This week, I became aware of a post on the blog Momo-Musu about bias and idol fandom. It’s an interesting thing to think about, and one I know I’ve encountered in my own fandom. Sometimes I wonder if my own prejudices get in the way of enjoying some things.
But in any case, that’s not what I’ve come to talk about. The thing that this post has started making me think about is how biases directly and indirectly affect my own blog and reviews as a whole.
I am a biased person. Really, we all are. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes, even if some are founded in reasonable things. Personally, I have a lot of groups I favor (Team Syachihoko being the most notable) and and styles of music I like more than others. For example, I generally like upbeat and fast-paced songs over a slower ballad. This doesn’t mean I will always hate a ballad, but that I will more likely prefer an average fast-paced song over the average ballad.
But, while having biases is generally understood and accepted, people who blog and do reviews are in an interesting position. It doesn’t take much to be a blogger; when I started Happy Disco I just spent about ten minutes setting up a blogspot blog. There’s very little barrier of entry. But doing so sets up your opinions to be read, discussed, and disagreed with.
I honestly have difficulty deciding how objective I should be while writing Happy Disco, especially in doing reviews and my TIF segments. How objective should I be in reviewing something? Do I need to only look at it in the most objective terms possible or can I put my own biases into the review? Personally, I try to be fair even with things that I might not like, but I don’t have many qualms with saying I prefer something to something else. However, this would be a lot different, if I had Happy Disco set up differently. Since I formed the blog, I’ve made it clear that this is my personal space for my thoughts on idols, which include reviews and commentary.
The biggest thing I wonder is how apparent should I make my biases. A lot of people get sent over to my blog via search engines or by referral from blogrolls and Idolminded posts. Some posts get read more than others. Should I put a big disclaimer over everything, stating all my likes and dislikes and how they might influence me? I should hope that I don’t need something like this, but the reality is that not everyone is going to be a loyal Happy Disco reader; most people find my site because they’re looking up a group.
I also wonder about my language while writing reviews. I usually try to make things clear that I’m just saying my own personal opinion and not stating fact. However, that isn’t always clear to everyone, and I know that back in school I was encouraged to stop using phrases like “I think” in my writing to avoid weak writing and sounding wishy-washy. It’s a difficult thing to balance, especially since I’m trying to make my writing more professional in hopes of someday figuring out a paying gig for my writing.
Ultimately, I’m pretty comfortable with where I’m at right now. I try to make it clear that Happy Disco is a one-woman project and that everything on this blog is my own opinion. I aim for some objectivity, and I try to say if someone else might something better than me. It’s just a difficult situation.
If you blog, what do you try to do? Do you like how I approach this on Happy Disco, or would you prefer I do something else? Let me know your thoughts and you’ll end up in my Your Thoughts post for next week!