Over the past few weeks, I’ve begun looking at the landscape of the anime blogosphere. Scattered throughout the internet, we have dozens, nay hundreds of people working to create islands within a great ocean of content. Their words reach but mere fractions of a fraction of a niche audience, as they struggle to be heard above the deafening noise of the largest outlets.
With this in mind, I’ve begun asking the questions of “What”, “Where”, “Why?” and “How?” As I pondered the issue, the following issues began to rise above the rest:
- What are these people writing about?
- What is being shared?
- Where do these writings revolve around – are they convention items, travelogues, or just articles written from the home office?
- How often do these individuals write?
- How can this vast amount of content be better leveraged to serve readers and the creators?
- Why are so many writing, sharing, and discussing?
- Why do they have to do this entirely on their own?
And, unless you’ve been under a rock for the past two years, you know I’m a keen advocate of the Blue Ocean strategy. I believe in the logic that untapped markets have problems that can be solved, and that a product that creates value for the users will prove its worth as people begin using it.
“What does this have to do with anime?”
Quite a bit – if one can finally bring together the many voices that filter through anime as a whole, we could begin to see a new format emerge, where content is freed from its shackles, and allowed to work for the reader, rather than against him. The con writers could mingle and indirectly collaborate with the cosplay enthusiasts or news hounds. Business writers could contribute or borrow from the news beat to create their own analyses. And the readers, themselves, could determine whom or what they deem most important to them.
This seems a bit vague and a bit sketchy at the moment, and it is. I’m still currently working through the analysis phases of this project, amidst a busy work schedule, other projects (Project S won’t finish itself!), and my regular writing. However, so long as this concept remains sound and its completion remains viable, I do hope to share with you as the project grows from a nebulous concept to a finished product.