Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Manga4life interviewed by avid blog reader and web-spider, Ron Paradue.


Ron Paradue – “Hello Manga4life, as well as the number of readers who may find themselves on Manga4life's “Thought Corner” blog. Today I've asked Manga4life if he would be open to answer some questions about both himself and his personal piece of the internet that he's created known by many as “Thought Corner”. In my experience with “Thought Corner”, the author posts articles about various anime programs he's watched, comic books he's read, video games he's played, as well as personal experiences with products and media that shed some light on certain aspects of pop culture and everything in between. I personally came across his blog back around November of last year when I was doing a search for reviews of an anime series called Claymore and I found Manga4life's review that he posted some month previous to my discovery of his blog. I read it, then I followed through and read a number of his other entry's and found that I really was enjoying what I was reading, finally after about 4 months of no new articles I decided to approach Manga4life about why he's been so quiet. I thought I'd begin with a pretty simple question, and that question would be.....why? Why did you move forward with the creation of “Thought Corner”, and what did you hope to accomplish from running a blog?”

Manga4life – “Before I answer the question, allow me to thank you for checking out The Thought Corner and thank you to all who may be reading this interview via the blog itself. You always wondering who's reading when you see that you've gained a large number of readers, aside from the core “group” from the Twitter-space I had no idea that people who I've never associated with previously were checking out the site. But to answer your question, I think a huge reason as to why I created The Thought Corner was because I wanted a place where I could talk about things in depth without having my post become just another sea of words in a thread on some messageboard out there. I wanted to write about the things I enjoy, and in some cases hate, and I wanted to write the kind of blogs that I enjoy reading. See, so many people write for the masses and think that they're proving some kind of point or that they've gained some kind of fan base or something that they forget to have fun writing their piece and enjoy themselves. I write the kind of things that I enjoy so later on when I go back and read an entry again I can relive the emotion of whatever it was that I had written about, whether it be bad or good. I've never claimed to be a “writer”, I certainly am not the best blogger on the internet and I'm certainly not trying to become something I'm not. I write for me. I write for people who enjoy accessible content that can be read and enjoyed, I want people to smile when they're done reading one of my entries not because it was a well written piece worthy of an award, but instead because they can feel what I was feeling when those thoughts came out. It's simple, I write for me.”

Ron Paradue - “So you write editorials based on personal experience and taste? Or do you write blogs as a way to promote something?”

Manga4life - “I have nothing to promote, so I write as a way to archive my thoughts on something, I just toss it up on the blog for others to see. When I did have something to promote it all fell apart, I lost touch with a great creative talent and I lost interest in a project I was working on and trying to get up off the ground. You know why that happened? It's because I was trying to sell others on idea's I had instead of kicking back with a beer and getting my thoughts down about a certain subject.”

Ron Paradue - “Fair enough, fair enough. So, “Thought Corner” is entering into it's 2nd year on the internet and has garnered some attention by comic book companies, can you tell us about that?”

Manga4life - “Sure. I did a blog a year or so back about some new comics that were coming out from a publisher called BOOM Studios, it was a partnership between them and Stan Lee that revolved around a trio of comics that were on their way to retail. I wrote the piece and dropped a link to it on my Twitter page, that link was forwarded by BOOM Studios and made available to everyone who followed them on Twitter and on Facebook and before long the blog enjoyed over 3,000 visitors in a 72 hour period. It was pretty surreal. The second instance was very similar, I wrote a piece about comic book publishers who deserved more readers and this time a publisher called Dynamite Entertainment did the same thing BOOM did. The blog post ended up on their Twitter and someone e-mailed me and told me a portion of it ended up in the letter column of one of their comics, I personally haven't seen it but the blog enjoyed a few thousand more views over a pretty short period of time. I also gained about 30 or 40 new followers on Twitter, most of which I don't think follow me anymore, haha.”

Ron Paradue – “That's pretty interesting how a simple blog post could reach so many readers thanks to a simple re-tweet, or a mention on a social media website. That must have been nice to see publishers who you were supporting turn around and support you in exchange. How did it feel, personally?”

Manga4life - “Like I said before, I don't care that thousands of people were reading the entries unless they left the blog with the feeling that they've enjoyed what they read.”

Ron Paradue - “Okay, so, you're obviously one of many blogs on the internet based around things such as animation, comics, gaming, media, and other aspects, but I have to know something. Do you consider other blog sites competition, at all? Like say there is another blog site out there that posts reviews, editorials, and other things based around similar topics, do you read those sites or do you think of them as competition and a threat to your readership? Also, what are some of the “other” blogs out there that handle similar stories?”

Manga4life - “It's like this: We are all blogging, writing, creating, and discussing topics that we love and enjoy. I personally see the other blogs out there as helping to get the word out that great content is out there and it's up to us, the consumer, to go and enjoy it. It could be a video game, or a television show, or a movie, or something in print, it doesn't really matter what it is because we're all bringing the information to a broader audience and I think we just want to write stories that we believe in and get the word out there that good media is available to those who want to use it. Do I see them as competition to my blog, not at all because most of us are just writing to write, not to outdo each other or to destroy the credibility of our respective blogs. Writing is an art, expression is an art, you don't have to be completely good at it more so than you have to spill out what it is your thinking about and hope someone else feels it too. If they don't, no big deal. As for other blogs on the internet-space that I associate myself with and/or read on a weekly basis? Well, The Real Scratch Pad comes to mind, as does a blog called Thoughtnami by a guy named Jeff, those are both great sites that offer content that is fun and enjoyable to read.”

Ron Paradue - “I'm familiar with one (TRSP), not the other. Can you tell me a bit about Scratch Pad and Thoughtnami and the folks that host them?”

Manga4life - “Sure. Thoughtnami is hosted by a guy named Jeff, he's a long time animation fan and seems really big into the old WB stuff as well as keeping viewers focused on great action programming. His original vision of Thoughtnami which was a part of his X-Bridge website has been long dead, though he may disagree, but he's up and running on Tumblr and he can be found on Twitter. I know The X-Bridge is still around and last year he was working on a weekly serial project, but that's since been shelved for whatever reason. Jeff's great guy, a good friend, and someone you can converse with who actually understands things, people forget how hard it is to find good people to discuss things with these days. The Real Scratch Pad is hosted by several people who have banded together via Twitter, most of which could be found on various animation forums as well as Facebook. These guys are pretty cool, I've known most of them since I hit Twitter back in early 2010 and we've all maintained contact and get along with eachother (for the most part).”

Ron Paradue - “For the most part?”

Manga4life - “Yeah, for the most part. Most of those guys I really enjoy talking to, there is one....maybe two....who I guess I haven't really bought into, but as a whole they've got a good team over there. I won't go into the member who I don't think too highly of, but as a whole they've got a great cast and I'm always popping in to see what's new. The main problem I have with TRSP is that they have multiple guys who have various levels of ego's, which can sometimes clash when they podcast. Also, I believe some members have their hearts invested into The Real Scratch Pad project while others wear it like a sweater and toss it in the closet in favor of something more enjoyable. That isn't right. One thing I like about them is that they go beyond writing blog posts, they also have a couple of podcasts that they do and they've branched into a couple of different catagories that really has given them their identity. Funny story, before The Real Scratch Pad existed they were known as The Comic Book Panel, and I was a member really early on while moonlighting as owner of The Thought Corner. I've even filled in with a couple of guest posts on The Real Scratch Pad when members couldn't make their deadlines, it's been a while since I've done that though, they seem to be more focused on audio content than print these days anyhow.”

Ron Paradue - “Moving along to other things now. Tell me, where do you see “Thought Corner” in a couple of years, or even next year, and what would you say is the best thing you've even done and a regret that you have about the blog?”

Manga4life - “There is so much I want to do. Seriously. I just don't have the time to do it. I'll continue to write blogs, I have a handful all set and ready to launch come the beginning of the year and I have some themed months I plan to celebrate eventually. But mainly I just want to bring content to readers who want a place where they can come and read something someone wrote who feels something for that certain topic, something real. I don't know where The Thought Corner will be in 2 or 3 years, but I do know that 2012 promises to be a pretty big year for the site and I may even introduce a new site mascot. Hehe. As for my biggest regret with the blog, well, it would be the falling out I had with a guy named Jason who was writing a book called "The Tale" which was to be promoted and released by my publishing company, Cozy Cabin Publishing. The fallout led me to abandon a project I was working on called "Cavendar" and before you knew it all I had left was blank pages and nothing to write. I may still take that project off the shelf someday, but all in all I was excited to release his book first to see how the company would do with it, when there was nothing to release I gave up on it. I still own the company, but I don't plan on doing anything with it besides publish posts here on the Thought Corner Blog. That would be my biggest regret, especially how it all went down.”

Ron Paradue - “What's with that little mascot guy anyway? But seriously, I'm sorry that happened to the company, but like you said earlier, you didn't want to push a product more so than you wanted others to feel your feelings through your posts. So maybe it's for the better?”

Manga4life - “He's just the face of the site, nothing more. There is no hidden meaning behind him and there is no back story or anything, he's just a character that people can see when they log on who can serve as your tour guide, or something like that. People have asked me about him before, I just tell them he's my best friend and they tend to leave it alone. As for the book deal, yeah, it's for the better. I'd just assume never talk about it again, or at least not for a long time.”

Ron Paradue - “Well, that's all I got for now. I appreciate the time you took to sit down and discuss some things with me, Manga4life, your thoughts are valued and I look forward to seeing what “Thought Corner” has in store for 2012!”

Manga4life - “Thanks for having me, Ron. It's been a pleasure and thanks for dropping in and reading The Thought Corner blog, you're support is much appreciated.”

Take care,

©2011 Cozy Cabin Publishing LLC

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