The Pink Sylphide
There are a few reasons I started up The Pink Sylphide, and a few reasons I added along the way.
Notice: When I write about “Anime Blogger”, I specifically mean Antenna, not the blog hosting service. Thanks for pointing out this error, Author! I’m too lazy to actually reword the post or anything.
One reason is to write about series no one seemed to be writing about. Reading episode commentary can pique ones interest in a series they haven’t seen before, leading to buying a series to watch. From there, further following the episode commentaries can add interest to watching a series. At least in theory. I like reading commentaries after I’ve completed watching a series.
Another reason is simply to write. It doesn’t matter what I am writing, so long as I was writing. A majority of what I write for The Pink Sylphide never actually gets posted. Not posted material tends to be something that’s become too long and unruly, unguided content, content whose meaning became lost as it expanded in length. tl;dr? Quite indeed.
A later-added reason is to increase my Japanese vocabulary. This one’s been greatly slowed down for a variety of reasons, but it’s something I’m still working toward.
Extending my memory is a further added reason. I can look back and see my first impressions on a series. I can remember what events happened in which episodes. I can refer back to things I’ve written. And when I write about the events happening in a series I’m watching, those events become more solid in my mind, easier to remember as I continue through the series.
More reasons relate to types of posts which haven’t appeared yet.
On the Inside, Looking Out
Starting out, I figured I’d pile as many anime blogs into my feed reader as I could, and see which ones stuck. In the first few months, I probably added 30 blog feeds, only to have it drop to a few. I don’t watch fansubbed anime, I don’t watch the latest off of Japanese television. I watch what I can buy on DVD. (There is Druaga, but it didn’t hold my interest enough for me to keep paying for it, although I may still continue it eventually.) Mostly, no one talks about a series not currently airing. With minor except, any series having ended airing in Japan apparently is old news, and nobody talks about it. Essentially, I was looking for a service like the one I hoped to provide (writing about DVD-released series which were easy to miss due to lack of discussion about them out there), and I wasn’t finding it.
I decided to look into aggregator services. I figured, “I should be able to find a greater number of anime blogs there,” as well as, “I can submit mine, to put series such as Janggeum’s Dream and Princess Tutu out there. How noble I propose to be.
As a first step, I submitted The Pink Sylphide to Anime Blogger and Anime Nano. I’m not sure how long ago the submissions were (at least nine months ago), but The Pink Sylphide appeared on neither. I figured it was probably due to backlog, although I think Anime Nano‘s had its backlog cleared more than once since then.
Figuring The Pink Sylphide wouldn’t be appearing on either Anime Blogger or Anime Nano, I decided this was for the better. A few choice rankings on Google and Yahoo! might have made my content easier to find for select series, but The Pink Sylphide was nowhere near what it could be. Even now, time doesn’t permit me to advance it as far as I’d like, and skill (or lack thereof) in writing holds me back. Being found via a blog aggregating service would be the easy way out. If The Pink Sylphide were ready for visitors, there would be visitors. Otherwise, it wasn’t ready to put out there. If it isn’t ready to put out there, then there’d be no retention of readers. Then again, I write about series nobody’s watching. Where’s the readership in that?
Writing for Myself
Back when I ran a Pokémon web site, I’d be told often about how my site was the best place—if not the only place—to get various information from the Pokémon video games. Whenever I’d make changes to the site, it’s because the site was a visual representation of a hobby of mine: looking into a video game’s compiled code, deciphering the data I find, and writing a program to extract that data.
It was at that time when I found out just how much a minor change in a web site can adversely affect its visitors. By changing the layout from its longest running color, blue, to my favorite color, pink, I was able to successfully cut the number of daily visitors by over 1,000 individual people a day. Now that was an awesome site to be seen. And it didn’t even matter to me in the least. The web site was just a visual representation of a small amount of the output of my hobby. And, by golly, I decided it was high time to represent that data using my favorite color.
I wonder what it says about me if I have no problem whether there are three or 3,000 daily visitors to a web site I publish. Whether there are 1,000 regular visitors, or zero regulars, with all traffic being to specific posts via Google. A majority of people arriving from a search engine arrive at my Braided Hair and a Hanbok post. There’s nothing else on the The Pink Sylphide for someone interested in Korean clothing. I don’t expect new readers from this kind of post. I wanted to learn more about braided hair and hanboks (in reference to 1500’s era Korea), and writing about what one learns makes it easier to remember. That, and it gives me a place to refer to when I do forget.
If The Pink Sylphide is an online view of what I write, a place for me to refer to things I’ll forget, then maybe I’m writing for myself, the same as I did with my Pokémon web site.
Recently, I looked over a short list searches which lead people to The Pink Sylphide. I always enjoy seeing “janggeum’s dream” or “princess tutu” in the searches, because it shows people are looking for information about these series, it shows people are reading up on these series.
What caught me off guard was the incoming links section, with a link from Anime Blogger. The Pink Sylphide had finally made it in. This means a few things for The Pink Sylphide.
First and foremost, I need to see if I can find my login information for Anime Blogger… If I can manually change the feed URL for The Pink Sylphide, then that’ll be my top priority. I’d like to filter it better so random posts about “learning Japanese watching Cardcaptor Sakura” and “here’s a desktop wallpaper of John at the beach” (as well as other types of planned posts) don’t litter Anime Blogger. Likewise any posts not strictly related to anime.
Secondly, I’ll definitely want to add a link to Anime Blogger on The Pink Sylphide. I don’t see anywhere where this is required to be listed, but it’s common courtesy, ya’ know? I’m thinking I’ll drop it into the footer, as my sidebar can use a lot of cleaning up right now, and doesn’t really have room for extra things.
Third, I’ll have to investigate how posts work their way into categories on Anime Blogger. Never mind that only about one series I’ve written about actually has a category on Anime Blogger. I can’t see any pattern looking at posts on Anime Blogger and at the feeds they’re coming from, though.
I wrote this piece on a morning work commute last week, and really don’t know where to go from here on the post, so I’ll let this paragraph end it. Maybe I should have inserted random, unrelated anime artworks into the post…