For the impatient: if you are viewing this in a feed reader and were expecting this to be a post about anime, I strongly suggest you change your feed subscription to the anime category rather than the general site one. In the very near future there may be some non-anime related posts that, if you’re just here for words on Japanese cartoons, may not appeal.
With that out of the way. I seldom post anything about my site itself primarily because it very rarely warrants it and accruing that much meta will no doubt bite karmically later. However in this instance there’s a few noteworthy topics, so in order of perceived importance:
I’m off travelling abroad for a couple of weeks which is the first time I’ve been out of Blighty for just over five years. In an ideal world I would have posts queued up and no one would notice, unfortunately I’ve had less time than I would have liked to build up a buffer (especially after finishing the stunning first season of Log Horizon and the last two GITS:Arise OVAs) so there will be no anime topic posts from the 2nd through to the 19th November, normal posting should resume on the 23rd.
I say “anime topic posts” because there may well be (internet access permitting) holiday related ones, all of which will be distinctly non-anime related. These will be in a similar vein to my Japan 2K9 category posts but is why I recommend altering your feed reader subscription if you’re only interested in foreign cartoons.
Since the new year I’ve tried to keep a steady Wednesday/Sunday posting schedule which has worked a lot better than I expected. It stops the issues with dry-spells that I had in previous years and means I can, to a degree, plan ahead to make sure I always have content. It also means I can mix newest, newish and older series together without feeling like one is out of place. In theory I could probably post more frequently, however two a week provides a good balance between anime and non-anime activities, so I can sink several days into a game or book without any adverse effects.
I’ve found writing (i.e. the fun bit) takes up very little time when producing posts, most of it seems to be spent in asset management. So screenshot trimming, video encoding, sorting etc. A twelve episode series takes about two hours to sort through all the screenshots, half an hour to put together a shortlist of ones to use, then maybe another couple of hours ordering and cropping. Thankfully my blog streamlines a few of those steps so they aren’t so laborious.
On that note, up to the end of 2013, chaostangent.com was always hosted using the Wordpress(.org) software. Right through from 2.x, it got to the point where I was tired of supporting it and its near constant security issues and wrote my own. It’s still PHP/MySQL but is, by virtue of me writing it from the ground up, a lot easier for me to extend. Most of the recent work has been media management which, after some grunt work on the existing posts, will pay dividends when changing the layout of the site.
It has been running smoothly for almost eleven months now, so it and its comment spam fighting capabilities are somewhat well tested. If you’re interested in poking around or want to help, it’s hosted on GitHub.
I also recently I switched the blog and its ancillary domains (assets and images) over to SSL and also enabled SPDY on them. After some teething troubles, everything seems to be working smoothly. The upshot of this is that (in theory), if your browser supports it, you’ll get the fastest possible experience browsing the site. There are other benefits behind the scenes (Google ranking et. al.) but that, more than the “security” benefit, is the primary reason for this.
As well as a site redesign in the works, there’s also a nascent plan to get some more anime specific functionality developed. This work is where the popular posts homepage bar came from, although you may have noticed some crazy tagging going on with some posts, this was an attempt to get some kind of semantic linking going between all the different posts on my site. It’s still a work in progress but could be interesting if it pans out. Otherwise, just providing a quick list of series/movies I’ve reviewed would probably help curious browsers; not doing episodics means the usual monster list of categories is out of the question.
So in short: going on holiday so no anime posts for two weeks but there might be some holiday posts, change your feed URL appropriate to your feelings on this. Two posts a week on anime seems to be working out well. The chaostangent.com software is available for perusal if you’re so interested. SSL all the way. Keep an eye out for more developments.