And so ends the long journey of the Otaku Diaries. When this project fully launched back in January 2009 we had high hopes but the response has exceeded everything we could have imagined. Although we had done several experiments on the blog, nothing we had been as ambitious or as far-reaching as this. The purpose of this last post is to put a conclusion on the project as a whole. This is a moment of reflection before we move on to what we do next. I want to learn from what we did here to have out next major project be even better.
Personally, I’m proud that we were able to see this project through to its conclusion almost a year and a half after it came into existence. It wasn’t always what we expected it to be, and it certainly wasn’t flawless, but I’m glad we were able to follow through with it which will hopefully set a standard for any upcoming projects.
I must say overall I think the project was a huge success. We got a great response from people all through out the anime and manga community. We received tons of help from blogs and podcasts who got the word out about the project when it was starting up and needed the most help. We got great responses from the wonderful people who filled out the numerous extremely personal questions. As the posts came out, I saw several posts where people picked up ideas we had presented in the Otaku Dairies and either built on what we said or presented intriguing alternate ideas. We even got some constructive criticism which is often more important than praise. I think no matter what we got people thinking about anime fandom. We got them to question the way they looked at their fellow fans and maybe even themselves. I have seen other people trying similar experiments outside of academia and look forward to the results.
What was really successful for the project was our overall goal, we wanted to see and show others how diverse yet how connected fandom was and we wanted to do this through more than just a percentage and a cookie-cutter answer for questions. I think by going in with a positive goal, it really helped to keep us in the spirit of the project and enthusiastic about the posts. And I have to agree it was really rewarding to see people mentioning Otaku Diaries on their own blogs or podcasts or even just talking about it on Twitter. I think certain sections of the survey were clearly more popular reads, but that also stems from asking the right questions, in the right way, and getting wonderful, thoughtful, and revealing answers. And in this way making it anonymous was certainly the right decision.
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