Round 1 Matches 45-48

A Product of Wasted Time vs Spark Blog

The Untold Story of Altair & Vega vs One Minute of Dusk

The Neighbours Club vs The Otaku HQ

Abandoned Factory Anime Review vs Mon0r

54 thoughts on “Round 1 Matches 45-48

  1. On behalf of the authors of the Untold Story of Altair & Vega, I welcome everyone to our site today. If you’d like a representation of our writing, please head to the Pages We’re Fond Of to see an example post from each of our authors. We welcome any and all comment on the topics we bring up in our posts.

    If you like what you read, please subscribe to our blog through either your email address, or through a feed reader and this url:

    The design and header image are more interstitial than not, and have been since the blog’s inception. We have a custom design coming eventually for our eventual move to self hosting, but these things take time, and time is rather precious to us as we all work full day jobs. In the meantime, the current design serves as corollary to the content, it’s function above all is to facilitate the understanding of the sentiment we wish to convey, and to never impede it. It’s all we can ask.

    If you’d like to follow A&V on twitter, you can find it here: @AltairandVega

    If you’d like to talk to any of us directly, you can find us and follow us on twitter here: @vuc_, @AJtheFourth, @a_libellule, @necorare, @kanra__, @blackholeheart, @tiboreau, & @the_patches.

    If we have your consideration, we appreciate it.

    If we have your vote, we’re thankful.

    If we have your continued support and readership, we’re grateful.

    Thank you.

  2. Pretty much abstained everything except for A&V, though that particular vote was more out of support for two particular writers of that site, AJ and bitmap. Which one is AJ again? Orihime? A fitting title, if you ask me. Fantastic stuff.

  3. A Product of Wasted Time vs Spark Blog is well, good luck guys! Since I’m going against one of you next round I’ll refrain. That said I hope the guy who hosts on fc2 makes it because that’s kind of lols.

    On the basis of content Alta and Vega is kind of novel esp. with the guest posters who normally don’t post all that much on their respective blogs… But other than that it’s a bit media literacy 101 kind of stuff. I voted for One Minute of Dusk mainly because it’s the best episodic review blog in the contest so far, on the basis of content. Nothing to do with vote pimping in the comments of its opponent. I especially like it when the blogger put all the images together and have a very to-the-point mannerism that captures and expresses how he feels about the stuff, and in a way that’s fun to read.

    Neighbor’s Club or Otaku HQ…the latter has actual content, good or bad. More than I could say for the former.

    Is Monor even a blog? AFAR is okay. LOL it spells out a word.

  4. A shame. I felt The Otaku HQ had a better layout and content than The Neighbours Club, but the voyeuristic “hottest anime girl/guy” posts just left me rolling my eyes. The blog would be a lot stronger if they elided that sort of thing.

    I loved Altair and Vega before this, and I still love reading it now. Intelligent and insightful articles mixed with some episodic posts that are actually analytical and/or interesting, rather than just bland summaries. After I first read their article on denpa, I was hooked (not that long, I know). One Minute of Dusk’s anime reviews are better than some others I’ve seen, but being up against one of my favorite blogs was already an uphill battle. And I’m just not that interested in reading brief impressions of currently airing series. Personal tastes it is.

    • Hahaha. That contest started as a joke between me and some friends. Would it have been all right if it had been done in a more complex tourney style?

      How do the others here feel about the contests?

  5. My reviews now focus on presentation and readability aside from overall design.

    A Product of Wasted Time – Paragraphs are too lengthy. By simply pressing Enter a few more times, it’s very easy to increase readability. Posts have enough images, though. New posts appear every 1-3 days.

    In “Winter 2012 Anime Final Thoughts”, TJ made the series titles bold. He’s on the right track with formatting, but it could be better. Specifically, this is the perfect place to use HTML headers like h3 or h4.

    Spark Blog – Post images are squished. This immediately lowers my opinion of the blog. Be sure to avoid this problem! Sidebar: each widget is collapsed by default. It’s nice to save space, but this is taking it too far. Post cats & tags.. where are they? On this site, new posts are made several times a week.

    Posts have wall of text issues. It’s not severe, but they could be more readable. And finally, post meta is cluttered. Put a separator like ” | ” between each item. For topnav, I would combine “Info”, “About Me”, and “Mascot” into one page.

    The Untold Story of Altair & Vega – There are mild paragraph length issues in some posts. Having 10-11 line paragraphs is pushing it, even in the 492px wide space. Posts have bold-faced text and quotations, so the authors put some thought into formatting. Post tags are overdone here. New posts are frequent between the various authors.

    Sidebar: (Insert the usual advice about Recent Comments.) Post and comment RSS links are up top without the other useless WP meta stuff. Nice. Not nice: Having everyone’s personal Twitter feeds in the sidebar. It’s pointless because they have nothing to do with anime or the website. Some say “Error: Please make sure the Twitter account is public”.

    One Minute of Dusk – Whoa, those Nisemonogatari images — NSFW! This post’s URL changed since I first opened the front page, leading me to an error page. It seems that unlike WordPress, old URLs don’t get redirected. Keep posts as drafts until you finalize URL decisions. Sidebar: I still don’t like animated GIFs, but this RSS one is not too shabby.

    Paragraph length is for the most part good. Putting 5 images atop posts is an interesting choice, but IMO presentation would benefit from a mix of text and images. New posts are made more than once a week, but this was not true for March. Lastly, I’d like to see comment counts on the front page.

    The Neighbors Club – Interesting theme — looks good and uncluttered. This website looks a lot better zoomed in one step; I’d up the font size. The “Read the post” rectangle is redundant and ruins the visual flow. I say remove it and maybe put the usual “Continue reading…” in its place. The New posts show up every few days here, sometimes with two in one day.

    Episodic posts are very good with images, and there are even image captions. Paragraphs in episodic posts get as big as 5-6 liners. Unfortunately, manga posts suffer from more lengthy paragraphs.

    The Otaku HQ – URLs are in the archaic “?p=1034” format. Walls of text are present. The post comment button is floating outside of the container. The footer section is barren. Unless you visit “?page_id=4” (Blog link in topnav), there is no sidebar, so navigation is nearly non-existent. Nice job screwing up the default WP theme.

    Abandoned Factory Anime Review – The site is 700px wide. Why so narrow? “Trebuchet MS” is not the most readable font, but it’s not bad. Below the featured post, the font size goes down. It’s readable, but for me this is a “zoom in twice” website.

    This site has the most horrible comment section that I’ve ever seen. The text color is abhorrent and the font size makes it impossible to read without zooming in. What are you thinking??

    Mon0r – Very customized design. The persistent topbars are annoying. I can just press Home or Page Up a few times if I want to see topnav. Walls of text are a problem here. Some posts have a good amount of images and some don’t. Not much else to say; a lot of thought went into this design.

    Favorite design: The Neighbors Club, hands down.

    • Note to MotsuCQ: Never thought I’d say this but you should probably check out an actual Japanese blog and maybe go to web design classes (perhaps also advance web design classes).

      Don’t forget that HTML or any site coding can have “limitations” and it may “limit your imagination” on what you want your site to be. So judging a site design is mostly somewhat pointless.

      Also note, a tech teacher who teaches college standard classes likes my blog design. *gasp*

      • I’m not sure what “limitations” you refer to. Everything I mentioned can be remedied. If my analysis is lacking, how about refuting the points I made?

    • Abandoned Factory’s comments section is readable to me without zooming in. Just saying. And I think the font size is fine. The problem is that he has gray text on gray backgrounds. That’s what needs to change.

    • I would say that A&V doesn’t even have “mild” paragraph issues. Their writing isn’t typical of most aniblogs, which are aimed at readers that have shorter attention spans. That sounds mean, but hey, most of us are like that, myself included.

      A&V is a more thoughtful blog meant for readers who don’t mind investing in an essay for fun. Thus, the structure might fit that of a formal paper than of an aniblog.

    • I can’t say Abandoned Factory Anime Review’s comment area is hard to read, but I wouldn’t mind brighter and slightly larger text down there as it could encourage more commenting with it more noticeable. Overall I like the design and its width, but perhaps make the archives a drop down menu. Hope that helps.

    • March was… well, Mass Effect 3 was released 6th March, Lol. Saving the galaxy comes first.

      Blogger recently changed some stuff that caused some of the comments in the Intense Debate (comment widget) to disappear. I had to choose between losing all my comments or downgrading to a weaker installation method, which probably caused the comment count to not appear. Still no idea when they will fix this…

    • I think some of your advice makes sense if you take your expected readers in mind. Given these are blogs and not some website where you’re selling something, however, I kind of boggle at things like paragraph lengths as an issue. That has more to do with readability from the text perspective and not from a visual perspective. It’s generally not a good idea to have very long paragraphs unless you are talking about something complicated, however, and that’s based on a different kind of readability reason. Nothing you can measured by lines at any rate.

      But then again I hate that pix – paragraph – pix – paragraph format and i think it is the cancer killing anime blogging but you seem to like it so what do i know.

  6. That font is so small it should be a crime. Unless the average age of his readers is like sub 18 with super perfect vision, that’s a strain on the eyes trying to read it. It’s also dark grey on light grey, it’s borderline invisible. It’s weird because his normal entry font is nice and large. The actual comment text is darker than the links surrounding it, the absolute reverse of what should be done.

    font-size: 14px please =(

    • It’s seriously, genuinely, honestly only very slightly smaller than the font size for comments here. The text size is fine. Unless you’re going to start yelling about it being too tiny here too.

      But yes, those colours.

          • I tried the site in 4 browsers and could not match your screenshot. Three of them rendered text the same way, and IE was the odd one out (no surprise). Which one are you using?

            • Some probably old version of Opera. Interestingly, I can’t match your screenshot even on Firefox. Opera is the only browser where the text ends up so small (probably because it is dumb), but the font is the same on all of them.

              Could you let me know what your default font+font size settings are in everything that isn’t IE? I’d really like to set one of these browsers up in such a way that I’m seeing what everyone else is apparently seeing.

            • You use Opera? Wow, I thought I would be the only one around here. I tested Opera 11.62, Firefox 11, Chrome 18, and IE 9 using default font size settings.

              I sort of matched the screenshot with Opera 11.52. I don’t think it can be fixed without upgrading or using a different browser. Can’t blame ya for using an older version, because the address bar is so much better.

  7. This group surprised me a bit. I thought Mon0r, which was quite popular, would gather lots of votes. But it was the complete opposite. Maybe the voters in this tourney are not entirely the people I was expecting. But the overall outcome is very positive, in my opinion.

    and since everyone talks about design, I think I like the old theme of A&V better than the new one. While I have no problem with the narrow column of Abandoned factory.

  8. Voted for TJ (one of the old timers), Joojoobees (like his contribution) and Vuc/AJtheFourth’s (they have some really good articles) blogs. The fourth one, I have to check in detail to make up my mind.

  9. Everyone voting for A&V because they love AJ so much has it backwards. What they should do instead is vote /against/ A&V.

    Hear me out…

    See, the idea is that A&V losing will throw vuc, who is obviously so desperate for a win that he’s campaigning at the polls, into a deep depression. He’ll be self-conscious about how much his readership really likes him and worried about the other writers at the site leaving. In his fits of jealousy and confusion over the feeling of loss he will begin to demand more out of his writers. Also, don’t think this won’t carry over into real life, where he will begin to push people away, insisting that he must focus on his work.

    Then we can all NTR the staff of A&V from him. Especially AJ. She will be yearning for the vuc of old, when times were good and they could wax poetically about how very deep and layered Penguindrum is. Ripe for the picking.

    Vote Dusk!

  10. Voted for TJ (Product of Wasted Time) – it’s the only I found tolerable that’s been covering Gantz. The other three matches I’d have to look forward for content

  11. I will vote for One Minute of Dusk if they tell me what the song #21 is from on the Guess That Tune page. It is killing me, I can see what’s going on in my head but cannot place it.

  12. Thanks to everyone who gave their insights on my site (Abandoned Factory). I never thought the comments section would prove to be so controversial. 🙂 I actually do look at it zoomed in, but then again, I look at EVERY blog zoomed in. Pinch-to-zoom FTW, and don’t let any penguins tell you otherwise!

  13. Neighbors Club, awesome job! It was a close match and it and a fun one too. We were neck and neck for quite a while and my win was anything but a landslide.

    You have a new subscriber. 🙂

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