I never given it much thought, but I now realize that there are exceptional people out there with the same interest in Anime and all things relating to visual subculture of the East as I do. Starting a blog, a so-called “Anime Blog” is living and breathing proof of that fact and acts as an extension to express that love. It is only natural that like minds will find each other, speak amongst themselves, and enjoy interacting with each other. That is one side of “Anime Blogging”, the cooperative half, one that is both beneficial and useful for being able to make a connective community. However, when it comes down to the mad scramble for pages views/viewers, comments, and otherwise; the competitive half, does it actually contribute to the community or is it just pure narcissistic pride? Is it helpful or necessary?
To be clear, I have nothing against competition, since if done right, beneficial effects are yielded from it. However, do note I mentioned “if done right” only does that happen and often times that is not the case. From past experience and a more recent reading only serves to remind me of how petty (if not ambitious) some individuals can be, but for the exact reason is the key question. The pettiness I speak of was aforementioned: page views, attention, and whatever ego enchantments might come with it. What exactly is the point? If anything, flaunting that type of achievement profusely only draws in ire and hate from others and does not make the person in question look any better. Honestly, for myself, that is all I thought competitive Anime blogging had going for it in the most possible negative terms, but that must not be the case always, right? Can there be true helpful competition?
Competition tends to have a negative connotation naturally, since it always implies that there must be “winners” and “losers”, but in all reality that is a complete fallacy. For example: Your friend challenges you to a “Hotdog Eating Contest”, where you must more than he/she. There is not guarantee you can eat “XX” number of hotdogs, so you are trying to; which actually is forcing “yourself” to stomach it all. So actually, you are in competition against yourself and your own limits and that is what I mean about helpful competition. Instead of dueling it out over interesting post for more readers, you also changelle one to watch series “XX”, a series that otherwise the other person would not watch or even who can find the most interesting series and having others vote on the choices. Anything like that is what I call wholesome and encouraged competition, true competition, since both individuals benefit from it and it is less adversarial.
Of course, most people would disagree with what I stated above, writing it off as self-righteous, ridiculous poppycock – but truly when looking at competition the other way, there is no real benefit and only another fragile rule broken that can send a blog and blogger straight to the dead zone quicker. Cooperative blogging can be just as fun and rewarding and not that far from the competitive side. I have never been one for group work, projects, or collaborations – and still today have trouble with it. However, for the times that I have participated in ones of the blog variety, I must admit it is a very unique and satisfying feeling being able to be part of something bigger than yourself and also doing it with like-minded people you can speak candidly with. Whenever someone even thinks of me enough to allow me to participate in whatever joint event, it makes blogging slightly more enjoyable and less isolated. I feel as if I belong and actually valued for an opinion that I might hold and in kind, I can read from others with different viewpoints. To me, this aspect of blogging in the cooperative sense is the best available; free from the lofty pursuit of elevating one’s ego and simply just to enjoy each others company and foster conversation. That is the kind of cooperative Anime blog I dream of running and community I want to be part of.
Maybe in a myriad of ways, Competitive blogging and Cooperative are not so different; if done properly. I think it is far more pleasing than doing it out of the narcissistic and malicious fashions; as well as adding to how long your own blog will be around. It might also contribute to how long you will be interested in Anime too. Some of the reasons behind my “Project Revitalize” was to both be competitive; to find new Anime Blogs, but also introduce them into a larger community to foster friendship and help them stay alive. Being cooperative like a true community should. It is an admirable, weird, and tough goal, but one I still want to make happen. Yet, as naive and optimistic I wish to be, my cynical outlook tells me that such will never be. However, for those reading, might there be Competition in a nature other than I mentioned that lacks adversarial and egoist swagger or is Cooperative simply better? Are they the same or totally different? Which do you engage in if any? Maybe it really does not matter all that much, but does weigh greatly on my mind.