Chinese New Year, that is.
We’ve never been too concerned with big dates and anniversaries, but in our post-Christmas-supper slump we missed both the New Year and, more importantly, the third anniversary of blog!project. And what is a blog worth without an anniversary post?
Luckily, thanks to the wonders of the lunisolar calendar, we can now save face. And to make up for the slight delay, I’ll test your attention span with this slightly-longer-than-usual News post.
Although our lovely founder strawberryjam (who is now on a break/hiatus) started work on the site some time earlier, the official birthday of blog!project is January 5th. The oldest translated post in our database is by none other than the glorious leader Michishige Sayumi (and at that time one of our hardest working translators, rob). Many things happened since then.
Old members have graduated, new members have joined.
New groups were formed.
Japan was hit by one of the worst natural disasters in this century.
Morning Musume starter its slow comeback to the well deserved top.
Morning Musume also changed their name (is it necessary? you decide).
Foreign countries and continents were graced by visits of Hello! Project groups and members.
And so much more. Meanwhile, blog!project has been going strong, translating the blog posts for you and occasionally reporting the events and organizing surprise actions.
We won’t give you the exact numbers (because we like to keep our numbers secret / because we’re too lazy to run detailed reports – choose one), but as you may have noticed, 2013 has been a slower year than the previous one. At the same time, comparing graphs for the number of posts published and the number of site visits over the same period of time, there is a very close correlation between the two. This means we have a steady and loyal base of regular readers. For this, to all of you, we’d like to say a big THANK YOU! We said this many times before, but if there was no one to do this for, there would be no motivation to keep the site going.
Another thing that you may already know, but it deserves repeating. All blog!project staff are volunteers. We’re a completely fan-driven, unofficial site (though as we said in our Q&A post we’d love to change that last part). Our translators and preppers are just fans like all of you and they have their personal lives, school, work, and other priorities. We put no pressure or obligation on them and we are extremely grateful for all the work they put into the site. At the same time, while it saddens us when any of our staff needs to take a break or leave for any reason, there is little we can do to stop them.
This is also the part where we depend on you, our readers. As in all our Call for Translators posts, please do let your friends know that we are looking for more staff. Use the power of social media. While we do actively seek out new translators ourselves, a friend’s recommendation is always much better than being approached by a stranger. This is for the benefit of all fans around the world, so please, do keep us in mind.
In fact, our great staff deserves much more mention than the two paragraphs before – I’ll save this for another post to give them proper justice.
And now for something completely different, I’d like to introduce to you a few very exciting websites. Perhaps ‘introduce’ is not the right word since you can see them in the footer of each page, but if you have never ventured into any of them then perhaps this will convince you:
Morning Musume BBS, aka MM-BBS – the mother board of blog!project and the other two sites. Also one of the oldest English-speaking Hello! Project forums, with over 10 years of proud history. Formerly known for its reputation as mean and elitist, now it’s a friendly and all-welcoming forum with a great community spirit (and only a slight fixation on proper spelling and punctuation ). This is were blog!project was born and where it is being coordinated. If you’re looking for a place for smart, high-quality and unrestrained discussion of all H!P-related matters then please drop by and say hello.
PROJECThello – the Hello! Project lyrics archive, ran and regularly kept up to date by a great team of volunteers, partially overlapping with blog!project staff. This is your go-to place for original Japanese lyrics, colour-coded romanizations, as well as English translations of your favourite songs. Don’t be put off by the basic site design – it worked great for many years and it’s all about the speed and the quality of content rather than flashy looks.
TNLyriX – the younger sister site of PROJECThello focused on songs by TNX and NICE GIRL Project! groups. Do names like THE Possible, Karen or Tokito Ami ring any bell? Well, give them a try!
As you can see, blog!project is a part of a huge family and actually the youngest sibling in the bunch.
As probably even the most patient among you are at the edges of your seats by now , here’s a quick run-down of what we plan or hope to see in the year 2014:
More translations by more translators, hopefully not without your help.
More back-end updates and improvements to make our staff’s work easier.
Perhaps a slight face-lift on the front-end.
A competition and/or giveaway event – stay tuned!
And last but not least – we want to hear from you! blog!project does not usually get much discussion in the comments, however please use the comments under this post for this purpose. Did you enjoy this lengthy post and would you like to see more staff posts like this? Do you have any suggestions for new content, features or improvements, or any complaints? Or just want to chit-chat? Go all out, we want to get to know you better!
All the best in the New Year, whichever calendar you use.
blog!project Site Admin