My fellow anime fans, good evening.
Tonight, it is a joyous occasion, as we look to close the books on our first year of crowdfunding. December is upon us, which means that our first Patreon anniversary is quickly coming up.
WIth this in mind, I wanted to brief you, our dear reader, on the goings-on at Anime Herald as a whole. This evening, I want to give a brief overview of our brightest achievements, our biggest challenges, and where we intend to take things next.
This year, we’ve published more than 2,134 articles to Anime Herald, as well as our Patreon page. Looking at the breakdown, we’ve managed to post the following:
- 2,002 Non-review, Non-Interview Articles
- 1,855 News Posts
- 2 Long-Form Journalistic Pieces
- 36 Editorials
- 35 Herald Anime Club Meetings
- 23 AniWeeklies
- 51 Other Articles and Op-Eds
- 11 Reviews
- 25 Interviews
- 96 Patreon articles
By the end of 2018, we expect this total to be closer to 2,300, due to the current pace of the newsroom.
Of those 2,134 articles, I am proud to highlight nearly a dozen pieces, which have gone far above and beyond the normal call of duty. These are introspective and intriguing, enlightening, and sometimes endearing. They are, without a doubt, the very best that have crossed our site in 2018:
- Sincerely, Orange
- Anime Made Me Gay: Let’s Go With Hot Blooded Yaoi!
- Anime Matsuri’s John Leigh Lawyers Up to Silence Fashion Vlogger
- Customers Allege That Anime Bento Bilked Them
- Made to Hit In America: Harold Sakuishi Talks to Anime Herald
- A Conversation With Pop Team Epic Producer Kotaro Sudo
- From Gofer to Gundam Master: Anime Herald Talks to Hideyuki Tomioka
- Anime Didn’t Make Me Trans; It Saved My Life
- Anime Boston 2018: Aniplex of America or How NOT to Run An Industry Panel
- Growing Pains in the Anime Industry
- Open Letter: A Time of Crisis For America’s Trans Community
In 2018, we said our farewell to the Media Create sales analysis articles. These gargantuan pieces (2,200 words on average) required anywhere from ten to thirty hours to compile on most weeks, as they were heavily reliant on data and hard analysis.
Readership on these pieces was incredibly limited, bringing in just 6,600 views across all analyses through 2018. Because of the time involved and the low readership, this feature was ultimately scrapped.
Sadly, 2018 saw us fall behind in three content areas that should be cornerstones of our editorial offerings:
AniWeekly: I fully intend to return to the AniWeekly series soon. This was shelved mainly due to time constraints, involving a project that I’ve been working on outside of Anime Herald. I apologize for putting this on hiatus.
Patreon: I offer my sincere apologies to our patrons, who have seen the number of Patreon-exclusive articles dwindle over the past month and a half. This is not my intention, and we should be working hard to deliver a satisfying experience to all of our backers. A new long-form article is in the works, to which they will have priority access to, ahead of its debut on Anime Herald.
Nerdy Talk: Sadly, Nerdy Talk is on hiatus until April at the very least. I injured my voice earlier this year, and I have had difficulty returning to a cadence that I feel comfortable with, without causing harm to myself. We will begin anew with the show once I am full-time in my transition, and I’m able to really maintain my own voice once and for all. I apologize for the inconvenience.
In May, we hosted a survey among readers, patrons, and, well… pretty much anyone who was listening at the time. In our evaluation, we asked three questions:
- How often do you visit Anime Herald?
- What types of content do you prefer to read?
- What format would you prefer to see in the future?
At the time, we learned the following:
- Most of our readers visit every few days, with only about 9.5% of our readers stopping by every day.
- The vast majority of readers popped in every few days, to monthly, with about a quarter of readers being folks who stop in “Rarely.”
- Only 19% of our readers are here for daily news updates.
- About half of our readers wanted us to become more like a digital magazine – a new-age Animerica, if you may, that focuses on the biggest news updates of the day, but gives far more focus on those crunchy extended features.
Now, let’s look at the actual data.
Since June, the month after the survey came out, we’ve published:
- 828 news articles (4.65/day)
- 22 editorials (0.85/week)
- 4 reviews (0.75/month)
- 13 interviews (2.6/month)
There’s clearly a bit of an imbalance in these numbers. We need to correct that.
Rather than comb J-blogs for the latest scraps of content, we need to focus our talents where they would work the best for you, the reader, and where you will have the most fun reading our content.
Folks who know me can confirm just how difficult it is for me to say this. I’ve worked the news desk since February 2003. Most people in this end of things tend to last two… maybe three years, tops, before the churn gets to them. So, really, I’ve had a good run in the trenches.
At the same time, I am well aware that sites like Anime News Network and Crunchyroll are both better-funded and better-optimized for the daily news rush. This is difficult to walk away from on a large level, but I’ll be doing my best to do just that in 2019.
I’ve come to accept that, as an editor and a 15-year-veteran of the news desk. It’s time to stop trying to beat Anime News Network and Crunchyroll, who employ full newsrooms to handle what they’re doing. One woman will not put out thirty articles in the course of a day without burning out.
Instead, I’m willing to cede the role of the dedicated news source to them. Starting today, we will publish no more than the top 3 or 4 stories per day, period… at least until we can reach a balance of 2-3 editorials and longer articles per week.
That said, in regards to subjects, I’m at somewhat of a loss. I’ve been writing about anime for close to two decades now, so what I find interesting might not be the same as what you find enjoyable. So, I’d like to ask you, readers: What types of articles would you like to see on Anime Herald?
If there’s anything you’d like to see, feel free to drop us a line, and I will do my best to see what it takes to make it happen.
I hope that we can continue to earn your trust and your support as we enter 2019. For those of us who enjoy what we do, and want to see us continue to improve, I urge you to consider backing us on Patreon. Your $1 or more can make a world of difference for us, and we bolster our content and make efforts to expand our offerings in the coming year.
Thank you again for your time today, and have a joyous holiday season.
Editor-in-chief, Anime Herald