AniBlog Tournament: Round 3, Matches 9 – 12

As usual, 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.  If you want my input about about the three categories I’m using, read the first page of this post.

Aniblog Tournament | HTML Bracket

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AniBlog Tournament: Round 3, Matches 5 – 8

As usual, 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.  If you want my input about about the three categories I’m using, read the first page of this post.

Aniblog Tournament | HTML Bracket

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AniBlog Tournament: Round 3, Matches 1 – 4

In this round, I’ll keep the same 3 categories, but If I’ve already talked about some things I liked or didn’t like about a specific blog, I’m not sure how much I’ll really expand on it.  I may just do more of a “I like A over B because C” in this round.  If some people have made improvements, or I’ve noticed different things, then I may add them in.  I’ll see if I can expand on my Content section a little bit based on some feedback. I’ll see how well I can do with that.  I think I’ll also eliminate the Post Rate part of the review, to a large part because most of the blogs that don’t post much have already been weeded out, and those that haven’t probably are good enough to make up for it.

As usual, 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.  If you want my input about about the three categories I’m using, read the first page of this post.

Aniblog Tournament | HTML Bracket

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AniBlog Tourney – Round 2 Stats (and a defense)

Since I’ve been tracking them, here are some statistics from the 2nd round (as well as overall) from the AniBlog Tournament:

The second round had 32 matches, 30 of which resulted in an actual vote count (there was one resignation, and the one game with vote manipulation that was canceled).  Over those 30 matches, there was a grand total of 7,539 votes cast, which is a 16% increase in votes, despite having 2 fewer vote-counting matches.  It comes out to an average of 251.3 votes per match, which is a 24% increase.  So far, 14,024 votes have been cast in 62 matches, for an average of 226.2 votes per match, which I think is pretty respectable.

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AniBlog Tournament: Round 2, Matches 29 – 32

As usual, 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.  If you want my input about about the three categories I’m using, read the first page of this post.

Aniblog Tournament | HTML Bracket

[Personal Comment]: Oh yeah, and don’t forget to vote for me in the AniBlog tournament.  Today is the last day to do so! [/Personal Comment]

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AniBlog Tournament: Round 2, Matches 25 – 28

As usual, 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.  If you want my input about about the three categories I’m using, read the first page of this post.

Aniblog Tournament | HTML Bracket

Go below the fold for the goodness.
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AniBlog Tournament: Round 2, Matches 17 – 24

As usual, 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.  If you want my input about about the three categories I’m using, read the first page of this post.

Aniblog Tournament | HTML Bracket

Go below the fold for the goodness.

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Support JAB in the AniBlog Tournament!

Yes, it is finally that time…Josh’s Anime Blog’s turn in 5camp’s AniBlog Tournament.  It’s been a long wait, but this blog’s fateful day is finally here! It’s time to vote! (and while you’re at it, vote in all the other open polls too, as well as visit my opposition’s blog.)

Vote CLAMP for Congress...and JAB for AniBlog Tournament!

AniBlog Tournament: Round 2, Matches 9 – 16 Voting

Sorry for not doing this over the weekend, but I ended up doing a sudden Harry Potter movie marathon just cause I felt like it lol.  In any case, based on the comments from my last batch of sites, I thought I would clarify and correct a couple of things:

1) Content – Content absolutely comes first.  Things are listed pretty much in reverse order of importance (though design and post rate/layout are similar in weight).  If someone has a clear win on content, it’ll pretty much win the overall, no matter who wins the other two categories.  That doesn’t mean I still won’t make comment about the other two categories, but content still rules.  Winner of content is a combination of quality of content and total amount of content (post rate x content per post).  My deference is to quality, if you just don’t post that often, I may very well not pick you, no matter how well you write.  While creating quality content is important, actually creating content, period, is important as well.  So someone with medium quality, but a good total amount of content may beat someone with superior quality, but with a low level of content.  Having said that, I’ll try to read a bit more thoroughly than I have up to this point to perhaps better gauge quality.

2) Post rate – Post rate only matters up to a certain point.  When I see someone posting, on average, about every other day, I pretty much stop counting.  I’d consider posting every 3rd day (about 10 posts a month) to be moderate, and someone posting less than twice a week (usually 6 or 7 posts or less per month) as a low posting rate.  If someone has recently come back from hiatus, and they haven’t been back long enough to really tell what their post rate post-hiatus is, I’ll look at how they posted before they went on hiatus.  If someone is currently on hiatus, then they’ll get penalized for that, depending on how long it’s been.

3) Post style – On this point, I’ll kind of say “my bad.”  I think I need to be a bit more clear when talking about this on whether I think someone’s post style is a problem.  For example, last time I tried to say that, while a couple of blogs had the IPIP (image-paragraph-image-paragraph) post style, they had done it in a way that didn’t make it so bad.  However, I apparently still left the impression that I thought it was bad, so I’ll try to be a bit more clear on this.

4) Design – While this is technically the least important of the two categories, it can still determine the winner if I feel the other two categories are close or counter each other.  Also, being a web designer myself, I kind of feel an uncontrollable urge to point out every little thing that I see that drive me nuts about a design.  That’s why I include my disclaimer at the top of the posts not to take my criticisms personally.  I routinely tear apart people’s designs (including my own).  I try not to be too hard on people who have hosted blogs, such as on wordpress, though things like categories, rss feeds, etc. I will take into account since they can put them on their sidebars.

OK, having said all that, I’ll try my first attempt at making a multipage post here doing my reviews.  As usual, 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.

Aniblog Tournament | HTML Bracket

AniBlog Tournament: Round 2, Matches 5 – 8 Voting

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.

Aniblog Tournament | HTML Bracket

Round 2, Day 3

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Match 5 – #8 Tenka Seiha vs. #57 Open Your Mind

Design: I guess there is nothing inherently wrong with Tenka Seiha’s theme.  It might be nice if the RSS link were higher on the page maybe, and, again, I’m not much of a fan of such a dark design (but you do have a choice between 3 color themes too!) but there is nothing which just screams at me.  I wouldn’t necessarily call it a good design, but I wouldn’t call it bad either.  Open Your Mind uses a pretty common design, but is on wordpress.com, so there is only so much they can do about that.  However, I don’t really like how far down the page the categories list is, and an RSS links seems to be nowhere to be found.  Also, and this is kind of a pet peeve of mine but… *whispers* no one cares how many visitors you’re getting…especially not enough to put it as the 3rd thing on your sidebar! *ends whispering*.  Having a monthly web stats post or something…OK, fine, it’s once a month. But on the sidebar? And so high on it?  I think this may be the third time in a row, but I think considering the two designs, I’m going to make this one a push again.  Winner: Push

Post Rate/Style: Neither blog appears to have an issue with posting rate, so that’s good.  For posting style, I’d think it’d be a bit nice for Tenka Seiha to perhaps have a bit more in their preview text.  Otherwise I don’t really see anything wrong with the post style.  It pretty much consists of the thoughts on each episode and then the gallery.  With Open Your Mind, again, posting style is typically a picture and a couple of paragraphs, so I don’t really see anything wrong with it.  so far, and not very much to distinguish the blogs.  Winner: Push

Content: Tenka Seiha’s typical amount of content for their episode review posts is about 2 paragraphs of thoughts, then the image gallery.  That seems to be running on the low side, for me, especially since that seems to be the standard.  However, Open Your Mind seems to have even less content, which is compounded by the fact that it set up to be an editorial blog.  In fact, it’s lack of content is why I voted against Open Your Mind in the first round, and it’s the reason why it appears like I’ll do the same in the second round. Winner: Tenka Seiha

Overall: Well, I didn’t find either of these blogs to really stand out all that much, but Tenka Seiha had more “there” there.

Winner: Tenka Seiha


Match 6 – #25 Borderline Hikikomori vs. #89 2-D Teleidoscope

Design: Other than the dark design, there isn’t very much to say about Borderline Hikikomori.  I guess I do have to say that the search box is so dark, it almost gets lost, and the RSS link is toward the bottom of the page, but otherwise it seems OK.  2-D Teleidoscope has probably the most bland design in the history of the web, though I guess it doesn’t necessarily hurt anything.  My big problem with them is this: no links to archives. No links to categories. No links to RSS.  Nothing.  While I’m not a huge fan of their color choices, I still think BH still handily wins this category.  Winner: Borderline Hikikomori

Post Rate/Style: Both blogs have a pretty decent posting rate, with Borderline Hikikomori doing a little better, but probably not enough to make a difference since they’re episode blogging and 2-D is editorial blogging.  BH uses the dreaded IPIP (Image-Paragraph-Image-Paragraph) post format, though in this case, the larger font and the smaller images makes it at least bearable, since the text doesn’t just get lost.  2-D does the IPIP thing a little bit too, though they typically have at least a couple paragraphs together at a time, which makes it better.  I think as a result, 2-D might take this category by a nose.  Winner: 2-D Teleidoscope

Content: BH seems to have quite a bit of content per post, which is always good, though it seems to depend on the author how much of it is recap and how much of it review.  Meanwhile, 2-D Teleidoscope also has some pretty good content as well, and when it comes to several paragraphs of episode review vs. several paragraphs of editorial, given similar writing quality, I’m pretty much going to give the edge to the editorial blog, unless the review site has enough actual thoughts by the author to make up for it.  Winner: 2-D Teleidoscope

Overall: This match might be the hardest for me to decide on so far.  2-D won the content category, which up until this point, has pretty much decided to winner, but in this match, they didn’t really win it by much.  They also won the Post Rate/Style, but again, not by much.  The only category Borderline Hikikomori won was the design category, but they won it by a larger margin than 2-D won either of their categories, but it’s also the least important category out of the three.  I think BH has just enough “review” in their episode review posts to make the content category close enough, that their design win can overcome the content difference and the post rate/style difference.  But it is just.

Winner: Borderline Hikikomori


Round 2, Day 4

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Match 7 -#9 hontou ni vs. #73 chaostangent

Design: hontou ni has a pretty good design to their blog.  It’s very clean and organized.  All the important “sidebar” things are easily accessible (RSS, Search, Categories).  It’s just an overall excellent design.  I’m trying to find something to criticize about it, and about the only thing I can come up with is maybe the order of items in the sidebar.  But that’s still a personal preference.  They order they have things in still makes sense, depending on what way you think is the easiest way for people to find content (I personally like to put the search box first thing, but you don’t have to).  However, they go up against perhaps the blog with the best conceived design of the entire first round, and perhaps the entire tournament: chaostangent.  It really is hard to say how impressed I am with chaostangent’s design.  The one noticeable missing item, however, is that I can’t easily find a link to the RSS feed.  I can’t find one on the page at all actually.  I mean, I can find it by adding “feed/” to the URL, but a visitor shouldn’t have to do that.  I also never really got why people have RSS feeds from other sites on the sidebar, but that’s just me. (and you have no idea how far I’m having to reach when it comes down to criticizing that).

However, why I think I’ll end up putting choastangent first in this category is this:  hontou ni took and modified a standard wordpress theme which, normally, would probably give you a great shot at winning the design category right there.  However…I have no idea what theme – if any – chaostangent is using.  The only thing I could gleam from their code was that they are using WordPress, but that’s about it.  However, given the author’s background, and what I saw in the code, I wouldn’t be a least bit surprised if he built his design from scratch.  I think it is this, which ultimately leads me to picking chaostangent here. Winner: chaostangent

Post Rate/Style: Neither blog has a problem with post rate, so that’s a non factor.  There isn’t anything particularly wrong about the post style at hontou ni that I can really see.  Nothing that particularly annoys me anyway.  chaostangent has a minor case of IPIP, though it’s more like IPPIPP, so it’s certainly not as bad, and most of the paragraphs have some beef to it, which make it even better.  They also have a little insert on their post, which is something I haven’t really seen anywhere else.  At least not in the anime blogosphere.  I just like chaostangent’s post style a tad better, especially with that little added uniqueness.  Winner: chaostangent

Content: Unfortunately for hontou ni, it’s primary author, Zyl, now writes for Sea Slugs!, meaning that a good deal of the posts nowdays is a picture, with a link to the Sea Slugs! post about that episode.  Indeed, 4 of the 10 posts on the homepage are currently like that.    However, that doesn’t mean that there still aren’t some pretty good posts on the site.  However, even with that, I just think chaostangent runs them off the road with content.  Perhaps the only thing bad I can say is that he occasionally writes about non-anime things, but for now, he does it with such infrequency, that I can’t really hold it against him very much. Winner: chaostangent

Overall: I think the main thing that hurt hontou ni is just the fact that Zyl is doing most of his episode blogging over at Sea Slugs! now instead of here, and that takes a good chunk of the site’s good content away.  Maybe it would have had a better shot at winning otherwise, and I think against a mere mortal opponent, hontou ni may very well have won, but as it is, I’m not sure how I can give this match to him.  Meanwhile, the more I look at chaostangent, the more I feel that it is going to be quite a formidable out for anyone who faces it in the future.

Winner: chaostangent


Match 8 – #24 Ogiue Maniax vs. #88 Caraniel’s Ramblings

Design: Ogiue Maniax’s design is pretty, well, black and white, but there isn’t anything that I’d say is glaringly wrong with it.  I think the sidebar headers (the light green) is kind of hard to see on the white background, perhaps, and the site is unusual for having the sidebar on the left instead of the right (not that there is anything wrong with that), but other than that, there isn’t much to note other than just the general lack of colors.  Ogiue Maniax, along with Caraniel’s Ramblings, is hosted at wordpress, so there is only so much I can say about the designs.  For whatever reason, I kind of feel that Ogiue is a little easier on the eyes, so I’ll go with them.  Winner: Ogiue Maniax

Post Rate/Style: Ogiue has posts pretty much daily, which, for an editorial blog, is quite impressive.  They don’t use any kind of annoying post styles, so that’s also a plus.  Caraniel’s also posts quite a bit, which appears to be a mix of episode reviewing and other writing, so that’s a non-factor in this match.  Maybe the only thing I have to say about Caraniel is that they use some of the IPIP style in their episode review posts, and since pretty much everything else in this category is equal, I think that pushes it over into Ogiue’s favor.  Winner: Ogiue Maniax

Content: This is where, I think, Ogiue Maniax starts showing some chinks in the armor.  Not because of writing quality, because it’s good, or necessarily because of writing length, because the posts are of a pretty decent length, especially for an editorial writer who is writing almost daily.  Where I think the chinks come in is that there are sometimes topics which aren’t necessarily anime related, and that is something that I decided I would look at.  It normally isn’t an issue, but it does come up eventually.  For an example, on the current homepage, I think I counted 3 out of 10 posts which had no relation to anime, even tangentially, and another couple where the connection was tenuous.  There’s nothing wrong with it…it is their blog.  I just wanted to point that out since it is something that I explicitly stated I’d look for (and have already before).  Caraniel’s Ramblings has a pretty good level of content, though half of it does deal with episode reviews.  So the question comes down to this: does Ogiue’s main anime-related editorial content overcome the fact that maybe a quarter of what they write isn’t anime related?  I think in this case it does, but it was close for me.  I went through a bit more of the archive to get a better feel for the blog, and I just kind of felt that, even though there was some of the non-anime content there, most of the other posts did seem to make up for it.  So I’m calling this one for Ogiue as well.  Winner: Ogiue Maniax

Overall: Despite this being a sweep, Caraniel’s Ramblings is hardly a bad blog.  I think it’s still a pretty good blog.  I just think that it ran up against another blog which was a tad out of it’s league in this round.

Winner: Ogiue Maniax