Once again, if you see me criticizing something about your blog, it’s nothing personal. I tend to tear apart people’s websites when I do comparisons such as this, so just keep that in mind.
I may try a different layout in this round…I’ll see how I like it. I think it’s making my write up for each match longer, so I may end up posting more frequently as well. But more information is never bad, is it?
Round 2, Day 1
Match 1 – #1 Sea Slugs! Anime Blog vs. #64 Calamitous Intent
Design: Sea Slugs definitely wins here, not only having their own unique design, but having their own friggen mascot. I mean really, your own mascot? How are you supposed to beat that? Meanwhile, while Calamitous Intent’s site design is clean, it’s using a pretty common theme (though one has to give it a bit of a break due to being hosted on wordpress.com). Winner: Sea Slugs
Posting Rate/Style: Neither of these blogs have a problem with posting rate, so that’s a good sign. I would say that Calamitous Intent certainly has the “prettier” posts, with the nice artsy pictures and all. Sea Slugs has a more “traditional” post format (though it changes dependent on the author). The recap section of the posts often uses the detested “image-paragraph-image-paragraph” format, though the review section typically doesn’t. Not counting amount of content, I’d say that Calamitous Intent probably eeks out a win here. Winner: Calamitous Intent
Content: Calamitous Intent’s main problem that I see is that most of the posts are somewhat lacking on content, being usually a picture (or a few) and then a paragraph maybe two. There are exceptions, but they are, well, the exception. Sea Slug post length and quality is somewhat dependent on who writes it, but the writing quality always seems to be pretty good, and I rarely see posts that have fewer than at least four paragraphs or so, so there is still at least a moderate amount of content per posts, many of which have rather lengthy review sections, which is even better. I’d say that, as far as amount of content, Sea Slugs is the clear winner here. Winner: Sea Slugs
Overall: With such a clear winner in the content category, the two other categories don’t have a lot of influence on the winner, but I’d say even then, Sea Slugs has a bigger win in Design than Calamitous Intent does in the Posting Rate/Style, so I’d give this as a pretty clear win for Sea Slugs.
Winner: Sea Slugs! Anime Blog
Match 2 – #32 Kitsune’s Thoughts vs. #33 The Cart Driver
Design: I thought both of these sites used very narrow design’s for today’s day and age (both are around 700px wide). However, I found Kitsune’s Thoughts’ design to be a bit more appealing, never being much of a fan of such a dark design, such as the one The Cart Driver uses. The Cart Driver might get some kudos for having such a small banner, but it’d be nice to have some image in it, even if not very big. I think overall, Kitsune’s Thoughts wins the design category. Winner: Kitsune’s Thoughts
Posting Rate/Style: Kitsune’s Thoughts has 11 posts since April 1st, which is a tad over 1 every 4 days, which is in the moderate category for me. Also, I’m not sure how much I like having to scroll on their episode review posts before actually getting to any written content. Having pictures is good, but at first I thought they had nothing but pictures. I like a lot of the nice art in the posts, but I think it’s actually somewhat hurt by the narrow page design. Meanwhile, The Cart Driver appears to have a pretty good post rate, but they use the annoying “image-paragraph-image-paragraph” (maybe I should just call it IPIP from now on) layout, though their non-episodic posts seem OK. However, I think the IPIP layout is better than the “have to scroll for 2 hours before finding content” layout, so that, with the better posting rate, gives this section to The Cart Driver. Winner: The Cart Driver
Content: I’m somewhat worried about Kitsune’s Thoughts’ amount of content. Their episode review posts have an OK amount of content I guess, and some of the other posts are post types where one might not necessarily expect a lot of written content but I’m still not sure about it. The Cart Driver, even if it’s in an annoying format, didn’t seem to be a problem, with it still having a pretty good amount of content. I think The Cart Driver pretty easily wins the content section. Winner: The Cart Driver
Overall: Well, this is an interesting situation. Winning the 2 most important categories, looks like I’m picking The Cart Driver to win this match, despite the fact that I didn’t even pick them to win their first one. I guess that’s how things go sometimes. More Content + Better (if still bad) post style = The Cart Driver, even if I like Kitsune’s Thoughts’ design better.
Winner: The Cart Driver
Round 2 Day 2
Match 3 – #16 We Remember Love vs. #49 Hanner’s Anime Blog
Design: Both of these blogs are on hosted blogging platforms (WordPress and Blogspot respectively), so there is only so much one can say about their design. However, Hanner’s has easily accessible RSS feeds while WRL does not. On the other hand, WRL has a category list near the top of the sidebar, while Hanner’s has a tag cloud at the bottom of their sidebar. WRL also has a wider page, and a better sized header, but Hanner’s perhaps has a slightly better color choice. I think in the end the design is probably a push here. Winner: Push
Posting Rate/Style: Hanner’s definitely has a higher posting rate, with, I think I counted 16 posts since the start of May, while WRL has 13 from the start of April (which works out to just about 2 posts a week). One does have to take into some consideration, though, that Hanner’s is blogging nine series while WRL is more of an editorial blog, and thus will pretty much never be able to post as much as someone blogging that many series. 13 posts in 6 weeks is still borderline, but it’s not bad for an editorial blog. Both blogs appear to have pretty good posting styles however. I guess I’ll go with Hanner’s in this category because WRL is borderline on the posting rate while Hanner’s is not. Winner: Hanner’s Anime Blog
Content: What We Remember Love might lose in the posting rate, it makes up for in the level of content per post. Just going through the last 5 or 10 posts shows that quite a bit of thought and writing went into each. This isn’t a blog that posts a 2 paragraph editorials. These things are long, and while the writing quality (I’m trying to do a better check of actual writing quality this round if I can remember and find time) could use a slight improvement, it’s nothing bad. Hanner’s is, well, basically your typical episode review blog, at least as far as amount of content – typically about 4 paragraphs per post. However, from reading a few of the posts, it looks like the typical routine is 3 recap paragraphs and 1 review paragraphs (though there might be some “reviewing” in the other 3 paragraphs as well). One paragraph of the author’s thoughts per post isn’t really doing it for me. If one has four paragraphs in an episode review post, I would hope that the ratio would be, at the very least, reversed, with 1 recap and 3 review. Winner: We Remember Love
Overall: So this match has kind of turned onto sheer volume of posts vs. volume of content per post. While WRL’s post rate is borderline, I wouldn’t necessarily put it into the “concerning” category. Given the sheer amount of content per post for WRL, and the questional amount of “original” (i.e. non-recap) content at Hanner’s, I don’t think the sheer number of posts they have can save it.
Winner: We Remember Love
Match 4 – #17 Baka-Raptor vs. #48 Paper Flower
Design: I’ll say it up front because it affects how I can review all of the categories: It’s somewhat difficult to get a handle on Baka-Raptor, since it is pretty much an anime satire/troll/snark/whatever website, and so everything, even down to the design, has to be seen through the lens. Normally I’d look at B-R and be like “what a crappy design!” But then again, it’s pretty much meant to be that way, so I’ll try to do what I can. Keeping that in mind, the main thing that I think Baka-Raptor could do in the design which they don’t is have a least a short review of what the post is about on the home page. Otherwise, there isn’t anything that I find particularly wrong with the it’s design. Paper Flower has a pretty nice design itself. I said this in the review for the first round, but the only thing that I think they could do is have 5 posts instead of 3 per page, but it’s not a major issue. I think overall the design category is a push. Winner: Push
Posting Rate/Style: Baka-Raptor only has 5 posts since the start of April, and hasn’t had more than 6 posts per month in…quite a while. The style is all over the place (though, again, intentionally I think). Meanwhile, Paper Flower has 6 posts already in May, and had 12 in April (so about 1 every 3 days), so Paper Flower certainly wins when it comes to posting rate, and Baka-Raptor doesn’t have the excuse of pointing to the type of blog it is, since Paper Flower is mostly an editorial blog as well. I also like the general posting style at Paper Flower, so I think they rout Baka-Raptor in this category. Winner: Paper Flower
Content: Again, you have to look at Baka-Raptor’s content through the lens that pretty much everything they write is satire or trolling of some flavor. I guess Baka-Raptor is OK if you want a good laugh, and you’re into that sort of humor. I found Paper Flower’s content a lot more interesting and informative, and there is more of it. I’m sorry anime blog world, but I gotta go with Paper Flower here too. Winner: Paper Flower
Overall: So with winning two categories, and one draw, it seems the winner of this match is pretty clear.
Winner: Paper Flower