I did it, I didn’t write “This Art Club Has A Problem!” in the post title this time!
I feel like too many post titles contain those words on this blog.
It’s time for a change.
Overall, I think the collaboration was a lot of fun. I consider it a success, despite some faults. Consider this post a summation of my thoughts on the Konobi collaboration and what we can do with the lessons learned here.
I’m writing this just as much for myself as I am for you.
Maybe more for myself actually.
First off, here is some background on the collaboration.
Before I even had a format in mind, I had a single idea, and that was to collaborate with someone using a format that challenges the bloggers to write about things they normally wouldn’t write about, and pay attention to details they normally wouldn’t pay attention to.
What gave me the idea was actually one of the themes that was in the Konobi collaboration, which was “taking things out of context”. I thought it would be entertaining to challenge someone else to write about an episode of an anime while purposely taking things out of context. From there I considered other topics that would be fun or interesting to write about, and decided that I wanted to create some sort of collaboration that involved “themes”.
Other than that, I didn’t have any real format in place yet, which is why I was asking people to add me on discord (Yomu#2764) if they were interested in a collaboration.
The Original Format
As many of you know, for many weeks prior to the actual collaboration announcement, I had mentioned several times that I was working on a collaboration. I brought it up a few times in order to gauge interest.
What you may not know is that my original format was a bit different from what we ended up with.
Originally, my collaboration idea didn’t involve theme lists or anything like that. Instead, my idea was to create a collaboration similar to tag posts. I had one overarching goal, and that was to create a collaboration that would allow the participants to all write posts on their own blogs.
The idea was this:
- 2-3 people watch an anime, each posting on their own blog.
- For example, let’s assume 3 people and call them bloggers A, B, and C.
- First episode everyone writes a first impressions post, and at the END of their post, they assign a theme of their choice (can be anything) to one of the other collab bloggers for the next episode.
- Ex. A gives a theme to B, B gives a theme to C, and C gives a theme to A.
- From then on, the bloggers have to write about the assigned theme with their post on the next episode, and assign a theme each episode. They would alternate who assigns themes to who, for variety.
So as you can see, it’s similar to what we actually went with, but designed for a smaller group of people. My core idea was the same, which was to write about a theme in relation to the anime, but in this situation, you would have no choice as to your theme. When I was originally looking for participants in my collab, this was what I had planned on unveiling.
But then I ended up getting so many people interested in joining in that I decided to change the idea. Too many people would just lead to confusion as to who is supposed to assign a theme to who. While possible, it seemed like it would be too difficult to coordinate properly.
And so that’s why I ended up deciding to centralize the themes to my blog, and allow people to choose a theme from a list on a weekly basis. While it took away from the “forced” aspect of my original format, it still allowed for a variety of unconventional topics to a large number of participants, and it allowed everyone to post from the comfort of their own blog.
I’m not trying to be boastful here, but I would like to point out what I think went right with the collaboration.
Individual Blog Participation
Aside from the theme aspect, I wanted to create a collaboration that would allow everyone to participate while having the freedom to write posts from the comfort of their own blogs. While I think that this area can use some improvement, what the collab proved was that it is absolutely possible to design a collaboration that achieves this. I’m glad that the collab worked out well on this front, because it helps with ideas for future collaborations.
It also allows for much larger-scale collaborations.
This collaboration led to the creation of 55+ posts, for example.
I would say that the opt-in nature of the collaboration was one of it’s successes. The first collaboration I ever worked on was a Divine Gate collaboration with EdgyAnimeTeen, but because EAT became too busy with life, the collaboration died. I don’t blame him for that, it’s just the nature of traditional collaborations from what I’ve seen.
But this collaboration wasn’t like that, because as long as I kept it going, everyone else was free to opt-in and opt-out whenever they felt the need. I like that it worked out this way, because it demonstrated that we can create collaborations that aren’t reliant on everyone’s participation.
The best part of this collab in my opinion was the blog interaction. It was fun to look forward to and read everyone else’s posts, and to compare what they experiences to mine. I don’t normally follow currently airing anime, so while I understand that this happens for episodic reviews of new anime, it’s not something I ever really have had a chance to do.
The collab took this a step further with the themes, because if I knew what theme someone had chosen for the week, I had something extra to look forward to.
This shows that even if the posts are all contained on everyone’s individual blogs, the collab can still create interaction. That said, this is an area I’d like to examine further as I feel it can be improved.
As I mentioned, I think the collaboration was great. That said, it’d be dishonest for me to say that there weren’t issues.
First is the obvious, which was that there were many themes that ended up being duds. This is because I wanted to participate in the collaboration as well, having no idea of what was to come in each episode. But I was also the one creating the themes, meaning that any theme I came up with had a chance of just not working well with the episode.
It was an unfortunate reality of the collab, and we ended up with some “dud’ posts as a result. It’s clear that this collab would have benefited if the person creating the theme list had watched the episode beforehand and was able to create relevant themes for each episode.
Collaboration Length / Pace
While the first several episodes of the collaboration had about 7 participants, by the end of the collab, we were down to 3. Of course anyone can still go back and participate, but the reality is that the longer the collaboration went on, the harder it was for some people to keep at it.
I know that many collaborations follow a weekly pace without issue, but to set a weekly pace of 12 weeks straight for a collaboration like this was bound to have its issues on this front.
Lack of Post Interaction
What I mean by this point is that while we all participated in the collab, read each other’s posts, and commented on each other’s posts, the posts themselves didn’t interact. So what we end up with is a collection of separate posts, writing about the same anime. This isn’t entirely bad either, but if I was to design another collaboration, I would like to explore the possibility of interaction between the actual posts.
I loved reading all of the posts in this collab, and commenting, but I think that post interaction could also add to this.
Too Many Konobi Posts
Perhaps this one is just on my end, but by the end I was a little happy that the collaboration was over, because I was publishing two posts per week – the themes list, and the a post on that week’s episode.
Not only that, but the Konobi posts essentially took over my blog for 3 months. If you scroll through my blog posts from the past 3 months, you’ll be overwhelmed with Konobi posts. Part of me didn’t like that my blog ended up with 2 Konobi posts per week. It’s a fun anime, but my blog is supposed to be more than just Konobi. (That said, it’s sort of become a Collette blog, which is all right with me).
I’ve also wondered if any of you ended up getting a little tired of seeing so many Konobi posts.
You can bet that all of the lessons learned from the Konobi collab won’t go to waste.
I plan on continuing on with what I started here, which is exploring what we can do with collaborations in this space. Collaborations that don’t involve direct messaging like discord or twitter, but that can take place with everyone simply posting on their own blogs.
I’m currently thinking about the possibilities of a discussion focused collaboration, likely with a drama anime. One that doesn’t involve a weekly list post or anything like this, but instead manages to organically continue a discussion without the participants having to communicate outside of blog posts (comments are great too, but the focus would be the posts themselves). Something similar to my original idea, in that it involves the participants tagging each other on an ongoing basis.
I’m thinking something like chain mail, or a tag post.
Perhaps a collab where each person watches the episode after being tagged by someone else?
For example, I watch the first episode. I then write some discussion questions and tag participant A. They then watch the first episode, answer the questions, and tag participant B with their own questions. participant B then watches the episode, and tags participant C with their own questions…
Could then have someone else begin the chain on the next episode, and end up creating a different tag order. Something like this.
At the very least, this would create post interaction.
But is that enough to be considered discussion?
If the collaboration encourages comments on top of all of this, I think in the end what you get is pretty good discussion, and a mix of post interaction and blog interaction. For example, person A tags person B with some questions, which person B answers in their post. Person A can then comment on person B’s post responding to person B’s answers.
This idea manages to solve many of the issues I had with the Konobi collaboration, although post interaction is my primary area of focus here. You could also tackle the pace / length issue by watching and discussing blocks of 3 episodes at a time, or something like this.
In fact, you could even adapt this format to an entire anime, discussion of a single 12 episode block. In that case, you could even have the discussion go around twice, which would really allow for more discussion as participants could respond to each other in post form. That’s an interesting idea in itself.
Anyways, this is where my mind is at right now in terms of collaborations. I have other ideas but I think this “chain mail” idea has the most potential at the moment. I don’t plan on starting a new collaboration like this just yet, but it’s definitely something I’ll be thinking about.
That’s just about all I wanted to write in this post, so if you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading my thoughts on the Konobi collaboration and potential future collaborations. The Konobi collab was a great learning experience, and hopefully we can continue to create / adapt the collaboration space to allow for all sorts of different formats and interaction between blogs.
I’d love to hear if anyone has their own thoughts or ideas on this topic.
Also, let me know if you’d be interested in joining in on some sort of collab like this.
If you like any of the ideas I’ve brought up in this post, feel free to use them in your own collaboration if you’d like.
Until next time,
Thanks for reading.