Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Seven deadly sins of Japan blogging
Looking around the blogosphere (I feel dirty just typing that word!) there seems to be a lot of common blogging lazinesses doing the rounds of Japan-related blogs. Here's my seven pet hates that gets me rolling my eyes every time I encounter them:
1. J-List affiliate links
If you are running an adult-themed blog, or even just one with a lot of swearing and the like, you can get away with it, but in a standard navel-gazing blog J-List's Pocky'n'Hentai (but, what about Pocky Hentai? Now there's a genre that needs probing...) adverts just punch me in the face.
2. Cityscape keitai photos
A snatched snap from inside a train or of a lot of people walking down a street is nothing special. I suppose for those who have never been to Japan it is novel the first time one sees it, but everyone's doing it. Take some time to frame a decent picture with a decent camera (or upgrade your mobile!) as there is no shortage of interesting shots; alternatively spend some time writing up why we should be excited by generic_shot_40382.jpg.
Avoid clichés like the plague. It's too easy use a cliché instead of actually forming an opinion; that's just the sort of thing a bad-breathed bar-coded Salaryman would do. Some of the clichés may actually be true, but try some original phrasing instead or add an "in my opinion/experience" disclaimer.
4. The Japanese wife
Gratuitously mentioning your J-wife is pretty pathetic. I know mine rolls her eyes whenever she reads that sort of blog entry, and she tells me that a lot of her friends do too. She says that's true, and since she's Japanese she must be correct, and her opinion trumps any view I might have. She tells me you all should stop it!
5. Shagging J-birds
Even worse than the above, my wife hates all these people who boast of their conquests. In my experience (which is not much, it must be said!) the average gaijin hang-out is oft frequented by women after a quick knee-trembler with some exotic man, for suitable values of exotic and man. Back in one of the places I worked at back in my home country, there was a woman there who would frequent the local naval base looking for seamen (I hope I spelt that correctly), and neither she nor her "clients" commanded much respect for such activities.
6. Gratuitous Japanese
So many people try to fake genkiness, or just show off their vocabulary by randomly sprinkling nihongo into their posts, with one of the worst offenders being the Hokkaido Crusader. It grates badly and creates an 内・外 atmosphere that alienates the casual reader.
7. Pulling rank
I've been here longer than most foreigners (this is true, 95% don't last three years) and I've experienced the world outside of the Engrish chain schools, so I know that the little guys starting a blog fresh off the boat for NOVA can easily fall into these traps I've listed above, so they should all listen to me and take the advice I've offered.
Though I have to say I don't mind seeing some random street scenes since I don't live in Japan right now... makes me feel like I'm still a part of the "people walking down streets in Japan" action.