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Saturday, September 3, 2005

   Tough Balancing Act
I think in all ventures that are growing quickly, the founder is under a lot of stress to balance day-to-day operational things with more long-term pursuits.

For example, I usually wake up early in the morning, post on news, edit/approve articles/quizzes/reviews, and then get on with my day. Then, during the evening I'll work on all the long-term things, like Art of Otaku, myOtaku 3.0, marketing, and so on.

It's a tough balancing act. I could be much more effective if I just focused on long-term things. My specialty is on creating, not really maintaining. However, it's hard to let go.

Thankfully, I have a great mod team who takes care of that aspect and Gail does a great job of approving fan works.

But I still can't help but think that I need to find a successor to do all our operational functions. The person would have to be an A+ writer, willing to work daily, keen knowledge of HTML/maybe databases, and an unrivaled knowledge of the anime industry.

Hm...maybe I should start looking.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

For the Brits
We have a pretty hardcore following in Britain. That's why I've negotiated a small UK-appreciation contest.

While the prizes will be pretty small, the contest is scheduled to coincide with the British release of The Cat Returns and Nausicaa.

So keep your eyes peeled. It'll be announced in a couple weeks. Should be an easy one for our British visitors to win ^_^.

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Monday, August 29, 2005

Art of Otaku Length
It's going to be really, really, really long :-).

I mentioned in my previous post that most books on drawing anime are around 150 pages, most of which is filler.

Well, I've just finished packaging our first artist's works and it's about 170 pages. No filler.

Let me repeat: We're already longer than anyone else on the market and we have 7 artists left to cover. Only 12.5% finished. Wow, just wow.

Hm...to be fair, maybe we should have multiple guides; seems like a popular thing to do:

"Art of Otaku: Drawing Characters That Face Forward"

"Art of Otaku: Drawing Characters That Face Backward"

Na, let's see how big we can make this baby. One artist and 170 pages down, seven artists and ??? pages to go. Wish me luck.

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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Adam Goes to Barnes and Nobles
I went to Barnes and Nobles today. I casually strutted over to the information desk, smiled brightly, and asked where to go to learn how to draw anime.

The woman pointed me to the basement and my journey began.

I arrived at a long shelf crammed tightly with about two dozen titles, ranging from the familiar "How to Draw Manga" series to some clear copycats.

I proceeded to fill my arms with a single copy of each title and stumbled to the designated reading area. More than once I had to stop and awkwardly pick up stray books that had fallen to the floor.

I sat down and proceeded to painstakingly go through every single title available.

Since I'm going to be publishing Art of Otaku, I thought it'd be good to see what others are doing.

An hour later, my notes were complete and I breathed a sigh of relief.

I definitely admired what these companies had done, but I also had a lot of complaints that I knew we could rectify.

The main thing I liked from the guides were their production value. You could tell they spent a lot of time laying and designing the book itself. I also liked how they often had like 10 pictures per page displaying different angles.

What I didn't like was the structure and lack of content. I would have preferred a more step-by-step format to drawing anime. Too much of the guide was just pictures of finished drawings. How am I supposed to work with that? Also, while the guides were all 150 pages, it seems that 50-75% of the pages were filler.

Art of Otaku will be many times longer than 150 pages. We'll also focus more on step-by-step drawings and won't have any filler at all.

I just have to work on our production value :-).

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Light Speed Ahead
The layout for myOtaku 3.0 is finished. James did a spectacular job, as usual. (I designed this version of myO, except for the logo. That's why it's slightly bland.)

The main differences will be in the front page and the backroom. We're only going to tweak user pages, to retain their customizability.

We expect an October launch for the new myOtaku. With it will launch our first premium, subscription service. The price will be really low, maybe even $19.95 per YEAR and will be full of great features.

If you choose to rent, rather than buy, ONE anime DVD the entire year, it pays for the full year's subscription. Crazy, right?

Also of important note, I'm in the process of putting Art of Otaku together. For those of you who don't know, Art of Otaku is our epic guide to drawing anime artwork. It was co-authored by the "Iron Chefs" of anime fan art, a group of our top artists.

The guide will be approximately 500 pages and will be the best ever created on the subject. (Or at least in the top 3.) Because of the production costs I'm going to have to incur to get it professionally packaged, it will either be sold stand-alone or packaged with our premium service.

Either way, prepare your wallets: We have two AMAZING products coming soon.

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Sunday, July 31, 2005

   What To Do With This
So theOtaku.com has recently acquired one of the most popular Samurai Champloo sites online, with about 1,000+ visitors / day. Now the question becomes: What do we do with it :-). Hm...this is gonna be tough.
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Sunday, June 26, 2005

   Anime Links
I absolutely love our new anime links feature. I honestly think we can make it the best source for anime links online. Most other link resources are plagued with dead links, poor interfaces, and no selectivity on what they accept. We're better.

We just have to take it one anime at a time...

Comments (17) | Permalink

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Naruto - Sexist?
Maybe I should write an article on this. I've noticed that Naruto is *incredibly* sexist. I'd venture to say that there isn't a single powerful female in the entire show. Even the legendary Tsunade, who of course is a healing specialist, pales in comparison to the other Sannins, Orichimaru and Jiraiya.
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Friday, June 17, 2005

The Naruto Bug
Has anyone else been bitten by this bug? I find I can't stop watching the darned show. Every episode ends with a cliffhanger, even the ones that are supposed to resolve things. GROAN.
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Monday, June 6, 2005

   Corey Rudl, one of the pioneers of online marketing, died recently in a car crash. He was only 34 years old.

I was very saddened to hear about Corey’s passing. I had purchased one of his online marketing courses three years ago and devoured its contents in only a few days. Despite the small fortune I paid for the course, I remember thinking it was worth every penny.

Corey’s course introduced me to the importance of website automation, email lists, up selling, and general online consumer behavior. He was a superstar who was able to eloquently mold tried-and-true offline marketing techniques to the Internet.

One entertaining anecdote from the course still stays with me…

A woman opens up an online store that specializes in rare coins. Days pass and she grows frustrated at her new company’s total lack of sales. She finally makes the leap and talks with a marketing expert to adopt a promotional strategy…

After discussing a number of options, she finally settles on a plan that’s both unconventional and promising.

She starts her new strategy by choosing a relatively inexpensive coin that’s stocked in high volume. She then prices that coin below-cost and advertises the sale extensively. The orders come rushing in and she ends up losing a considerable amount of money. However, this is only the beginning…

With a newly acquired customer list in hand, she sends out a mailing weeks later to advertise another sale. This sale is for a coin so rare and expensive that even discounting it at 15% off would still yield an extraordinary profit.

The store owner becomes delighted when a few of the collectors on her customer list place orders for the expensive coin. She makes a handy profit, which more than covers her initial loss.

The lesson here is essentially on trust. If you can win a person’s trust on a small-scale, you’re guaranteed their trust on a much larger scale.

Thanks Corey, you’ll be missed.

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