“What Basic Premises Inform Your Blog?” A 2017 Perspective

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

Well, here’s a post I promised myself a few months ago, but neglected to post. 10th Anniversary aside, if you go to the About page, you’d see links to two particular posts:

After looking through them some time in 2017, I realized they were in serious need of an overhaul. Therefore, I decided to revisit those questions and answer them. Of course, I may end up having to update these answers again (even if I seem to have accounted for that), but that’s the nature of the beast.

Enjoy!


Many years ago, Blogmaster Ray (of American Wota, International Wota, and Idolminded fame) put forth a question to the blogosphere:

What Basic Premises Inform Your Blog?

While you have can read the original version of my answer here and the 2014 remake here, I thought that in the spirit of M3’s 10th anniversary (along with update the aforementioned 2014 post that is linked to from the About page), I’d showcase how much things have changed in three years.

The original post was notable as it was the debut of the “Magi-Kat Theory Edition,” meant for “my personal opinions and such.” Like before, I welcome anyone to try to answer these questions yourself. Who knows? It may help you in your blogging. (You’re also welcome to change it up, especially since some of the questions reference blogs that appear to be nonexistent these days.)

Do you treat Japanese music the same as other music you listen to? Why or why not?

2007: Yes, I do. I judge not by the language of the musical work but by the quality of the music itself.

2014: Same as above.

2017: Again, same as above. Music is music as far as I’m concerned.

What genres in Japanese music do you write about? Girl groups, hip hop, visual kei, rock, Johnny’s? Are there any genres you enjoy but don’t blog about? Why is that? (Aural Candy was originally going to blog about both Jrock and pop music, but narrowed it down – to her benefit, as it gave her blog a more distinct identity.)

2007: I mainly write about girl groups (particularly the Hello! Project and its lead group). I also wish to write about Linkin Park (hence the naming of my blog, “Morning Meteora“), among other genres like dance music, Shibuya-kei, and Europop, but I’ve never really gotten to it. It’s partially out of fear of scaring what little readers I’ll get since Linkin Park is considered “uncool” to people (then again, Morning Musume isn’t taken that seriously in Japanese pop culture nowadays anyway).

2014: I primarily write about girl groups (read: idols), though I am not afraid of dipping into other territory. The “Meteora” part of the title now refers to my “meteoric” ambitions with the blog. (Plus, I’m a bit of a magic/Magical Girl freak with a soft spot for Romance languages – and Latin. In addition to referring to a monastery (which was the namesake of the album), it is the Italian word for “meteor.”) As mentioned, I like all sorts of other genres, but I tend to blog about idols because it’s what I feel most comfortable with on this blog. Plus, there’s another reason, but that’ll come in due time. 😉 (See also my answer to a later question.)

2017: I know I market myself as a “J-pop idol” (sometimes euphemised as “niche music”) blogger, but I’m primarily a Hello! Project blogger. I do so because… well, it’s what I feel most passionate and knowledgeable about. If I write about anything else, it’s usually because I feel passionate about that topic and feel it may be of interest to my readers. (Examples from this year are my posts about KBG84 and Matsuno Rina.) I do enjoy other genres (even thought about writing about Candye♡Syrup, Avandoned, and Strawberry Syndrome after becoming acquainted with their material this past summer), but I don’t tend to write about them because of time constraints. (Ironically, given what Morning Meteora 1.0 covered (and was named for), they (particularly the more idolcore-leaning acts) actually closer to M3’s roots….)

What most appeals to you regarding Japanese music? Is it the music, the image, the actual idols, the marketing?

2007: It’s a subtle mix of all four but it’s mainly the actual idols and (more importantly) the music!

2014: Again, everything – but it’s first and foremost the music.

2017: It’s still the music. I know about some of the behind-the-scenes stuff (mostly from other blogs) and the idols help, but I’m mostly here for the music.

What aspects do you like to write about most? Is it the music, the videos, live performances, still images? Why do you think that’s the case?

2007: I try to write about as many aspects as possible but it’s mainly about the music and the videos. Why? That’s the reason I like a certain group. Heck, I’m a music lover.

2014: Same as above.

2017: Judging by the fact that “Morning Twilight” (reviews) are the largest and (arguably) most popular of the categories, I mostly write about the music and their associated videos. I may write about other aspects (like news), but it depends on the situation. It tends to be news because I really don’t like prodding and fueling speculation regarding idols’ private lives. (I deal with enough drama from the horror stories around the creative and Internet industries (and then some) on social media. Blogging is one thing that keeps me sane.)

What writers or other creative people influence how you blog? What do they write about and how does that connect to what you blog about?

2007: All bloggers in general really. They write about what they want while I do that. I regret I don’t have merchandise and is not exactly a true “wota” (I consider myself borderline) but what connects me to their blogs is the pure fanlove and passion they put into their blogs.

2014: Again, same as above. While my idol fandom (or “wotadom” as some prefer) is more “casual” than some, I am influenced and connected to all they write about through the pure fanlove and passion. I write how I feel, just as they do.

2017: My writing is more… nuanced and “from the heart,” but I’d be lying if I wasn’t influenced by some people. Some of the bloggers I like to read that may have (subconsciously) influenced me are Kame (formerly Ado of Hello! SayuNii fame), the number 244, and Chiima. Special mention go to Morningtime, Thennary Nak, and Isilie.
My current style is particularly influenced by (of all things) the video game scene! Speaking in particular, Extra Credits (particularly their videos regarding game reviews and game review gigs) and the YouTuber ChaseFace (especially his “What Happened?” series regarding Sonic and Pokemon).

Special mention also go to Caddicarus and Linkara (though he’s more of the comic book scene) for also entertaining me in my off-time and probably also influencing me on a subconscious level. I’ve also been enjoying Jim Sterling‘s content as of late (at the time of writing this) as well (though I will admit I got back into him through Chlove, creator of the delightful (and a bit NSFW in some places) slice of life webcomic Go Get a Roomie! If you’re a Roommate reading this, thank you for reminding me of what’s important in life.).

What other writing projects do you pursue or want to pursue? Does this influence your blogging in any way?

2007: Hmmm… I write stories and sometimes poems that are posted on my deviantART page. I’m also taking a Creative Writing class at school (which will turn into Journalism later on in the year) but I dunno if it influences my style. I just write whatever comes to my mind and my opinion in terms of said subject really. I also write little somethings on a certain topic (like the voice and its role in wota society in “Voice of the Hello! Project Idol”).

2014: I’m currently working on a little project of my own that is slated for a 2015 launch. Again, I write whatever comes to mind, heart, body, and soul. In fact, see my 2014 answer to the next question, which was originally part of this answer.

2017: Currently, I do this alongside my gig as an artist and comic creator so that has some effect on how I write (and the way I write my fictional works is somewhat influenced by screenwriting and cinema; one of my last classes in college was a screenwriting course).

(As for the 2014 project, its development is on hold, due to me focusing on Wish Upon a Meteor. It was a project of a massive scale and I felt that given my rustiness in the medium, it’d be a better idea to start with a (hopefully) smaller project.)

If you inhabit a specific niche – a news-focused site like Some Boys! Blog, or download-focused blog like J-MuNet – how do you decide what to share? It’s impossible to cover everything, so how do you sort through it?

2007: How do I decide? I haven’t really gotten to that. I hope to be news and opinion-based in my blogging.

2014: Let me answer this question with how I have categorized my posts: M3P3 (the P3 standing for the more familiar “Ping Pong Pinpoint”) is mostly bullet-listed news blurbs, M3 Meditation is my deep introspections, and M3 Theory is critical, theoretic analyses. Thanks to a certain Morning Musume ’14 song, a new companion category has been created: M3 Irony, home to (as I put it) “the best in magically meteoric snark.”

2017: At this point, I’ve carved out a nice (if small) niche for myself in the blogosphere. As mentioned in a previous answer, unless it’s H!P news or MVs, I pick out topics based on whether or not it’d be interesting to my readers. To use the KBG84 example again, I picked it out because (in addition to me finding the topic fascinating and wanting to highlight them) I felt that my readers (who obviously have some interest in J-pop idols) would want to see the concept utilized in this unique way. (This is especially given how we tend to view J-pop idols as being primarily “young,” something not helped by the industry.)

Who do you imagine your audience to be? What do you feel is your relationship with your audience? Do you always give what they want, or do you ever feel the need to throw curveballs or even antagonize your readers?

2007: I imagine that my audience, due to my focus on Hello! Project and Morning Musume, would be fellow fans/wotas (hence my reluctance to put commentary on Linkin Park’s latest video, even if only one person commented on a blog entry – and it’s on a ranking!). However, I mainly and try to imagine my audience as loyal readers who will understand and respect my blogging, no matter what subject it is.

What I’d want with my audience in terms of relationship is good, civil, friendly terms. I hope to express what I want to express without antagonizing anyone – I’m a peaceful soul who wishes no trouble. After all, there’s enough of it in the real world so why bring it on a blog? (Then again, I’m getting myself in trouble by even blogging in the first place! Blogging, no matter what subject, is a risky thing to do. Heck, being on the Internet is risky, especially if you’re my age or younger!).

2014: Akin to the above: Due to the fact I primarily write about Japanese idols (and H!P), I imagined my audience as such. I do hope to provide some insight into the world of idol fandom/wotadom, which was one reason I revived this blog to begin with. Unfortunately, life aside, I had gotten a bit bogged down with the “newsy” aspects of blogging. (Then again, these few months are going to be a little newsy and retroaction-oriented, due to the fact I’m making up for years of inactivity and the major changes happening in idoldom — and the big milestones hit with M3 as a whole, even as a mossy stone.)

2017: I imagine my audience to be (primarily) fans of J-pop idols — and by “J-pop,” I more often than not actually mean “Hello! Project.” I sometimes diverge into other topics, but my decision to write mainly depends on whether or not it is a topic said reader-type would be into. (My interest has already been piqued by the time I come to this topic.) I do know that the average H!P fan in 2017 is not the same as in 2014 or even 2007; it’s far more common for them to be into more than one act, which is why I was so willing to write about topics like “grannydols,” the 48s (if only for rare instances), and the tragic deaths of young idols.

Sometimes I troll my readers or joke with them, but I generally maintain a pleasant and personable attitude. Heavens know there’s enough malicious trolling and antagonizing on the Internet. I guess I’ve mellowed in my age.

Are there any specific writerly / bloggerly tropes you employ? I rely heavily on screencaps, and often tailor my blogging around them. YODC and The Mind both use eyecandy images with little text, though the tone is quite different. (YODC is more wink-wink nudge-nudge, The Mind is more respectful.) Most everyone uses YouTube or Veoh to varying degrees. (I don’t, though I’ll load up my own videos.) What brought you to that trope, what do you do to keep that technique lively?

2007: I try to be informative with my entries and give my own spin. Unfortunately, as long as I’ve been on the Net, I’ve never had a really proper “blog” (the journal on my deviantART journal doesn’t count) so it’s going to take me a while to break out of my shell. Why do I keep thinking of Kamei Eri when I say this?

I also employ videos via YouTube. Why? That’s what I’ve seen and I’m too much of a chicken to screencap everything =/.

2014: Perhaps it’s the retrospection, years of RPing and being on dA, and the fact I’ve been reading blogs during my hiatus that influenced my style. I eventually learned how to screencap and even make animated GIFs so those are major steps up.

I also use YouTube for obvious reasons: the fact UFA, H!P, and anything related have official accounts so anything save for some early stuff can be easily found there.

On a visual note, I’ve also found my own distinctive niche decorating illustrating my posts with my own art. In the future, I may showcase other hidden gems among the fandom (I found a great fanpic of the Berryz on Tumblr around the time of their announcement) and possibly even open myself for potential artistic opportunities in the idol fandom. (It helped immensely that I created a character who is pretty much the new unofficial mascot of the blog: May-May the Idolpire.

What does she has to do with the blog and idols? Well for one, she’s directly inspired by the Idolminded Community. I kid you not!

Just look at her. Do you get it? Those soulless eyes.
As mentioned, until I say otherwise, she’s the unofficial mascot of the blog. (The character formerly known as Magi-Kat was meant as a general mascot anyway. May-May, however, is a fitting replacement. I mean, she’s an idol vampire — an idolpire. Again, she was inspired by the Idolminded Community so you IMers only have yourselves to blame for the unleashing of this… this…

Me: Die, monster! you don’t belong in this world.
May-May: It is not by my hands that I was given flesh. I was call here by humans who wished to pay me tribute.
Me: Tribute?! You steal men’s souls and make them your slaves!
May-May: Perhaps the same can be said of all religions.
Me: Your words are as empty as your soul! Mankind ill needs a savior such as you.
May-May: What is a man? *throws a glass of wota/idol blood* A miserable little pile of secrets! But enough talk! Have at you!

Yeah. *gives you glowsticks dipped in holy water and leis of garlic flowers*)

2017: It’s pretty much the same and beyond, especially as M3 set up outposts on TumblrFacebook, and Google+.

In regards to writerly tropes, those who have read my more recent posts noted that many of them read more like a narrative (or a conversation, going with how I approach blogging).

As for bloggerly tropes like screencaps and eyecandy, I mainly use screenshots and embeds. The former is because I don’t want to use up my quota of free space too much as I want to leave room for my own artwork. As for embeds, I utilize them to augment posts like any other blogger.

Closing Thoughts

Here’s to the rest of M3’s future! Be sure to eat that Italian cooking though. Mmmmm, garlic knots.

Remember, your body is your temple and the best way to protect it is to ward off evil spirits… and don’t invite a vampire in. Once they get in, they can come in and out whenever they please.

― Magi-Kat

P.S.

Want me to direct you to the nearest donor or bank? You seem to have lost a lot of blood there.
Do I need to call Atsuko Van Helsing?

P.S.S. My apologies to the 48G Universe.

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