it’ll be nice if you let the readers know what other shows are also catching your attention each season even though you aren’t blogging about them.

    My opinion of team blogging isn’t the greatest in great part because I’ve always greatly appreciated individuality and because I become interested in a blog because of the author’s opinions more than anything else. It’s not like team blogs don’t have that but it’s harder to get a feeling of the blog and where they stand with multiple writers. I wouldn’t want to see this blog reaching a point where there’ll be so many writers that I don’t know who is writing what. But in your description you mentioned only 1 or maybe 2 writers so I suppose that won’t be much of a problem.

    While it may be a good idea to have more writers to provide different perspectives, it’ll be much recommended if that person does share similar tastes and much more importantly attitude. There’ll always be conflicts if the new writer(s) and you are total opposites and talk about things the other has no interest in. Of course, not everyone has the same ideas so difference in opinion and taste will be always be present but keeping a healthy ratio will guarantee that old readers don’t feel they’re reading a completely different blog. Well, that’s what I think. I have nothing against guest writers though as the idea sounds fun.

    Anyway, I’m sure the readers that come visit Rabbitpoets do it for you personal opinions and impressions more than anything else. Like somebody above me said, I’m sure you’ll make a sound decision.
    .-= keikakudoori´s last blog ..The Legend of Koizumi – Political GARNESS – Ex-Prime Minister Koizumi, Now In Your Animu =-.

    1. That’s a good suggestion. For whatever reason, I have a strange habit of forgetting that I have the option of making a random post about a random show. I think in general, I wouldn’t want to go over 3 shows a season. That’s probably the max I could give each a fair amount of attention to. (Unless one as a shorter, crappier show like Haruhi-chan)

      If I did pick up a writer, it’d be very important that each writer have a distinct voice of their own (or develop one). I definitely agree that it’s a little discombobulating if there’s a bunch of different writers that all sound the same, or post irregularly so that you never get to make a good connection with them. Then the whole blog seems to lose its personality.

      Thanks for all the feedback!

  5. Sorry to hear about your grad school thing. I didn’t know that schools made decisions that early. Most of the schools I’ve applied make decisions in Feb or later.

    To become like RC or THAT or SS!AB… have to be around for at least three years and consistently deliver content while continuing to draw more and more visitors. It’s going to be a lot of work, but if you set your mind to it it’s definitely doable. Best of luck with the blog and happy new year!
    .-= TJ´s last blog ..Happy New Years! =-.

    1. The schools I applied to had October deadlines with December responses. Although there’s 3 stages of applications that go until Feb or so. The flip side is the chances of getting in are tougher for each subsequent stage. It must’ve been a tough crowd this year. But all’s well that ends well hopefully. 😀

      Yep, you can’t speed up time unfortunately. :-p Thanks and happy new year to you too!

  6. With the economy as it is, schools are flooded with applications, so it’s gotten a lot tougher to get in.

    Nobody wants to settle for “same old, same old.” Ganbatte!

  7. Haha, I am pretty much the exact opposite of EO in terms of images in posts, but I am a dinosaur on that front. xD I think you use a solid number of them in your posts, though it’s always good to be more thoughtful about how they’re used. I at least try to make sure each image I use connects to the next point I want to make and comes during a natural break in the post, but that doesn’t always work, haha.

    I find recaps useful only when they explain things that might be a bit fuzzy in the episode, or remind me of things that happened earlier in the series that connect to what it is going on in the current episode. For example, I thought the episode recaps you did for Umineko were quite helpful, but if you wrote, say, Haruhi-chan with that level of detail, I would gloss through it, haha. For the most part I tend to ignore recap, but if it has to be done, I like the way you do it because you offer your own thoughts along the way.

    Best of luck in applying for grad school in the future! I thought about grad school for a couple of seconds because I had such a difficult time finding a job, but I don’t think I could handle more school — I was so glad to finally graduate college!

    1. Heh, if one of you guys is a dinosaur, I’ll let you guys fight that out. :p

      Thanks for the feedback. I think I’ve gotten to the point where I’m able to blend the recaps in to be almost peripheral to the post. Sometimes, at least. It’s usually when I have little to say about an episode that I’ll drone on with summary text. I might’ve got a little lucky with Umineko since that had something crazy going on each episode.

      Thanks for the well wishes! Oh yeah, there’s no way I could’ve done grad school coming out of college. But having worked several years since then, the terrible memories of studying have faded, while the bitter resentment of working has built up. I can’t wait to retire. :p

  8. I have been looking for a good anime blog for quite awhile. I have considered making my own blog, as I have not been satisfied with the blogs that I have surfed. The sole anime blog exception is Tenka Seiha. Unfortunately, she and I have different tastes and sometimes do not watch the same shows in a given season. Today, I found your blog and I think its pretty awesome. I wouldn’t mind blogging 2 shows regularly for you if you are interested.

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