On To The Next Experiment
Welcome to the successor of Intl Wota, Idolminded. It was wonderful to see all the heartfelt tributes to Intl Wota and what it accomplished over the past five years, but I must confess that I’m surprised it lasted as long as it did. People who know me from the idol blogosphere know that I’m the restless sort, that I grow fidgety and have new themes and new domains flashing in my eyes before you know it. The challenge here, then, is to continue serving the blogging community of overseas idol fans while keeping myself from getting bored or antsy.
And I think this site should accomplish that.
Idolminded will be a slightly different beast from Intl Wota, beginning with the fact that it will combine both the community-minded aspects of IW with content one would associate more with a personal idol blog. The reason for this is simple: since returning to Intl Wota over a year ago, I’ve also been trying to do my own thing on revived versions of Cult of Pop, American Wota, and Dolorous Haze. All those attempts were short-lived. So instead of expanding, I figured it’d make more sense to consolidate my energy and keep it all in one place. If anything, it would be better to think of Idolminded, not as something brand new, but as an accumulation of a lot of old things I’ve attempted in the past seven years as an idol blogger: picking some things that worked before, refining other things that didn’t, creating new combinations of favorite old formula.
As a result, Idolminded will be “mine” in the sense that IW wasn’t, which really just means that there will be lapses of self-indulgence that you can choose to enjoy or ignore. There’ll be various distractions like rankers and generators and applied hypertext theory, as well as essays and fumetti and LOLidols and whatever else tickles my fancy. (For those who haven’t seen them, by the way, I highly recommend checking out the fumetti in the most recent iteration of American Wota. You’ll be getting a lot more of that particular brand of offensive jackassery here.)
However, this does not mean that I’ll be working on this site alone. I’m starting with a pared-down staff – Chiima carries over from IW to be my protege/site editor, Brian will remain my behind-the-scenes consigliere (the ongoing Rasputin joke has now given way to a Godfather joke). But we will also have plenty of guest contributors, I hope. That is, I hope the current idol blogging community – for both Kpop and Jpop – will agree to help out with articles along the way.
And that brings us to the next change from Intl Wota: all contributors besides myself will get paid. Not a lot, but enough for a nice lunch or maybe a down payment to a CD or DVD. I’ll post a weekly Job Board entry, explaining what I’d want written and how much I’m offering for the articles. With any luck, this will bring in a wide range of voices from around the idol blogosphere without the burden of ongoing commitment that IW used to entail on its staff. You won’t believe how many times discussions about IW have turned to the truism “Well, it’s not like we’re paying our staff.” Well, I’m paying now, and that means I can be a bit more demanding, a bit more specific in my staff goals. I like to think of it as an investment in the future of the overseas fandom.
And not to keep anyone from thinking I’ve gone all altruistic, I’ll also eventually be asking you readers for money, as well. Specifically, I’ll be writing long-form essays and other things which will be available as Kindle Single ebooks. I don’t expect to make much on this, but I do hope that a helpful body of work will emerge over the coming months for those who want to think deeply about idols and what they mean. The first planned volume will be on the PV’s of Morning Musume’s first several years, and should be available in a couple weeks. Chiima will also be trying her hand at such a long-form project, which is why she’s a protege / editor here.
There are many things I want to try with IM to help bring the idol blogging community together, including workshop posts, blogger spotlights, and other things mentioned back during Intl Wota. To make time for all this, Recommended Reading posts – which remains the spine of this site, as it was for IW – will be Sunday to Thursday, with the weekend devoted to other pursuits.
Today being our big start, there’s a bunch of posts to get us rolling. From tomorrow on, though, our pace will be more moderate, but will hopefully keep you (and me) engaged in the coming months and years. I must confess, I’m not sure how long this experiment will last. But if it’s as enjoyable as I hope it to be, we may well outdo IW’s five years before we know it.
Hello everyone, I am Chiima, and welcome to Idolminded, the ‘child’ of International Wota and, as Ray put it, successor. This is my first time fully working on a brand new site with Ray, however I did help out on IW when I had the time and now I shall take on that role once again here.
When Ray approached me with the ideas of a grand new site, I was surprised that IW was going to close, however Ray got me excited at the prospect of this site. We discussed a lot about it, and it turns out that I am now the sole editor of Idolminded, which I honestly look forward to. I hope that my writing skills can come in handy here, and I hope that I can learn how to write very long essays.
I also feel that IM will become a great way to try out new content for bloggers. Most of this content is the ingenious idea of Ray, especially the idea to bring in guest bloggers. It will bring a fresh approach, and give us all new talent and a new voice of opinions. I am looking forward to working with future contributors who may or may not match my own opinions.
Anyway, enough chit-chat on my end – I hope that IM lasts as long as IW did, and I hope that everyone who comes here enjoys the site and all of its old and new features!