Blogging Anniversary Year 8: Feeling obligatory for some reason

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

8 years of blogging

So…yeah, my blog apparently hit 8 years this week. If I had realized sooner that this would be happening now, I may have planned better for it. Why can’t these things happen at a more predictable time? I don’t typically make a fuss about anniversaries, but this one happened to hit at particularly experimental time. Hopefully, you’ve noticed this by now, but I’ve been trying a lot of different things recently. And since I don’t know how long-winded this will get, I’ll make this point early. I don’t know if people actually have any questions for me, but feel free to ask them in the comments and I’ll do my best to respond to them. Note that I will likely ignore questions that get too personal.

Kei must be stopped

It’s hard to remember how much of my story I’ve told throughout the years, so here’s (hopefully) a condensed version. This blog started as a bit of a pet project back when I was a fresh-faced college graduate. I wanted to channel at least some of my free time into something productive, and I’d always been curious about running a website. At the time, I was considering writing about Rubik’s Cubes, video games, or anime. After deciding that I didn’t have anything new to add to the world of Rubik’s Cubes and that I wasn’t good enough at video games, I wrote a review about Code Geass and went from there. Back then, I never would have guessed I’d still be writing blog posts now.

Shaky advice break: You don’t have to know what you want to get out of blogging to give it a shot. It may end up not being right for you, but you’re not going to figure that out until you try. You don’t need to have some grand plan to get the most views or make a living. Just do what makes sense to you.

Kohaku runs an experiment with Yuito and Hitomi

As many fellow bloggers may relate, I started out trying various things before settling on episode reviews. If there was one thing I learned from college, it was that my writing skills were pitiful. So, it was around that time that I decided to write daily posts. After all, they say that practice makes perfect. While I didn’t end up with a shining writing career as a result, this blog is partially the inspiration for my current work as a software developer. Before starting the blog, I’d never taken a computer class in my life. However, I made the decision in March 2012 to invest in my own domain and hosting.

Shaky advice break: It’s important to play to your own strengths. I consider my strengths to be consistency and conciseness, which is why I initially latched on to the idea of writing daily posts about individual episodes. Daily posts aren’t for everyone.

Raphtalia questions your laziness

I started out with a self-hosted WordPress install, so not much changed. I also ended up buying a fairly fancy hosting package, which allowed me to worry very little about things like backups and bandwidth. Honestly, I didn’t think much had changed from my technical knowledge, but I decided to change that by seriously pursuing computer science. Once I found that programming was something that I enjoyed doing, I started my next project: building my own site from the ground up.

Shaky advice break: Hosting packages are typically priced with the expectation that you’ll be unwilling to switch hosts after your first year. That’s why you’ll typically see new account deals for much lower prices. These prices will almost always go up by a lot after you renew the hosting.

It's nothing important

I make it sound so fancy, but it was really a side project. It took me almost a year to rebuild my site in Python (it went live around my blog anniversary in 2016). It’s honestly a great feeling. It’s a lot of pressure, but I have full control over what my site can do for me, and I use that power to automate the more repetitive tasks. For example, did you know that my blog automatically generates the HTML for every one of my images and inserts them into my posts? Granted, I could have done this with a WordPress install, but I chose to use a framework that I enjoyed more. One day, I hope to have the time to go back to WordPress, so I can give advice for the many people who use it as a preferred platform.

Shaky advice break: If there’s something that you do every single time you publish a post, try to think of ways to automate it. You don’t need to be an insane programmer to find a script to save yourself some time.

Time to give some honest answers

Have I ever written a blog post this long? So much for being concise. If you’ve made it down this far, I want to sincerely thank you. I’m terrible at expressing it, but I always appreciate readers like you. It’s a large part of why I’ve continued to exist.

As I’ve said many times in this post, I’m at a point where I’m trying all kinds of new things with this blog, so don’t be afraid to give me any feedback. Seriously, I won’t be offended. This has long been an episodic post blog, and I aim to change that. But all of that aside, I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about my experience as a blogger. I especially enjoy giving technical pointers despite my massive case of impostor syndrome. Again, I can’t promise any answers to personal questions.

Happy New Year 2019: Blogging Resolutions

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

Kohaku runs an experiment with Yuito and Hitomi

So, it’s a new year, and I wanted to try something different (as always). Since this is a time of resolutions, I figured I’d set some blogging-related resolutions for myself. I think it’s a good opportunity to talk about what I’m thinking (since I tend to keep to myself), and get some feedback about the direction I’m considering for the blog. And since this post will act as a record, I can refer back to it at the end of the year to see how I did. You know, for research purposes…

As always, let me know what you think. And if you’re feeling brave, feel free to share your own goals.

Yuu is upset

Write more full series reviews

I’m probably starting to sound like a broken record with this, but I’m planning to put more effort into writing reviews about entire series rather than just episodic reviews. Hopefully, the reviews I did on Zombieland Saga and Yuru Camp are steps in that direction. I think it will add more variety to my posts and help change the way I look at shows, since I tend to think more about specific events rather than overarching concepts.

I’ve gotten myself stuck into a bit of a mental spiral when it comes to full series reviews, and I’m trying to get past it. What inevitably happens is that a season ends, and I stop myself from writing reviews about the shows I covered, thinking that I’ll just be repeating what I wrote in episode posts. Then, I’ll feel bad about writing about series I didn’t cover, since I tend to have less to say about them.

I hope someone will listen

Dive into collaborations

I’ve been seeing more collaboration posts going around, and I’ve enjoyed reading many of them. I’ve always tended to avoid them because of an unspoken rule I have on the site to keep myself from copying concepts or content from other bloggers (and because my ideas tend to be rubbish). But collaboration is different and interesting, and I want to contribute if I can. Hopefully, I haven’t blocked myself off too much from others, so we’ll see what I can get done.

Juliet is surrounded

Write fewer posts

I don’t really have high hopes for this one, since I basically say this every year. Daily blog posts have always been a bit of a self-imposed goal for me, but I’ve always wanted to give myself more of a break if I could. I don’t know what form this will take, since I’ve been thinking on it for multiple years at this point. Maybe I can make myself skip the odd day every now and then.

Oops

Try to write longer posts

I’ve been taking a look at yearly stats for my blog, and I noticed that my average words per post in 2013 was 137 words per post. Since then, the average word count has gradually increased each year, reaching 353 words per posts in 2018. I’m a concise person by nature, but I also think that it helps to put more effort into explaining myself and how I reach my opinions. So, my goal is to keep the trend going, with the hope that I become easier to understand with it.

Season Updates

Let’s get another update on the shows I haven’t been covering on this blog.

Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku

[Commie] Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku - My Teenage RomCom SNAFU TOO! - 09 [7CDB4C48].mkv_snapshot_04.42_[2015.05.29_06.39.41]

This show’s awkward for me. Since it usually gets released late on Thursday or early on Friday, I have a hard time posting about it because I don’t usually have time to watch the episode and I don’t like the saying things without current information. I think that Hachiman in this series is a pretty interesting character. In my opinion, he’s a display of how deceptive altruism is. From the outside, it somewhat looks like he’s the kind of guy willing to help people from the shadows, willing to trash people’s opinions of him to minimize social gain. But it eventually comes across as a somewhat selfish defense mechanism to avoid building the relationships he finds painful.

Hibike Euphonium

There really wasn’t too much music-related content in this new episode…just a lot of relationship building. I’m starting to feel like my analysis is pointless.

Ore Monogatari

Don’t get me wrong. I’m still worried about how this show will turn out, but I really do like that they’ve established the Takeo-Yamato relationship and that they’re switching to the Takeo-Sunakawa relationship. I personally think it’s a much better relationship. But are they planning on just introducing more characters and subsequently focusing on those characters?