Arama They Didn't

9:04 pm - 06/27/2014

The Future of Arama They Didn't

the last flying ayu

Hi!

In the past year we’re sure you've noticed a lack in Arama's quality and overall activity. We'd be lying if we didn't say we lost interest. We started Arama They Didn't! nearly five years ago, and to this day it still surprises us what it turned into.

Through years of copyright issues on streaming and download sites, it became increasingly difficult to find Japanese media online which is the only way most of us is able to access it. The J-pop community as a whole was segmented and shrunk even more with the rise of K-Pop’s constant releases and breaking news. At Arama, we tried to create a place that encompassed it all and bring back that sense of unity we once had. We've shared nearly 20,000 articles, received almost a million comments and built a community that brought 19,000 people together with the single interest of Japanese Pop Culture.

LiveJournal has given us the opportunity to achieve what we originally set out to do. In 2012 we joined LJ Media thinking we would be further legitimized as a news outlet and hub for fandom, but after that seemingly went nowhere and swept under the rug. As we grew, our needs also grew but we weren’t sure how to execute them. Finally we decided it was time for us to go to take the next step and plan a revival for Arama.

ARAMA! JAPAN


aramajapan.com


Opening July 1st, 2014 on our 5th birthday!



We've announced this on social media but we weren't sure how to handle things here. We've thought long and hard about this and thought it would be for the best for us to move off LiveJournal and finally be in total control of everything. Even though LiveJournal itself has started a comeback of sorts, unfortunately there are still too many issues for us to consider keeping it as our primary base of operations. Arama would just continue to stagnate and not grow as a community.

There isn't really an active place solely for Japanese pop culture fans to call their home, most of them are defunct, and yes that includes TokyoHive
Our primary goal is to fill that void. We have a diverse team of writers who are very excited to start sharing news as well as fun and provocative editorials and opinion pieces. Unfortunately user-generated content would not work on our new platform. However, we will have a form where anyone can submit tips for news stories they would like to see published. New additions to the staff are always welcome! Details on that will be revealed in the near future.

Where you can find us



  • URL: Our new URL of course will be aramajapan.com

  • FACEBOOK: Because of this rebranding, Facebook has been giving us trouble renaming our page. We’d appreciate if you liked the new one: facebook.com/aramajapan

  • TWITTER: We’ll be keeping the same twitter which will be available with our new name: twitter.com/aramajapan.

  • E-MAIL: If you have any further questions, you can contact us directly at aramajapan@gmail.com.

  • TUMBLR: Eventually, everything posted on aramajapan.com will be automatically cross-posted to tumblr for more reach. http://aramajapan.tumblr.com/

We hope you'll stick with us and continue to support us as we figure things out at our new home!

nuuuf 1st-Jul-2014 11:09 am (UTC)
So, I checked the new website. I'll give it its chance for a while and will probably check it every now and then but is this just another Tokyohive? It actually looks fairly nice for the moment but I'm afraid adding 'money' in the equation will make it lose what I believe was arama's spirit. I hope this time you'll manage to stay interested enough in this to achieve your goals and make it a real plus to the J-ent. community. Because, yes, we're a community so I hope the commenting system will be enough to keep the comunity feeling.

I have a question though: I know it hasn't happened in forever for some reasons but what about Free For All? And the Arama awards? Those were really liked and it'd be a shame to lose that. Oh, and by the way, do you intend to post some articles about politics and society once in a while? I remember those posts to be among the most interesting ones, and it's nice to have something 'serious' popping up once in a while.
katzsong 1st-Jul-2014 03:56 pm (UTC)
do you intend to post some articles about politics and society once in a while? I remember those posts to be among the most interesting ones, and it's nice to have something 'serious' popping up once in a while

I know, rite? I follow some formal Japanese news outlet on my twitter and sometime would love to share the news here, to discuss with Arama's members. But now...
And yeah, I've checked the new site as well. The look is a bit fancier, like Tokyohive. The feel is just like another Tokyohive. So...Idk. Maybe it's for the best, since I have to concentrate on something else anyway. Maybe I just have to close the arama chapter in my life.

(no subject) - Anonymous
fukkthedumbshyt 1st-Jul-2014 04:22 pm (UTC)
Tokyohive was cool when it was booming. The only negative I can think of is it being a part of 6theory which is basically AllKpop and the dude who owns that is an asshat.
(no subject) - Anonymous
katzsong 1st-Jul-2014 05:06 pm (UTC)
That's one thing. Tokyohive or other news site are impersonal to me, because I'll be just passive spectators. Commenting? If I care enough, and mostly not.
On LJ, I had the choice to be more active. And I did. But ALL members had the choice, and now it's not.

Edited at 2014-07-01 05:06 pm (UTC)
nuuuf 1st-Jul-2014 04:28 pm (UTC)
It somehow feels really selfish of the mods to tell us they're moving and doing their own thing, as if this comm belonged to them. I understand managing such a community can be a hassle and can turn very monotous, but they could've shown the decency of telling us beforehand something was going down. And since they're apparently counting on this community's audience to move with them (how will they get back the money they invested otherwise?) they could've taken the time to ask us what we actually liked about Arama and what we would like to find on the new websites... Many people were willing to keep this community alive and there were many ways to get something done to assess some of the problems we were having. I mean, they should've at least hired new mods to keep this place alive and clean, I'm pretty sure then they would have found more people hyped up by their project... Now it just seems many people are fairly skeptical about it. (But I believe there is, as always, a "silent majority". So let's see how it turns out...)

I got strong Tokyohive vibes when I visited the website, be it because of the design or the fact that we do not contribute anymore but "give tips" to the writers... Let's see how the content differs. TBH, just like many people, I get my fandom related stuff off Tumblr and Twitter, especially since Arama "died". Other artists-related news that I'm sort of interested in, I get that from Tokyohive already.

I will really miss those 'serious' posts because as I don't read Japanese, I don't get that anywhere else really. So... I don't know. I'm gonna wait a bit and see how it turns out. I'll miss this comm because here the comments and interactions were as important as the news reported, it really was what made Arama special. (I am in no other LJ community but I bet it's kinda the same anywhere). With a traditional website, comments are just a side thing. Sure you can interact and stuff, but it's just a bonus granted because people like to give their opinion about everything and argue "and we need some people to read our posts or we're not making money". That's kinda what scares me about the new websites but I'm being way too long and probably a bit too pessimistic here.

I feel you on the "concentrate on something else" part. Too bad, though :/
katzsong 1st-Jul-2014 05:19 pm (UTC)
I am interested in quite a broad-base of Japanese stuffs and I don't really read Japanese, so I also get my Japanese news from other English-sites. But I follow the newspaper's site, like Asahi news or Daily Yomiuri, or Japan Times, etc. Sometimes I read from rocketnews, or Tokyohive. Sometimes I even read tips from Twitter and try to find the Japanese site and use google translate (and then try to make a sense of it with my limited Japanese-language-skill). I like to read from diverse sources and then share the news in arama. I quite like the discussion here, which is more civil and I think less annoying than Disqus.
Well, that's gonna be a thing in the past now. Probably a good thing, since I have one less procrastination excuses. Not really wanted to apply for staff either.
And just like life, we have to move on, I guess
enorcsi 2nd-Jul-2014 11:49 am (UTC)
I also agree that the best parts of arama were the possibility of community generated posts and the discussions. Although since community generated posting requires moderation that also became its downfall it seems. The fact that there were rarely any original posts since the majority of them were from other J-site sources (especially more recently) didn't really bother me, because while arama was updated regularly it was a place for me to come and find J-ent.news/politics/cultural info that ppl, like you katzsong, found interesing enough to share, bringing them to my attention without me having to filter through all those other source sites myself (yes, I'm lazy like that, so I appreciated your contributions). I especially enjoyed posts that prompted ppl to talk about their own experiences in the comments about the subject. In those cases the comments became even more interesting and informative than the original post. For example comments about teaching experiences in Japan or life in Japan, about being half-Japanese, about being in a multi-cultural relationship, about bullying or hikikomoris, LGBT life in Japan, etc., and I'm sure there had been more, but these are the major topics I remember at the moment. There were members whose comments I was looking forward to reading. I could probably find such info on expat sites for Japan, like gaijinpot and the like, but I liked that arama was not overwhelmingly about this but was more a J-entertainment focused community, and also that it was linear, meaning I got to read about various topics and entertainers I otherwise would not have checked out at all, since when I backtracked on the previous posts I could see all the titles.

I looked at the new site and it looks pretty and organized, but it's just way to much info for me, like the other pages that used to be the source sites here. I don't have time to read about EVERYTHING and I don't have time to filter out things myself, so I don't think I'll be following over.

I'm not saying that aramajapan will be bad or will be a letdown, because as a website it looks promising, and I wish the mods all the success, but since it has a completely different concept, I cannot compare it to LJ arama. And not because I'm buthurt and not open to changes, but because it's not a new version or a migrated version it's simply a different project.

If there are members willing to be mods here on old linear LJ, it would be nice if it could continue, but keeping this page would not benefit the new arama website, so I'm guessing that's out of the question.

sorry katzsong, I started the comment as a reply and it turned into a whole whiny-reaction post lol.
anyway, it was nice having you around
katzsong 3rd-Jul-2014 08:40 am (UTC)
aww, thank you *bear hug*
norringtons 5th-Jul-2014 02:58 am (UTC)
Agreed! They didn't even ask! I'm sure there would have been tons of active users on here that could've taken over the reins of Arama. But...nope. That decision was made for us, without even letting us know there was even trouble in the wings.
goto 1st-Jul-2014 10:22 pm (UTC)
unfortunately you need money to make things work. in the past i put my own money into buying facebook ads for aramatheydidnt and it really did wonders for arama's presence there. i can't see us actually making any profit until well into 2015 (being optimistic..) and all profit will go towards the website in this order

1) helping pay for domain + hosting + server costs
2) promotion (fb ads, twitter ads, etc)
3) prizes for contests
4) compensation for the writers


ffa will be back!!! but just under a different name, it'll be posted tonight so keep an eye out for it. arama awards will definitely be happening again also. Politics and society posts are a bit of a tricky subject. They will seldom be posted, but when they do it'll be about very important events eg. japan legalizing gay marriage or something
nuuuf 2nd-Jul-2014 06:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you for clarifying :)I wish you all the best with it.
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