Monday, September 06, 2010

lainspotting reborn : status and plans for the future

Is this blog dead, after so many months of not being updated? I wouldn't say so, but an explanation is certainly warranted.

This post notwithstanding, I haven't updated lainspotting since February. What have I been up to?

First off, some of you have found me on Twitter: (@Lawmune). While Twitter isn't so good for long musings, I've found it quite enjoyable as a way to:

1) share my immediate thoughts
2) promote useful content/ideas that deserve attention
3) be part of a larger conversation amongst my peers (in multiple areas of my life)

So, if it looks like I gave up blogging, it's only because I took up microblogging (as some people call it these days).

Secondly, even though it's not obvious, I've actually been paying attention to this blog. Blogs are nice as a way to constantly share new content, but I've always considered archiving old content to be a really important endeavor. That's why most of my old website (first built in 1998) is still around in its original, old-school condition. Why take it down? I come from the old-fashioned school of thought that says: if it was worthwhile to put up in the first place, don't take it down just because it's old (which would also break people's links). Thus, that old article I wrote on submission grappling (though I haven't done it in ages) is still alive and kicking (and generating feedback in the form of reader emails).

My blog, containing several articles that are still visited by people searching for obscure stuff (like the Seiko Frequency Watch) was facing technical obsolescence, so I needed to move it from the domain to a domain of its own (, where you are now). With the new domain, and new tools at my disposal, I do plan to blog more (for example, I plan to write more about the links I share on Twitter).

Finally, I've been working on several projects that haven't involved publishing on the Web, whether it's been for work (to pay the bills), print-related projects (trying to get my otaku studies work into a book or two), or simply tasks related to being a husband and the father of two kids. On that note, I've had the pleasure of helping my wife, Carol, with her own blog, In Pursuit of Pretty Things.

Launching in February 2010, In Pursuit of Pretty Things (IPoPT) is all about fashion, shopping, and all kinds of stuff I'm no expert on and would never write about. The blog is the product of two authors--my wife Carol and her friend Kathryn. I'm kind of a third, silent team member. I've been managing a lot of the backend details--doing some SEO, link building, analytics work, etc.--and contributing feedback, ideas, strategies, and concepts. Meanwhile, Carol and Kathryn do all of the content-related legwork and actual writing. So far, it's been a huge success and a lot of fun. It's the first real online project I've done with my wife, and I hope we can collaborate on more such projects in the future.

In the meantime, lainspotting clearly needs more of my attention. Online promises are cheap, so I won't offer them, but I do have some articles in the pipeline relating to topics as diverse as:

  • lessons learned from studying browser users/usability
  • the real meaning of otaku rooms
  • the current state of anime clubs
  • what it's like to read American comics versus manga
  • uncommon anime goods I've collected in the last few months
  • the difficulties of writing about otaku
  • a Wikipedia case study
  • the challenge of mobilizing fandom against censorship
  • rethinking conceptions of the Internet as a "frontier" when it comes to the future of intellectual property

Of course, the more feedback I get regarding the planned articles above, the more likely I am to actually publish them, so feel free to let me know (via blog comments or email) what you're interested in. I look forward to having some great discussions.


  1. As a collector of "IRL" things that wouldn't otherwise exist out of the realm of games or animation, I'm most interested in 'uncommon anime goods I've collected in the last few months.' Unique items are in need of great descriptive web authors.

    On that note, a friend of mine who used to DJ had a watch that did the same thing as your Seiko Frequency Watch - maybe it was the same one. I know he paid dearly for it and we later made fun of him.

  2. re: unique items - I'd be glad to write about them. Thanks for your feedback!

    Haha, poor friend of yours. I don't have the watch, and I've never tried to buy it, but I wouldn't mind having it for the novelty value.

  3. Lawrence,

    I've only just begun to scratch the surface of the fringe subculture of Otaku. I call it fringe, perhaps incorrectly, specifically because it took the effort of delving into HACK culture for me to find it. Something that appears to be hidden from the mainstream, Otaku remains a fantastic concept and culture that I really, truly enjoy exploring. I found your sites, Lawrence, through my recent research into SE-Lain.

    I really hope that you are able to continue to add more to your blogs, specifically on Lainspotting (though I have been reading Opera,btw).

    Thanks again for sharing information.

  4. Thanks for the feedback! I hope to get writing again soon.