AniBlog Tourny Round 1: Lessons Learned

Even though this blog wasn’t up in the first round, there were still some suggestions I saw given to other blogs which looked like could be applied to mine as well.  Many of those suggestions came from Chikorita157 who did their own similar writeup two days ago.

Many of the things they talked about I also agreed with, and even discussed on this blog when talking about the AniBlog Tournament:

  • Keep your Blog up to date
  • Have a decent and relatively unique design
  • Don’t use large banners
  • Have sufficient navigation, such as categories, tags, etc. (and have them actually be usefully labeled.  Having an “anime” category where 80% of your posts go with no further breakdown doesn’t count)

I can kind of add to that some of my further thoughts:

  • I’ve found a trend among some blogs to have a posting style of a sentence or maybe a full paragraph of text, then an image, then a sentence or a paragraph, then a sentence, and so on. While I guess this would be an OK format if the entire post was about commenting on the images, if you’re actually writing about the episode, I found it to be rather disruptive, with it needlessly breaking up the text.
  • Tag clouds: They are the bane of  humanity. I have a tag cloud too…on it’s own page.  Generally most tag clouds are so big and bulky they probably should be on their own page too instead of stuck on the sidebar.  If you feel compelled to have a tag cloud, try to make sure you only have a limited number of tags, or you at least limit it to the most used tags on your site.  And try not to make it too big or stand out too much. You don’t want it overpowering the rest of your page.

Things That Apply To This Site

However, just because I was passing judgment this round doesn’t mean I wasn’t also paying attention.  I largely took advantage of  Chikorita157’s advice and installed a plugin to create a mobile version of the site (hopefully it works since I don’t actually have a mobile device to test it with); do the page numbers at the bottom of the page, which I find much nicer than just the previous and next episode links; and I tried to cut down on the recap part of my review for upcoming episode reviews (I’ve always had a bad habit of writing excessively long recaps).

One additional thing I’ve added, since I noticed that my blogroll was starting to get really long, was install a plugin that shows 10 random links instead of the whole long thing.  That had been on my mind for a while, so I figured I just as well do it now.

In any case, as the 2nd round goes on, perhaps I’ll pick up other ideas on how to tweak this blog, hopefully for the better.


7 thoughts on “AniBlog Tourny Round 1: Lessons Learned

  1. These suggestions only apply if the blog owner optimizes to win ABT, which may not be the case.

    • Maybe. Some of them I think are just good ideas too. I have no illusions about winning the tournament. I know I won’t. Even if I get past the 2nd round, I’m pretty sure I won’t get by Omo. But hey, I can still try to find ways to improve my blog anyway.

  2. I’ll have to see if Blogger has a mobile option. That is a good idea, though I have purposefully kept the text block area smaller to accommodate viewers who still use smaller screen resolution sizes.

    “…I tried to cut down on the recap part of my review for upcoming episode reviews (I’ve always had a bad habit of writing excessively long recaps).”

    I assume you mean the synopsis part of your episode reviews? If so, that’s been a thought of mine in regards to my own blog for a LONG time. There has only been one series I was successful at it — “White Album.” Heck, I was practically forced to a different story synopsis format because of the presentation style of “White Album.” After that, I decided to just keep it very short and simple, but there were still times it became two paragraphs. ^_^;

    Actually, I should take modern anime titles and keep those synopsis short since there will be tons of them. For the old school anime titles where I’m likely the only episode blogger for the series, a longer synopsis might be useful to people.

    Good luck in the next round, sir. ^_^

  3. For episode or series reviews I try and use a 150pixel high screencap composition every 4-6 paragraphs to balance text and image., an alternation have always liked myself.
    Would you suggest to have images concentrated on only one part of the post instead?
    This might lead to walls of text though.

    Am trying to condense my synopsis/recap section of episode reviews as well to keep it more digestible for readers (and more expedient to write for me)

    • I think 4 to 6 paragraphs is fine. I’ve kind of found that having some text, than an image, then some text, then an image is fine as long as the text are still in somewhat readable chunks, say 2 or 3 paragraphs at a time at least. What I really didn’t like was when the images were taking almost as much, if not more space, on the page than the text, breaking up the text and making it get lost. I definitely didn’t have that problem on your site.

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