The more critical side of anime fandom has been expanding lately. It’s always had a presence on WordPress and other blogging platforms, but viewership there has hardly been outstanding. However, with the transformation of YouTube into a mainstream internet platform we’ve seen a growth in critical anime content. Analysis has been spreading into the video medium for some time now, and it’s not at all controversial to say that it gets way more attention there than here. At the same time, there are many more quality bloggers than quality YouTubers, many of whom have unique perspectives to add to the community.
I believe that we should attempt to foster further communication between YouTubers and bloggers. We need to create an atmosphere where discussion between the two is more common, where those in the two spheres are willing to cite each other and mention each others’ works. If our goal is to provide knowledge and new perspectives to the anime community — and that’s certainly my goal — then we need to be consuming all the material we can while discussing as much as possible, and that’s only feasible with inter-platform interaction.
All too often I hear anime bloggers say that they don’t watch YouTube videos. I can understand why someone would prefer to get their information by reading rather than listening, but it’s disappointing to hear it so widely. I personally make a point of both watching and reading anime content and I think that doing so has definitely helped me out both as an anime writer and as a fan of anime in general. I hear similar sentiments from the YouTube side of things, and it’s no better when I hear it from them.
There are some people who do try and cross these gaps. Canipa makes YouTube videos but is clearly active in the blogging circles of AniTwitter as are others like Pause and Select and Pedantic Romantic. But that’s not enough. We need more serious interaction between the two spheres. I want serious debates held on peoples’ main platforms rather than on Twitter. I want people to watch the videos and read the essays about a topic before they speak on it. I want to see YouTube and blogging treated not as totally different things, but merely as two separate ways to convey info within the same sphere.
Being honest, blogs are never going to get the same kind of views as YouTube. YouTube only requires passive participation, while reading requires active participation, something that hurts its appeal. But anime YouTubers aren’t just random people willing to throw an anime video in the background for 20 minutes. These people already read content all the time in order to make their videos. It wouldn’t exactly be hard for them to read more blogs and mention or cite them when appropriate. Nor would it be hard for bloggers to check out videos on a topic they’re writing about before they mention it, like I did with my iyashikei essay. We already see YouTubers respond to other YouTubers and bloggers respond to other bloggers. That kind of cross-community interaction is necessary.
But it just isn’t happening to the extent I want. I mean seriously, Digibro himself started as a blogger, so it’s not like it would be hard for him to get more acquainted with modern anime blogging. Sure, he’ll occasionally cite Ghostlightning or a translated interview, but you almost never see him cite criticism or analysis from other blogs.
It’s really just a massive shame. Things are getting better though. Some of the newer anime YouTubers seem to mingle more with bloggers on Twitter, and as people realize how lucrative YouTube can be we’re seeing more people setting up channels while maintaining their blogs, like LitaKino. It’s something I plan to do myself at some point, and I have no intention of leaving behind the blogging sphere when I do so. We’re also seeing more anime podcasts, which are probably the best realm for discussion between YouTube and blogs. But for someone like me who wants to know as much as possible about anime as a culture, it’s just not enough. I really think more interaction would help both communities. Hopefully we get there at some point.
17 thoughts on “YouTubers and Bloggers Should Interact More”
I am very much trying to move toward being more communicative in the blogging sphere, and less so on Twitter to help keep the balance. Some social sites can be great for certain kinds of conversations, but not so much for others.
While you could just as easily DM other ani-bloggers and ani-tubers on Twitter about the current climate of discussion and what their thoughts on certain anime are, there is something special about having those comments on your own blog and doing the same for others, arguably more so than the comment section on Youtube videos; though they can have just as well thought-out interactions every now and then, but the downside can often be those sort of comments getting buried under a lot of noise that isn’t much benefit to anyone (not to knock on any of the small appreciative and pleasant ones).
Cross-platform communication is something I would very much like to see happening more often and am glad you wrote this post to help highlight this as something that could do with being addressed a lot more. There is much wealth here on the aniblogsphere, and while I myself am fairly knew to it and have scarcely managed to dig deep into a lot more information on the culture, I still find it very interesting to read about such things when I come across them. Always a treat.
Hope this post gets spread far and wide to reach as many anibloggers and anitubers as possible!
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I completely agree with this post.
Communication between the two creative spheres is definitely something that needs to happen more often.
I myself have been trying to encourage this a lot recently, especially as someone who eventually plans to do both YouTube and this blog of mine at once.
Hopefully one day both communities can come together a little more and create some awesome discussions whilst improving everyone’s content for the better.
Great post. I’ll be sure to share this where appropriate! 😀
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What a great post, thanks for sharing! It would be cool to see more sharing between the blogging and YouTube community, as well as more sharing within each community. I often find myself feeling silly or presumptuous when considering referencing other blogs, and don’t know many podcasts or YouTube channels yet (which will change soon, as I am interested in breaking into either or both of these mediums), so I don’t really talk about other users as often as I could. I like the perspective of community building, though. I think that framing it in this way really makes a lot of sense, and will help me feel more confident in referencing others.
It’s only natural, that knowledge will only expand with more bubbles of content creators colliding and interacting. So far this year, I’ve written personal blogs, analytical pieces, a long-form academic essay on Ghost in the Shell, transcribed a live interview at a music concert I went to, plus I got the opportunity to help two anime youtubers with proofreading their scripts. This wealth of experiences from just how many forms of content I myself created this year and contributed to is pretty exciting.
I am always supportive of more cross-referencing amongst creators, not just because of how we can utilise our own unique assets, but our interests as well. I am big into wanting to get more coverage on the sound design and background music aspects of anime, so I write my pieces in film music, as well as perhaps collaborate with a youtuber I’ve relations with on social media to create a video series on my research. It’s the best of both worlds.
While no means reducing everything down to this one point, I think part of the answer to your rhetorical question comes in one of the last sentences you wrote: “people realize how lucrative YouTube can be.” I think people are unwilling to cite others because a citation seems like an endorsement, and an endorsement feels like you are saying “go check out this other person instead of me because they are more original.” All of this is motivated by a feeling I think is seen in many bloggers/youtubers that its a zero-sum competition where more attention for you means less for me.
Again, I don’t think psychology is the reductive answer for everything, but even those that do interact with others seem to me to be rather superficial in those interactions rather than deeper engagements. I recognize that there is some counterpoint to this (it’s not as though NO ONE interacts with anyone else), but I think the monetization motivation beyond a lot of bloggers/youtubers has a bigger influence in creating information bubbles than people would like to admit.
Minor anime bloggers like us have a pretty good reason for wanting attention from Youtubers with much larger audiences than we have, but what do they have to gain from reading anime blogs? To be perfectly frank, very little of what I see in the blogging sphere approaches the quality of writing or analysis to be found in, for example, Digibro’s better videos. More communication could be a good thing, but first you must make sure that you have something of value to contribute.
Not that I want to be a downer, but I think this is the first step: improve yourself. If you want people to cite you, say what nobody else can say, and say it well. Add to ongoing discussions in meaningful ways. If you feel that a Youtuber like Canipa or Digibro or Pedantic Romantic could benefit from learning your perspective on a subject, there is no shame in linking them to it or @ing them on Twitter or however you want to contact them. When thinking about communication, I think it is best to start in terms of mutual gain.
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I completely agree. I’m not going to claim every single video about anime/manga on youtube is gold (it’s not, most of it is bad or boring), but I don’t agree with the assessment being made in this blog posts that most of the “good” stuff is on blogs. I occasionally browse the blogsphere for anime/manga opinions I might be interested in, and the truth is that it’s not very rewarding.
I agree with the comment above from @Qoaleth that there is a psychological side to why bloggers and youtubers don’t cite each other, but again, I don’t agree that it’s only youtubers who don’t cite bloggers (or other youtubers) because it takes money away from them. This blog post, for example, reads like “Why don’t these people pay more attention to ME when blogs are obviously (i.e. without me having to cite any form of source or statistics) better than youtube videos?” So the attention/money grabbing goes both ways, at the very least. And maybe youtubers just don’t cite or link to blogs because blogs have little to offer in their opinion.
I’d also like to add that anime bloggers creating a bubble known as “AniTwitter” and interacting only with an already select group of people who are already on twitter and talking about anime/manga there does not help. No one wants to go out of their way to try to communicate with people who have already created their clique.
I do think blogs are better, but this post isn’t really related to me. I haven’t written much which is worth citing, and I’m fine with admitting that. But given how many more bloggers there are than Youtubers(when we look strictly at more analytical writers), I can say with near certainty that there are more good bloggers. No, I don’t have stats to prove it, but I see no reason to doubt that.
You’re right though that bloggers have some fault here for being part of the AniTwitter bubble. I highlighted Youtubers a bit too much in this piece and I probably should’ve made it a bit more clear that this is an issue caused by both sides.
I LOVED this! You raised some great points and I whole heartedly agree with everything you said about how the community should be more open to using both platforms to interact and discuss. As someone who intends to start an anime youtube channel soon (like many others before me) its refreshing to see a view like yours and I hope I can make a point of doing just this when I make my videos.
I think most of the anitwitter sphere interacts with one another so as long as you’re active and posting on twitter, youtubers and bloggers interact very frequently!
I agree with the sentiments since the majority of anime youtubers I watch rarely talk about the blogging community; there’s always a distinct separation between the two. You either follow youtubers or the blogging sphere. So long as in-office politics don’t get in the way or blind people’s judgment, then the two working together would be pretty cool.