May 24, 2012

Comments, Opinions and Biases of Enthusiasts

Its had been a long time since I wrote and editorial post. But what incline me to write about now is this interesting point put up by fkergoe which will eventually be joining us in a future episode of the show, about bloggers and their opinion in general, to point to the notion of Objectivity and Subjectivity of their reviews. Let  me expand a little on that notion and finally seal off any of my thoughts about the subject.

What’s this about


Now if you have came here but never read about the post made by fkeroge. Let me tell you the gist of it, so that you won’t have to go his site and steal my spotlight. Anime blogs wants to shove their opinions on your throat. They are a bunch of egotistical bastards that only care about their point of view compared to others. That’s why they have their little space in the web where they bitch and moan about things they like and hate. Some prefer to be classy and add a semblance of objectivity with grading system or categorizing aspect of a piece but the end result generally points to what they like and hate in a particular subject. This phenomenon is not only common in the hobby sphere, by hobby sphere that includes Anime, Manga, Tech, Games etc. Any review that is created by humans will tend to contain a shed of subjectivity in their post and often times, those posts what drives discussion among the community. Objectivity in post often taken in a boring road, since proving a point doesn’t spark much debate over. Why would I argue if the point is taken and was studied in a methodological manner. Like hardware benchmark scores and review. Now if you had read the post, you would be thinking that this isn’t exactly what fkeroge said and I expounded his thought with my interjection of my belief, which fans might consider a positive or a negative pointing people to write something in the comment section. So if I write his summary in verbatim this paragraph may only be a dry summary of fkeroge said and people will just take it as it is and move on. Thus subjective post and the author opinions add spice to the discussion, thus promote an organic development of a community in a group.

What does it Boil To

So what makes reviews tick to the viewers. What makes them want to go back to sites? Well, from my opinion and to many hours lurking into strong communities not limited to Anime and Manga. My subjective conclusion resulted in this analysis that people tend to go back to sites that it favours their taste. As observe in Tech sites and Video Gaming site, people tend to want a sense of acceptance to their stance. Like how many Apple fans like Walt Mossberg since he favours Apple products; or Microsoft fans prefer to be preached by Mary Joe Folley (spelling?) and Paul Thurrot for their Microsoft perspective. Because fans of a particular brand love to hear themselves in the voices of these people. It also goes to point that Microsoft enthusiast hates Mossberg when he reviews other products that aren’t Apple or put little credibility when he reviews Apple products while Apple fans call Thurrot a shill of Microsoft. Not only in authors, sites are also branded based on the general opinion it creates. Like Engadget for appearing to be a paid Apple sponsor.  So to sum it up, what does it boil down in a community?


At first thinking. Biases are a bad thing. Its something real Journalist must avoid in making their statements. It’s what professional blogs must avoid making. It seems like an unwanted word or an action that must not be mentioned or be spoken. But yet, it is what makes people flock into sites. As I said, people wanted people agreeing with them. It strokes egos and what would it make it so, is that respected institution agrees with them. But this very nature is the magnet of a healthy community, thus makes one site favourable compared to others.

But despite that, being Bias doesn’t really boil into one favouring the other. We all know that we have our own taste. I like Anime and Manga that has a teenage boys as the main character, subjected into interesting circumstances and tragedy. While I am less enthused on stories with an all-female cast. Reasons why I can’t enjoy Bodalicious Pirates like Anton does or why I hate Summer Colour Miracles and dropped AKB0048 after episode two. But then enjoy and praise Ginga e Kickoff and Kuroro’s Basketball a lot, making me write about Ginga and appreciate the small details it present that lacks its contender Knight in the Area.

So to question. What’s a good bias? Well to me, it just boils down on knowing what you like and love. Be explicit and considerate to other who may be neutral to the genre point out what makes the series tick to you. This won’t make your post objective in presentation. But it shows that you are honest to yourself and to your readers. Adding respect and perhaps those who also like the genre sees you as their personal assurance in their chosen liking. For example, I wouldn’t recommend people watching Boku no Pico because I like it and it should be watched by Anime fans. Or like prison torture Enzai. I like those titles but its a bit extreme to ordinary fans who may get traumatized by the taste or end up generalizing on Anime.

Overall, bloggers in all forms have their personal opinions that are shoved to readers throats, whether intentionally or not. But it is this opinions what gives them a solid community and a following to their moment of recognition. Biases are only bad if you can’t even realize yourself that you like a certain perspective then shove it to readers like it’s a gospel. What good comes to biases is that it is the connection you have to the readers, knowing yourself and being honest in what you like, promote a healthy atmosphere for active readers to enjoy and comment to your site. Either agreeing or disagreeing on what you had said.

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