I’ve heard from a few people who are curious as to why I’d want to fix something that wasn’t broken (the tyth.net iteration of the blog). I’ll try to outline some of my thought processes here, for those interested in some of the directions the site may be taking.

For starters, the blog that began over at tyth was never meant to become “popular” or “interesting” to anyone beyond a small circle of e-friends. As the passion to update beyond the scope of entertaining Japan anecdotes slowly took hold the connection to RH gradually fell away, and the site content became less personally bloggish and more newsishly informative. The move away from the old location is a formal break from the site’s original roots in this respect, and the redesign has been constructed to better serve the needs of what it gradually morphed into.

The tyth.net iteration outgrew its roots in other ways as well; the pages in the sidebar were frustratingly time-consuming to update, and eventually neglected entirely as the focus on other site features grew. The 2ddb should go a long way toward remedying this, as now everyone can lend a hand in keeping information current. I’m hoping that a few stalwart folks will take it upon themselves to take information they find posted here (and elsewhere) and compile it on the wiki for the public good; if no one steps forward I’ll use what free time I have to hack away at it myself, but that would be a worst case scenario. I know there are others out there as manic about these things as I am…

Speaking of shamelessly soliciting communal contributions to the site, the new forums are up, and this time around I pledge to tend them ferociously as long as I have to to get them off the ground and self-sustaining. Don’t let a board full of “last post by Shingo” messages dissuade you from contributing, please – the more the merrier, and as I’ve said (and will say again), I know enough interested folks are out there to make a kick-ass community out of this.

Really, that’s what it’s all about – fostering solidarity among committed fans who enjoy going a bit off the deep end when it comes to 2D art from Japan, whether it’s collecting, reviewing, creating derivative work or academic punditry surrounding it, us wackos are out there and should really get together, if only to prove that we’re not all total freaks. Or to prove that we ARE all total freaks.

Which doesn’t bring me at all to my penultimate point, but here it is anyway: another thing the new blog presentation provides is the potential for multiple contributors to the site’s main content. Most committed HD readers (all two of you) no doubt already have your own projects that you’re hip deep in already, so asking this seems a bit silly, but in the coming days and weeks it’s likely that I’ll be sounding the waters for other voices to represent on the front page of HD. If this sounds interesting to you, feel free to drop me a line right now or at any time in the future.

If it looks like others might be interested in contributing to this mess that is HD, down the road I’m envisioning a possible shift to something more of a newsmagazine format, covering topics similar to the ones already treated here only broader-ranging and more frequently updated. Goodness knows the internet doesn’t need another upstart “otaku webzine”, but everything is worth trying at least once. Well, most things. A few of them at least.

Whether anything brought up in this post will actually come into existence is anyone’s guess at this point; a year from now I may look back on it with bitter laughter as I weep over another failed project lying in the detritus of the gutter of the information superhighway. In all likelihood, though, things will stay pretty much as they have in the past; so without further ado I’ll bring the speculation to an end and return you to your regularly scheduled programming.