Friday, October 01, 2010

"Black Monday Comes to HardDoor" and Other Fantastic Stories...

"Black Monday Comes to HardDoor..."

 After months of stagnation (mainly due to B&HSiA), HD's Free & Low-Cost Anime Directory finally received its long-awaited/needed revamp.  I knew a lot needed to be done when I started Monday, but I found myself altering more of than I had anticipated (which was good thing, actually).  Many of the descriptions have been rewritten--some wholesale, a few twinked here and there--either because the info was outdated or just needed to be reworded (or both...).  Not too many links needed updating, but I supplemented a few entries with additional ones.  In the case with pay content and subscriptions, I made sure to mention rates as often as possible.  I began doing this with the "Anime on the Go!!" section and thought it was the right time to start including that information whenever possible, given how prevalent subscriptions are becoming.

Additionally, pretty much any show listed in the "Anime Shows on Parade" section that could be found on one of the "Sites" was removed.  Before so many series were posted online, the section served its purpose by showcasing particular shows that were given the relatively unique chance to be online and simulcasted.  However, that "distinction" has become "the norm", so continually posting such shows or having the present entries around became redundant and clogged the true aim of the section.  Now it's more streamlined and back to its original purpose: showcasing works not easily found at the usual spots and some hidden gems among them.  Lastly, I emptied the proverbial recycling bin known as the "Off Sites" section.  It was long overdue, as none of them were changing status anytime soon. (Normally in this situation, I'd do an "update" post and denote the changes in the Directory, but since nearly everything was altered in some fashion and I already mentioned them here, I don't think it is too necessary to do so.)

The bulk of the renovations are done, but this is not the end of them.  I still have a few new features I'll be introducing over time to help make things easier to navigate through and use (it's still a pretty big list, after all), as well as making it more informative, but not to the point of overloading it.  Yet, this is all perhaps window-dressing for a larger, even more extensive revamp that I have been ruminating on.  I like to keep the Directory as fresh and as useful as possible, and as much as I like its current format, I'm always thinking of different, better ways of presenting it (hence the addenda since starting it in 2007).  I'm not completely all in for it yet, but its possible future look is very drastic from what it is now.  We'll see where things will lead, but for now, expect some good things to continue coming for the Directory...

"Beyond 'Blacks and Head Shots in Anime'..."

Speaking of "Black", B&HSiA may have been completed nearly two weeks ago, but I'm not done with the topic just yet.  To be precise, "Phase 1" of it has been completed, but "Phase 2" will be starting next week.  With this entire topic, I have wanted to raise its awareness, but I have also wanted to gauge the thoughts of the anime community concerning it. To accomplish this, I will be starting threads at two major forums: Mania/AnimeOnDVD's and Anime News Network's.  Both have very large, but very different, communities and it should prove interesting to hear opinions from two diverse groups.  It's a bit of a gamble doing something like this for a number of reasons, but, like above, we'll see where thing lead.

I was wrestling between beginning Phase 2 shortly after Part 7's completion or after this weekend's big New York Anime Fest.  I didn't want to risk the topics being swallowed up by news from the convention not long after (where there's sure to be some whoppers), but I didn't like the idea of waiting two weeks later, either.  Ultimately, I thought it was better to wait a few days after the NYAF hoopla died down, though it was mainly for two reasons: 1) the few extra days gave me a chance to take care of some screenshot issues and site matters, and 2) it's actually taking place next weekend, not this one, thus forcing my hand a bit, as posting it this coming week would defeat the whole purpose of the timing and the threads would still get swallowed up. Meaning, Phase Two will likely start on Oct. 12 or 13... *sigh*

"Getting to Know You (But Not Really Wanting To)"

I'll be blunt: I really don't like using Blogger's Compose mode.  For nearly all of the years I have done HD, I have used the HTML mode, as it makes implementing and manipulating such codes easy, but with Blogger phasing out the old editor, I decided to switch over to the new one and acquaint myself with it.  One problem: its HTML mode is handicapped.  No spell checking and no photo uploading, as those are now exclusive to the loaded Compose mode, which Blogger seems to be pushing you to use.  The problem with using that mode is that formatting can be a bit wonky and it can muck up your HTML layout if you switch between the two.  Mind you, I'm a "features" kind of guy, but the annoyance outweighs the reward.  But in this case, functionality will have to outweigh annoyance.  On the bright side, though, switching is a little neater, there are more features, and they finally added a "strikethrough" button... :)

"A Tomato Can Named 'Boxing'"

You know what really needs a "strikethrough"? This year's boxing.  It's been horrendous for the most part, with a few good fights nestled between some no-note, dull matches.  On top of that, there's been barely anything on TV for the entire summer, thanks to numerous postponements and the same old archaic wranglings that foul up negotiations,  keeping good boxing matches from taking place.  Good thing the fall schedule is looking good with Manny Pacquiao vs Antonio Margarito and Paul Williams vs Sergio Martinez II.  That, and Super Six is still alive, despite it being on its death knell with Mikkel Kessler's injury exit and Ward-Dirrell nearly falling apart.

"Before You Know.../GO DARK!"

Lastly, the site will be going dark over the weekend for maintenance purposes.  I have the free time after completing B&HSiA and HardDoor kinda needs it.  HD's Twitter page will be active, though, so try giving it check for the usual weekend Kekkaishi and BLEACH reviews, and more.

Thanks! [/Fade Out]


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