A look into the Metanorn Team’s precious and glamorous aniblogging hideouts~
|You thought we were done celebrating Metanorn’s Y4 anniversary? No way! There is no end to Metanorn’s celebration! We can do this all year round! We got pretty busy with our Aniblog Tourney Highlights last month so a lull was actually welcome. With Round 3 kicking off a few days ago, we scheduled this on our poll day to bring you an exclusive inside look of our actual aniblogging habitats. If you remember, we did the same thing way back when in 2011 during the first few days of January, but as Metanorn has grown, so has our team, and it was about time for an update. Now let’s us reveal not only our precious hideouts from where we aniblog from, but our aniblogging process, as well as our current thoughts on aniblogging as some of us have turned a year older and some have freshly started soaking in the life as an aniblogger.~|
I always have a packet of green tea while aniblogging. I love green tea ⊂((・▽・))⊃
Current Desktop – still not over the InuxBoku love yet
Okay, I’ll admit that I can be extremely particular about the tidiness of my stuff at times and fortunately, one place that’s alwaaaays neat and clean is my aniblogging habitat! 😀 This where I spend most of my time at home, actually on some days I spend nearly the whole day here (yes, including meal times) because I AM LAZY LIKE THAT. My computer (HP, 23” and TOUCHSCREEN!) is my baby and I’m blessed with relatively fast internet. The only thing that needs to be changed right now is that Windows Vista. My aniblogging habitat is also right beside the window, which can be a good or a bad thing depending on the unpredictable weather. Recently it’s been terrible because the Sun is scorching and I always feel like a fried squid >: Also take a look at my darling hamster’s nest (hibariiii) on the right! I like to have my pets around me while I blog – it motivates me! I MEAN JUST LOOK AT THEIR ADORABLE FACES. Show ▼
Being an aniblogger is… cool. It’s something I wouldn’t have imagined myself doing until I came across Metanorn, so I’m really, really glad that I came to know this lovely team and community! When I tell others I’m blogging at a very awesomely international site, the first question they’ll shoot me is DO YOU GET PAID? ⊙０⊙ And when I answer nope they always give me these really disappointed, regretful looks and I’m all BUT IT’S SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT!!! I find it amazing how through aniblogging, people all over the world are connecting over a common love! Cheesy, but undoubtedly true. I love writing about what I love, and that’s what’s most important! I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t have this undying passion for anime …and pretty much everything Japanese. My style of writing can be described as gay and bouncy. (I really cannot be any less informal than this HAHA) When I’m writing, more than thinking, I’m feeling – this is especially evident in things I really feel attached to (like the last episode of Inuxboku ;_; and vocaloid). Right after I finish the episode, I dive into writing my end thoughts while being all doki-doki. It’s not exactly the best way to blog as it sometimes results in incoherency (like the time I misspelled Yamaha into yahama…) but that’s just how I like it! “So if there’s no money involved, what’s it in for you?” Here at Metanorn, there are so many people (7,000 views a day!) coming together to share and celebrate anime – that’s what drives me and keeps me going. So a biggg thank you to Metanorn, the wonderful team we have here, our wonderful boss lady and of course, the many many wonderful visitors that never fail to brighten up our day! ♥（ﾉ´∀`）
True fact: I first started blogging in order to get a free Nintendo DS Lite. When Gametrailers was first getting big around 2006-2007, they had a system where viewing videos and posting blogs, comments, etc. would accumulate points that could be exchanged for products. Making a blog post offered the most points in one shot but was limited to just one per day, so I started blogging daily. (As an aside, the points are also why my Gametrailers account has a lot of user movies. I’m particularly proud of this one of me playing Devil May Cry 3). Well, once I got the DS, I abandoned the blog, but I had already gotten interested enough in it to continue doing it.
When I write episodic blog posts, I generally watch the episode and then quickly jot some thoughts on it afterward. I sometimes complete the post very quickly, but these days I like to sleep on it and write out quick notes and thoughts throughout the day, which I’ll put together only at the end. The purpose of episodic blog posts is to kick off discussion, so I’ll usually try to find something interesting or unusual about the episode and expand on it. I use software to automatically take a load of screenshots and I’ll trawl through them to pick the ones I want to use, though I always end up having to go back to the episode to take the exact frame I want. I complete my writing using Wordpad before I add HTML and put it on WordPress. I don’t like the WYSIWYG editing interface and exclusively edit in HTML. Oh, and a confession about my Nisemonogatari posts: for many of them, I pre-wrote the posts based on my predictions of what would happen in that episode and only made some minor edits and additions after watching the episodes.
So this is my desk in my room where I do most of my aniblogging! It’s a pretty common setup I suppose, but it’s worked perfectly for me so far. My process of blogging usually starts by watching the episode I’m writing about (obviously) and taking screen shots the first time through. I can manually do it with the click of a button and the shot is sent right to the designated folder which makes it super easy and not distracting at all. Depending on the show, I take anywhere from 150-250 screen shots. (I have an issue of thinking EVERY single shot is important! ><) Normally I don’t start writing my thoughts until a few hours later or even the next day, I like to let the episode soak in so that I can think about everything I want to talk about or point out (the shower is my usual thinking spot. ><). Summaries seem to be slowly getting phased out of the process of blogging, but when I do, that is the part that is done first and foremost.
The whole process for a single episode including watching normally takes me anywhere from 2-3 hours, but again, I don’t do it all at once! Typically I’ll watch/blog at night once my homework is done, though I may be getting a summer job soon so it will probably change. Despite taking so much time, blogging for me here at Metanorn has been an incredibly worthwhile experience. I love anime and I love writing, so being an aniblogger just seems to fit for me! Plus, if everything goes smoothly I will someday be a literature teacher and this whole analyzing process is training me to dig deeper for themes and motifs I might otherwise miss. Best of all, I have all of you awesome commenters as well as my fellow bloggers to critique my writing, add to the discussion, and bring up your own points each week, so thank you for that!~
I kind of just fell into Aniblogging, to be honest. When my first podcast got out of the internet slums and got its own domain and was WordPress-powered, blogging became a new addition to the site and Random Curiosity was my only source of inspiration. I mainly did ecchi series cause those are easier and fun, but when I started covering Kore wa Zombie and started interacting with Fosh, the process became more enjoyable since I had both interaction with commenters and also a fellow blogger. One thing I’ve liked most about podcasting & blogging is how it has evolved me as an anime fan. I can look a little deeper into things than what I might have before, so I attribute the weekly grind of wanting to do a good blog to my increasing knowledge of anime; say more stuff besides, “that was cool when stuff blew up.”
I seem to have gone completely away from what was expected of me at the beginning of my Metanorn days. I was labeled an Ecchi Kemono in the New Blood post, and I’ve most recently blogged Natsume Yuujinchou Shi and Sakamichi no Apollon. You’d be hard-pressed to find 2 anime series further away from ecchi then those two. The ecchi genre is much more of a lurker kind of thing, so I do want to cover shows that will net some interaction with many of you great commenters and fellow bloggers out there.
Aahhh, I wish we could have waited two months to do this because in August I’m moving into a house with three of my friends and I get a super awesome room all to myself. Unfortunately, it’s not August yet and I’m in a summer dorm for summer classes because my life sucks and I don’t have a real summer vacation. So this is only a snapshot of my habitat- it’s usually more exciting but I don’t have much to work with in resident halls. It’s rather drab here…hate the curtains…Anyways, I’ve included my desk, bed and fridge here which are the three places that I frequent most when it comes to aniblogging. Ok, so my fridge may be a slight exaggeration (keyword: slight) but you can never underestimate the importance of food! A happy aniblogger is a well-fed one. :3
Although it hasn’t gone down as well as I would like it to because real-life has the tendency to kick my ass, I’ve enjoyed my first year here at Metanorn IMMENSELY. Aniblogging isn’t anything I imagined myself doing a while back, but now that I’m here it’s proved to be an awesome experience. I really do love it. I’m a little anal when it comes to my posts – it requires getting into the “zone” and I often edit them five to ten times over to make sure I haven’t missed anything. So even though I don’t post very often, I make sure that when I do, it’s quality. I adore the people here (especially my waifu!) and I truly believe that Metanorn is the place that I can come to and express myself. It’s great being a part of this team and you readers make this experience super awesome!
Extra Goodies~ Show ▼
There’s nothing special about my room. It’s a small single bedroom with some little stuff here and there. NO POSTER for me because I’m a little bit of a perfectionist and hate the idea of ruining the white wall. NO TRASH or stuff like that since I live with a neat freak and am starting to turn into one too. Anyhow… I have an attachable desk next to my dresser, but I never use it. So, like a bad girl who’s going to turn blind but doesn’t care anyway, I use my laptop on my bed, and like a rebel, I don’t use the proper direction and use the inverted direction. But since it’s my bed, it’s OK. Next to my bed is an open drawer where I store everything, from medicine, jewelry, and my Game of Thrones book. At the top, of course, is my makeup. I’m actually a makeup girl /blush. Oh, and by the way, that black thing next to my bed (on the floor) is my violin. Wave to violin-kun.
At the top of my bed, on both sides, are the places where I put my books and anime stuff. I don’t know the name of that black thingy where I put them, ugh. At the end (above where I put my laptop), I put my non-manga/anime related books and my Doraemon doll. Those books are given by ExecutiveOtaku from THAT. The other black thingy (AAHHH what is the name!? Ugh) is located at the other side of my bed, and it has some manga (given by ExecutiveOtaku too) and Gintama prop plus petit (since figures and nendroids are too expensive for me /sob). There’s also that gorgeous Vampire Knight artbook and my highschool scrapbook (self-made!). And… That’s it! My room is really empty. Nothing stands out.
My desktop is the special artwork CLAMP showed on April first. I’ve mentioned that I’m a CLAMPtard, and I LOVE that special artwork. All the characters are there! So yeah, that’s why I use it for my desktop. The desktop shortcuts are HUGE for a reason. Once, I always end up putting yaoi on my desktop until it’s filled up. I have no self-discipline. Second, I’m almost blind. I see the small desktop shortcuts, but I will always ALWAYS miss it. So to prevent myself from messing my desktop more and going blind, I use the biggest size for my shortcuts. Hey, they don’t look that bad.
Extra peek~ Show ▼
Why aniblogging? Well, if you want the lurker version of the story, I fell in love with Metanorn while stalking it and decided that I wanted to be part of such an awesome group of people. If you want the significantly less creepy version of the story, I was bored with my life and figured that I was watching anime anyways, I might as well write about it and force my opinions on everyone. It was hard to get used to taking screencaps/ actually download anime (I streamed. I knew no other life except streaming), but after the last summer season or so, it just kind of became routine. I’ve met so many people through Metanorn/aniblogging and it’s been a great experience overall.
As for where I aniblog, its at my desk in the corner of my already crowded room. It’s also where I do my homework (thus my awesome pen tablet. …Though in all honesty, I normally use it as an extra screen and not… actually… for drawing…). Yaaay. Or sometimes I sit by my window (and Hakuouki harem + Miku) and blog. ….But it will eternally annoy me that the spaces between my window and my bookshelves are NOT EQUAL. WHY ISN’T IT EQUAL DISTANCES?! -cough- …If you’re wondering about the random green wall in my otherwise completely red room, it’s because when we painted, my mother was going through some crazy Feng Shui phase and was like “WE NEED SOMETHING GREEN IN THE EAST!” …Yeah.
How do I feel as an anime blogger and why do I enjoy doing it? For me I really enjoy watching a series and usually finding some random part of the episode to poke fun at or make some jokes about, but usually this results in a completely off the wall “role play style” around the characters through my screenshots where I have the characters make some out of character comments towards each other or the reader. Recently I have started to fire up good old Gimp-shop for some photo edits where I add a phrase or a few words to the screenshot; I guess you would technically call them Meme style jokes? As for how I come up with them it always seems to be a bit of spur of the moment style or whatever comes to my mind…so in short I just love to use comedy as a way to blog about anime.
So, what are my personal tools of the trade? I start with VLC for my video player with some hotkey changes like my X key for screenshots after I hit the V key to remove the subs of course after that I end up spamming the X key for all my caps! I usually end up with three hundred or so, but we have to narrow them down to twenty five or less. Another unique trick we have started to use: we resize our caps from 1280 x 720 and shrink them to 600 x 800 I use a program called Microsoft Office Picture Manager, why do we do this? It makes everything load a bit faster…after that I go straight to Gimpshop and create my image Memes and go to town! I try to create three per post or four if I find something hilarious to poke fun at.
Extra look~ Show ▼
Yeaaaahhhh, my room has not changed much compared to last time. Though, I have a lot more stuff on my desk. Or maybe, I just didn’t show you all my extra junk last time haha. But yeah, I bought a bunch of posters when I was in the Philippines, I thought it would be cool to put a few up just so that my room would look a bit different than before. Aside from that, I added an extra image of what’s located across from my desk… another desk! How about putting that accounting book to good use?
So its been about a year (plus a few months) so far that I have been aniblogging. Well, if we tallied everything up of what I’ve been actually blogging… it might not be a year. But, as most of you might know, I have been working behind the scenes like Will, by doing the graphics and post formats. So how do I feel about aniblogging now? Well, I still find it fun to do but being as busy as I am now, I wish that I had more time to bring to the viewers more content that the other writers don’t cover. I actually have a lot of projects for Metanorn piled up but man if only I had the time and I’m sure Kyokai feels the same way. But never fear, I shall bring more content to Metanorn soon (hopefully). I like aniblogging, it is an away from real life things and it lets me express my likeness for animanga and more. As well, I get to do the graphics for the site and it’s always enjoyable to do so. Another thing on being an aniblogger is that I get to expand my social network of online friends/acquaintances who also aniblog, like animanga, games and such. Being an aniblogger comes with perks, you get to hang with the cool kids, say whatever you want (most of the time) and get stalk… I mean fans… among many other things.
Well, that’s all there is to it for me and being an aniblogger. Next time we showcase our habitats, I assure you things shall be different on my environment. Until then, laters.~
Extra Close-Up~ Show ▼
Current Desktop – I swear it’s not always Taemin.
Since I share a room with my younger sister AND mother, I have very limited space and wind up putting a majority of my fangirl/otaku things on my desk to create my own tiny alcove between the bunk beds and the closet. It’s quite nice despite the limited space; I’ve learned to live with it. My desk has actually changed a lot since the last post! I rearranged the entire thing by adding my favorite mangas in neat sections and putting out more nicknacks (such as a painted skull my cousin got me from Mexico, a miniature model that carries key-chains, and other random things I got from Fanime). My recent addition is this SHINee mini towel, which came from a cheer pack I bought for SMTOWN in LA. I thought it’d look cute pinned up on my desk as it was just the right size, so I did it just before taking the picture. IT’S ACTUALLY SHINING BECAUSE OF THE SUNLIGHT! (Get it?! No? Okay…)
I have to admit this past year of being an aniblogger has left me feeling more guilty than anything else. With college biting me at the neck and the pressure of entering a new stage in life dragging me to the floor, I haven’t been able to sit down and enjoy anime, or aniblogging, to its fullest anymore. I’ve been delaying a lot and occasionally ignoring my duties, which has been quite selfish of me. I guess I’m just still adjusting to both adulthood and college, still learning new things, and still trying to stick to my old self while adding improvements. Seeing new additions to the team and seeing everyone’s contiued enthusiasm while mine teeters on the edge almost had me deciding to quit at one point, but the thought made me quite sad because I truly do love Metanorn and aniblogging. I love recommending manga and music to people, I love hearing everyone’s thoughts, and I love writing my own and working my brain. I’m not the type of person to just quit so simply; when the going gets tough, I pull myself through it as best I can, despite the lackluster results. I continue on knowing I’ll get past this rough patch, and once I do, I’ll give it even more of my all as payback for the less-than-satisfactory work ethic in the past few months. Sorry this turned out to be more of a confesison/sob story than anything, but I feel like I had to let this out SOMEHOW. Hopefully I’ll be able to show you all an improved Hoshi in the next year! With that, thank you all for reading this, and every post that I’ve written so far here at Metanorn. Hope you all stick around~!
My aniblogging arrangement hasn’t changed very much aside from getting a new laptop. My desktop still changes at whim with my current anime love, and I still hate icon-cluttered desktops. I still use both computers at once when I’m actually blogging to make things go a bit faster too. My usual blogging process consists of watching anime on my HD TV in the living room, and then going back upstairs to write my post in my room whenever I’m ready. I used to take notes while watching, but lately I’ve found it distracting so I just take mental notes. After writing the bulk of my post, I like to manually screencap while listening to a podcast to see if there’s anything I missed. All that’s left after that is adding some extra parts, editing the post, and putting in screencaps. Over the past year, I’ve kind of developed a rhythm that lets me post a little bit faster. If I ever have to cover 2 or more episodes in one post, I feel terrible. I’m pretty strict about time-keeping (I have no patience for people who are late!) so I try to get started on a post as soon as I can if I don’t have other work in the way.
So, after honing my blogging skills over the year like a martial artists training in the mountains, what have I learned? A lot, actually. Aniblogging is just as fun as always, and I still see it as the perfect platform to spark discussion and get people sharing ideas. I end up enjoying an anime more if I can talk to other people about it, because I end up noticing things that I missed once other people point them out. Even the sole act of writing out my thoughts seems to enhance my understanding of what the hell I just watched. I love it…especially when I get to be part of a huge team blog full of awesome bloggers to talk to. This year specifically I learned the importance of networking, reading other blogs, and commenting. Reading other posts is often inspiring and makes me want to be a better writer. I’m competitive by nature, so I’ll probably always be trying to improve, like some determined shounen jump main character. Just you wait! I’ve only shown you 10% of my full power!
I upgraded from 2x 1280×1024 screens to 2x 1080p screens, the surface upgrade provides so much more productivity.
Being a web developer is pretty awesome. Since last year, I have been hired as a programmer even though I’m still in College. The web is a pretty cool platform because it’s easily reachable, as opposed to desktop application or games, a user doesn’t need to download an application or have special hardware. Also I prefer the challenges with web development, all the code is executed on server and all the data is there, so you have to think differently than with desktop application where the data is alongside the program. Also I feel important, but it comes with a big source of stress because many people are relying on you for pretty much everything; especially in a corporate environment. It’s the reason why I couldn’t be around that much lately.Anyways, since last time Metanorn evolved, of course it did, but it also physically evolved this time. Let me introduce Metanorn’s new (physical) look and home: Show ▼
Featuring: 2x Intel Xeon Dual-Core 2.80GHz, 8GB of RAM, 6x 15k RPM 73GB SCSI HDD in RAID-10, 2x Power Supplies and 2x Gigabit Network Cards. Plus the datacenter provides a 100Mbps Internet link and 99.9% power and network uptime.
Now this can handle Metanorn’s super awesomeness. Even when Kyo’s diligently waiting on WP-Stats to hit 7Million very soon; Metanorn has received 20 Million HTTP requests and 7.7 Million client connections in the last three and a half months. No wonder our hosting is bordering on a corporate solution with big hardware and connection. Not to forget that it’s also hosting the DDD, my useless blog, the now deceased JuStChat and a couple other low profile websites for people around me. It also handles my newest project, which has been provisionally named “Vote”. I had this idea of a super secure voting system in mind for a while, but the recent happenings with the Aniblog Tourney was the triggering event that made me do it. In case anyone is interested in using it, it’s available on vote.willisite.com.
My setup or process when I code is nothing special, I basically just launch my favourite dev. tools (Firefox, NetBeans IDE, MySQL Query Browser and Yakuake) on my favourite OS (Kubuntu). I grab a Dr. Pepper, Coke, Pepsi, or whatever soft drink is available (I do prefer Dr. Pepper and Coke). And from there I code for hours grabbing soft drinks as required. (Kyo’s insert: I think I need to fix a grub alarm clock for our webmaster for intake of proper food. >>)
One of my aniblogging setups: I took my baby (Macbook Pro) for a ride to office~
Current desktop. Click for more: Show ▼
Work and second laptop screens
Time to reveal it ALL. Naante ne~ but still, revealing our precious humble abodes to our readers is something all right. It’s like trusting you enough to give you a glimpse of our batcaves. It’s clear from everyone’s description that animanga fandom plays a very big part of our life. From our desktop wallpapers to how we blog, everything has been influenced. I mean, personally, there have been so many times I was about to call a client BAKA or Urusai, etc. I’m pretty much safe till now and hopefully, I won’t get forgetful for the next 20 years or so.
Extra lookShow ▼
I recently moved and room sharing right now so my corner of the room is laptop table (that literally moves to every corner of the room) and my mini book+DVD library (I had to giveaway 70% of it before moving to my extremely happy friends who couldn’t believe their own luck). I also lack otaku merch but hopefully that will be taken care of when I attend AFA this or next year (whenever I could get max of Metanorn peeps to join me), if everything goes well.
Coming to the way I blog, honestly it has evolved throughout the years. In the beginning, I was all about every damn details (ugh, don’t look at my old episodics). Not to mention, soon afterwards I was working more on building the team rather than how we write. I first followed what kanzie was doing but then realized later that it was not adding much spice to content. That is when I started introducing a lot of new categories and genre aka Metanorn Project(s) to keep the interest of readers rather than being just ‘another episodic blog’. You can say my responsibilities are far and wide and I try to balance it out but there are time, planning takes the front seat and I lose some episode reviews (QQ Fate/Zero; though, I have plans to make up for it in a good way). What I’ve learned till now is that be open to change and keep experimenting because even if you fail, you can always learn from it and do something else later. If you always play safe; it will never get interesting! Don’t say no to any genre, watch good and terribad both. Simply enjoy what you do because the moment you treat it like work, Mr. Grumpy will bite your ass and you’ll become one of those elitists who are not satisfied with anything these days. Ja ne~
|So, not only have we revealed the stories behind our usernames and cooked for you, we have exposed our aniblogging hideouts as well! Hope you all enjoyed this exclusive inside look and learned a bit more about the Metanorn Team. So, if you like what we do; put a vote in for us and don’t forget to check out the other blogs in Group 5! Until next year then~!|