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myOtaku.com: Nikorasu

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MTAC Infinity | April 25-27 | Nashville, TN

Hi, I'm Niko. It's what a lot of my friends call me anyways. I go to Middle Tennessee State University and am in the MTSU Anime Club there. I also do some work for the Middle Tennessee Anime Convention, which is a really fun con. Anyway, this accound has fallen out of use, so I figured I's blow the dust off and open it up some.

If you wish to IM with me, my AIM is RuroNiko

My Links:

MTSU Anime Club

Middle Tennessee Anime Convention

My LiveJournal

My MySpace

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Initial thoughts of Version Vibrant...

I'm still figuring Version Vibrant out, so I don't really have a layout for this place yet. My initial thoughts are that the new theOtaku doesn't seem conducive to just flat out blogging, even less so than myOtaku did.

The actual blogging feature of myOtaku was fairly simple. Here, not so much. It seems like there are a few more steps to actually post blog posts, such as actually making a world for me to post in. I see the use in not giving everyone a world to post in right off the bat, and not everyone used their myOtaku accounts and instead posted fan works, but I think the opposite can be said as well: people who didn't really contribute many fan works but posted in their myOtaku blogs. Given a choice, I would personally rather have the blogging feature, and I think that would be a good choice. If people don't want their portfilio active, if they never intend to really give a lot of fan works and are such leaving a whole lot of blank space on their portfolios, I think a feature to turn off sections of the portfilio that are at least not in use would be a good idea and to have world posts show up there as well.

I've also noticed that it's not easy finding people here. I don't even know how to find people aside from using http://www.theotaku.com/portfolio/*blank* and going back to myOtaku's backroom to get people's names to fill in the blank. I tried searching my username, Nikorasu, and nothing related to me came up. This tells me that the search feature needs some work.

The Worlds is an interesting feature. I do have a problem that you can't subscribe to separate worlds like you can with individuals. I would like to subscribe to timechaser's Watercooler world so I can get the updates from it, but it seems the only way to get all the updates from it is to subscribe to each individual poster's portfolio, adding in those people's posts in other worlds that I didn't want. It seems like a lot of unnecessary work. If there is a way to subscribe to just specific worlds, I'm not seeing it, which to me would seem to be a problem with the website not being very intuitive.

I also miss the bio area on the left side of the myOtaku page. You know, the one with name, birthday, contact info, interests, favorite anime, ect. Doing away with that would be find if there was some sort of profile page where you could put the same information. However, there isn't even that. I've yet to find where you are to input such information. Doing away with a useful tool to be acquainted with others is, I think, a bad idea. Either a central World page or a hypothetical profile page would be a good default page that people would first stop and learn more about you when they click on your name, then branching out to your other worlds and portfolio, but it seems the portfolio is this default page. It fails to provide that information though.

Navigation is another issue I find here. Navigation between myOtaku and all the sections of theOtaku had always been somewhat off before with myOtaku being so separate from the rest of the site. However, I would think that the integration of the whole thing would make it simple to, for example, go from your blog to post fan art. However, for some reason, there is a requirement to have two separate backrooms, the actual backroom for all of your worlds and subscriptions and the portfolio for the fan works. For some reason, when in your backroom, you have to actually leave your backroom to navigate your way to post a fan work. However, if you can publish essays or fictional works, arguably examples of fan works, from your backroom, why not all the other stuff?

I like the member subscription list in the backroom. I think it's a much better way of keeping track of who has updated recently, as opposed to the old way in myOtaku where you had to look at your entire list of friends for highlighted names and you were out of luck if the update was more than two days ago. The problem I find here is that there is that you can't look past the bumped off. An example of what I'm talking about would be LiveJournal's Friends' Entries page. Once you reach the end of the page, you can simply choose to look as the previous 25 entries, and you can continue to do so, allowing you to see all of your friends' posts in a chronological order. This is particularly useful for people who have been away for longer than the list has updates for, such as me during my vacation I just got back from. The current way here still forces you to have to look as individual profiles to see if they have updated, even more so because myOtaku at least still had the last updated dates next to them.

For a while now, I've been using myOtaku less and less for blogging, instead using LiveJournal (and consequently Facebook with its import feeds feature for its notes). It makes sense though since LJ is more geared towards blogging. TheOtaku is more geared torwards publishing fan-generated content, which is fine. There need to be these kinds of sites as well. However, the old myOtaku did serve as a decent blogging add-on to the whole theOtaku experience, and it seems that Version Vibrant has weakened that aspect. It still seems good for publishing content, perhaps even better so than before (barring my stated issues with navigation in paragraph 6). Being able for anyone to publish essays and articles straight to the front page like the other works is an improvement I like, as those tend to be more interesting to me personally. It just seems that it is almost so much that it's overcomplicated and not streamlined well enough yet. Well, I guess that's for version 1.1.

Wow, this was way longer than I thought it would be. My thanks to those who actually managed to finish this.

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Just got back from Florida for spring break. Also checking out new theOtaku. Real post to come soon.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Back from Con-Nooga with a Broken Finger

After finding out Friday morning that I had broken my finger at the park last Sunday and putting it in a splint, I headed off to Con-Nooga, a first-year general sci-fi con in Chattanooga, Tenn with Cole and John to promote MTAC. All the fun on the trip was mostly from hanging out with them. The con itself was kind of slow. Given, I was stuck in the dealer room/exhibition hall most of the time there, so I missed a lot of the actual con stuff, but the general feel from the dealer room itself was slight boredom. It doesn't help that the dealer room was located a good bit away from the rest of the con in another building at the complex, requiring walking or driving through the parking lot to get there. At least I got to talk to one of the dealers a lot, even about Gundam and Macross, and it's always good to have a geeky conversation every now and then. I even bought some Macross and Kamen Rider Den-O figures from him.

Speaking of geeky, we all stayed in the hotel room Saturday night and watched Ninja Turtles 2: Secret of the Ooze and the American Godzilla movie instead of the usual late-Saturday-night con party stuff. Still, it was fairly enjoyable staying in and watching TV, especially since most of us were just plain tired.

As for the whole promoting MTAC thing, I think we did a decent job given the low turnout. We got a few people interested in the con from the anime 101 panel that Cole and I gave. Being my first actual panel, and with no planning and completely ad libbed, it went pretty well. The audience seemed interested and even asked enough questions to keep us going. A lot of the people there even stopped by our booth afterwards (not like the mention of MTAC shirts didn't help any though). I was even asked to do a spot for a local anime music station, which I wish I could listen to, but oh well. Plus, our booth was pretty awesome. We ended up using every grid we had to build it.

We ended up leaving this morning before the dealer room closed. A good bit of the dealer room was already packing up, as they pretty much felt they wouldn't get many more sales to match the few they made the previous days. Take down of the booth didn't take too long, and we hit the road back towards Nashville.

All in all, it was fun to hang out, but the con itself from the dealer room wasn't too thrilling. I'm sure others had fun, but since the only other part of the con I experienced was the panel Cole and I ran, I don't really feel adequate enough to give an actual review of it. One of the things about staying at the MTAC booth most of the time is that I don't get to roam around too much, but I do get some feel of the place from interacting with attendees, dealers, panelists, guests and staff. This one seems like it can improve upon itself and be better next year.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Please Twins

Yesterday, I finished Please Twins, having marathoned through all but the last two episodes the day before. I enjoyed it. It's not overly perverse with the situations that would come up with the main male, Maiku, suddenly living with two girls, who are drawn to him a lot more than a sister should be to a brother. It's not as creepy as one would think. The two girls don't fight for is affection much either, mainly trying to keep other girls (and guys) away from Maiku while keeping their own feelings restrained.

You don't really see Maiku falling for the girls quite like they are faling for him. He acts more mature than they and treats them more sisterly while having the physical attractions occasionally, but it's not as much of a crush on either of the girls that the girls have on him, so it doesn't really feel like whichever one is the sister would have much of a romantic relationship with him like she would hope.

The supporting cast is a good mix of new and returning characters from Please Teacher, as the story takes place about a year from the beginning of Please Teacher, at the same school and Mizuho is the main male character's teacher. As such, she pops up a lot with plenty of lines. Kei, not so much. The extra last episode, the one after the actual last TV episode, does have a lot more Please Teacher characters returning, and Kei even has a couple of lines.

All in all, I liked it. With just being 13 episodes, you can watch it all in a day or two and be done with it, so if you didn't like it, you're not wasting much. Still though, I do prefer Please Teacher.

Now I really want to go back and watch Please Teacher.

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