Jun 21, 2008 Evolution of web community: A Case Study of "iM@S MAD Movies" on Nico Nico Douga
* 1. Introduction
Since the video hosting service named "Nico Nico Douga" was on service, a lot of MAD movies have been created. Then, affecting each other, MAD movie creators have made newer MAD movies with higher quality. Among them, this study focuses on the "iM@S MAD Movies" being made numerously, and analyses the structure, evolutoin and characteristics of the "iM@S MAD Community."
* 2. What the "iM@S MAD" is
Movies that use various characters as materials are posted on "Nico Nico Douga" service, for example "Let's go On-Myo-Ji," "Hatsune-Miku(Vocaloid)," "To-Ho," "Donald," "Doala," "Keyboard Crasher" and so on. Above all, The MAD movie using materials from "THE iDOLM@ASTER," a video game released for Xbox360, is "iM@S MAD." The basic type of "iM@S MAD" is a combination of one song and the movie from "THE iDOLM@STER."
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These two movies mix songs of "Perfume," Japanese techno-pop unit, with movie from "THE iDOLM@STER." Although such kind of style is the basic, currently there are various kinds of style including "self-drawing category" that is the combination with self-drawings and "iM@S virtual record of war" that tells an original story with using characters of "THE iDOLM@STER." An article of ASCII Magazine, "What Is "THE iDOLM@STER on Earth?" was simple and intelligible and may be helpful for who do not know "THE iDOLM@STER." In terms of tracks of "iM@S MAD," "History of 'THE iDOLM@ASTER' MAD" provides with useful information.
Among readers, there might be guys feeling "though I know that 'THE iDOLM@STER' makes a lot of noise in the 'Nico Nico Douga' and so on, what is 'THE iDOLM@STER' on earth?" or Xbox360 users thinking "I did not play 'THE iDOLM@ASTER,' so I will let 'Live For You!' go. I dare to say, "it is a pity!" You fail not only to experience enjoyment of the game itself but also to keep up with various "iM@S" booms derived from the game, including fan-made movies and lives and its economic effects of its download contents that can be called a new business model. (ASCII Magazine)
"THE iDOLM@STER" includes elements of movies and songs, so it is very convenient to create MAD movies. However, when only the arcade version was available, no reasonable methods to capture them to a PC existed. After the release of Xbox360 version, it became possible to capture the movie of "THE iDOLM@STER" to a PC. In addition, the quality of 3D characters was tremendously improved, compared with its arcade version. Thus many personal websites picked up "THE iDOLM@STER." Then, "Nico Nico Douga" and "SMILEVIDEO" started their services. "THE iDOLM@STER" with high quality of materials, promoters and infrastructures was extremely convenient to create MAD movies, and gave rise to a large number of ones. (History of "THE iDOLM@ASTER" MAD)
* 3. The "iM@S MAD Community" and its circumstances
"THE iDOLM@STER" is videogame software. In addition, it also works as a tool to provide materials needed to create MAD movies. A community consisting of MAD movie creators, the "Nico Nico Douga" service providing the field for MAD movie creators to release their works to, websites introducing the creators ant their works and "YouTube@2ch BBS" including relative threads is the "iM@S MAD Community" aka "NicoM@S Community"
- iM@S MAD movie creator: They have nicknames with "P" as a postfix, an acronym of "producer," likely displayed player's name in the game. In May 2008, it was said that the number of creators who have nicknames with the "P" is around 1,600. Such a naming culture spread into creators using VOCALOID.
- External introducing website: In addition to internal introduction of iM@S MAD movies in the iM@S MAD Community, the website sending information externally by being linked by the news site. Typical websites are "敷居の先住民 and "花見川@ニコニコ部.
- Internal introducing website: the website introduces iM@S MAD movies mainly into the inside of the iM@S MAD Community. It tends to be more specialized than the external introducing website. Typical examples are "おっホイ。", "空から降ってくるので", "荒川河川敷", "はじめてのC お試し版", "Katzenmusik", "書店アルバイターのアイマス日記", "思考は現実化する""YaSuYuKiの日記(nicovideo出張所)", "ティンときた！－勝手にまとめるアイマスMAD－" and "爽快・楽しくなる動画".
- News site: sending traffic of readers from outside into the iM@S MAD Community by linking iM@S MAD movies or external introducing websites.
- YouTube@2ch BBS: The BBS includes many threads including various subtopics, such as the miscellaneous, for bottom class iM@S MAD creators, iM@S virtual records of war, isolated for serious discussion and so on. Discussion for update of "Summarizing Wiki of the iDOL M@STER and Nico Niko Douga movies", becoming the dominant portal site of the Community, is also done on the miscellaneous thread titled "Nico Nico and THE IDOLM@STER" of the BBS.
Figure3-2: Emerging dates of iM@S MAD movies-related threads on “YouTube ” Bulletin Board on 2Ch
- 「【ニコニコ】 アイドルマスター【THE IDOLM@STER】」（通称ニコマススレ。2007.02.01～）/ "(Nico Nico) The iDOLM@STER(THE IDOLM@STER)” (a.k.a “Nico M@S thread”, or the miscellaneous thread(in this translation)) (Since Feb 1, 2007)
- 「【ニコニコ】見る専祭りスレ【アイドルマスター】」（ニコマススレ発祥のイベント用スレッド。2008.01.24～）/ "(Nico Nico) Watchers Festival Thread (THE iDOL M@STER)” (the thread designated for the festival derived from Nico M@S thread) (Since January 24, 2008)
- 「ニコマス 議論隔離スレ」（ニコマススレから分離。2007.08.27～）/ "The isolated thread for serious discussion on Nico M@S” (separated from Nico M@S thread) (Since August 27, 2007)
- 「【ニコニコ】底辺Pの集い【アイドルマスター】」（2007.07.19～）/ "(Nico Nico) Bottom-class producers’ thread (THE iDOL M@STER)”(Since July 19, 2007)
- 「【ニコニコ】 アイドルマスター MAD制作者の集い 【THE IDOLM@STER】」（2007.08.10～）/ "(Nico Nico) iM@S MAD movie creators’ thread (THE iDOL M@STER)”(Since August 10, 2007)
- 「【ニコニコ】iM@S架空戦記シリーズ【アイドルマスター】」（2007.09.09～）/ "(Nico Nico) Series of iM@S virtual record of war (THE iDOLM@STER)”(Since September 09, 2007)
- 「【ニコニコ】Novelsm@sterスレ【アイドルマスター二次創作】」（2008.02.17～）/ "(Nico Nico) Novelsm@ster thread (secondary creation of THE iDOLM@STER)” (Since February 27, 2008)
* 4. Evolution of the iM@S MAD Community
January-May, 2007: Formation of the Community
(1) The release of THE iDOLM@STER for Xbox360
"THE iDOLM@STER" for arcade was on operation in July 2005. Though the arcade version won its freaks, it was not so popular videogame.
In the summer of 2006, "THE iDOLM@STER" for Xbox360 was announced in "First Anniversary Live of THE iDOLM@STER" and "Tokyo Game Show 2006." Audiences were so amazed by its silky movement, and many websites including major news ones picked up the Xbox360 version. (See "from the release of Xbox360 version of 'THE iDOLM@STER' to appearance of its MAD" in this site for your reference.) Using its influence, they played a role to facilitate the public awareness of "THE iDOLM@STER" for Xbox360.
In January 2007, "THE iDOLM@STER" for Xbox360 was released. Although it was a little difficult to give high appreciation on it from the point of view to value it as a videogame, the software had a unique characteristic. It was excellence to output materials used to create contents on websites with.
(2) Appearance of "uploading craftsman" and establishment of the miscellaneous thread on YouTube@2ch BBS
Since the release of "THE iDOLM@STER" for Xbox360, many people have watched its movies through YouTube, Nico Nico Douga or PeerCast. People uploading the movies actively, also called "uploading craftsman," were the following: shienaP(shiena417), on-na-skiP(hiro1235B), maszushi(maszushi), cannonP( cannon0121), a-nyo-nyaP(noano2007), umaP(umaequus), GazL(tokatidukushi) and da-me-ne-giP(tokachitukuchite). Among the uploaded movies, "THE IDOLM@STER アイドルマスター とかちつくちて ソロ" got into the news by its lisping song, and "THE IDOLM@STER アイドルマスター relations 演歌ver" also do by its special singing style like traditional-style Japanese popular songs. "セクハラP" movie gained enormous accesses because the movie was picked up by several news websites. The number of accesses reached 200,000 in two days, and the movie won second position of the "Most Viewed" ranking of YouTube. Because of the incident, the thread, "Honored THE iDOLM@STER that won 2nd position on YouTube," was established in YouTube@2ch BBShttp://pc11.2ch.net/streaming/. This thread became later into the miscellaneous thread, "Nico Nico and THE IDOLM@STER."
(3) A surge of iM@S MAD creators and movies
Uploaded movies include simply recorded replay and modified one. "tUNAK M@ster (THE iDOLM@STER Indian Version)", "THE iDOLM@STER Yayoi's Moji-Pittan" and "THE IDOLM@STER Large Tokachi Ramen Noodle as you desire" were modified one, nothing but MAD movies. It was the appearance of iM@S MAD movies. Provoked by the MAD movies, movie creators rushed on the field and produced iM@S MAD movies in large quantities. Especially, "THE iDOLM@STER 'Electro World' by Yukiho, Iori and Yayoi(re-produced verstoin)" and "THE iDOLM@STER 'Computer City' by Makoto, Miki and Yukiho(re-uploaded version)" should be taken note as pioneers of the combination of THE iDOLM@STER and Perfume made numerously later, and "iDOLM@STER KOTOKO 'Princess Bride!'" should be also mentioned as the compilation of techniques of early iM@S MAD movies. During the period, a number of iM@S MAD creators including echoP(えこP), Tokachi-Mirai-Ha(とかち未来派), mmtsgzkwys, mercuroP(マキュロP), RidgerP, Momo-DsukiP(桃月P), ArisueP(ありすえP), Mo-Mo-JakiP(桃邪気P), AtollP, AdobeP, itachiP, TokachiP(トカチP), A-wa-re-na-kohitsujiP(哀れな小羊P), KeiP(慧P), Shige-YukiP(しげゆきP), NaokiP(ナオキP), DamP, yotaP, MantaP(マンタP), ReriwoP(レリヲP) and Ni-seP(ニセP) appeared in the field.
(4) Beginning of "Weekly iDOLM@STER Ranking"
In May 2007, "iDOLM@STER Medley like CDTV May 22" movie was released. It was picked up by many news websites, and Mo-Mo-DsukiP(桃月P) started the "Weekly iDOLM@STER Ranking." Thus, public awareness of iM@S MAD movie increased more, and websites mainly introducing iM@S MAD movies also appeared. Consequently, iM@S MAD Community were getting formed.
"The real increase started around June, 2007. Though it might be caused by substantial enrichment of relative tags, it probably related to starting timing of 'CDTV-like Medley' and 'Weekly iDOLM@STER Ranking'."
Figure 4-1: Bar chart of daily uploading["iDOLM@ASTER DaTaM@STER of Kotori Otonashi" by Te-Te-TeehP]. Blue bars indicate the number of whole uploads of iM@S MAD movie. Red ones show the number of movies with MADPV tags. Orange ones illustrate the number of movies that gained more than 10000 views.
It is really amazing that the evolution of iM@S MAD movies not only continues but also accelerates. Sense and techniques are too great almost crazy. Though I am a newcomer as a fan of THE iDOLM@STER, I have never imagined that the MAD movies would be loved so enthusiastically. Especially, I guess that people in namco that developed the videogame are the most amazed. I think that it was a great and happy miscalculation that they could obtain a number of extremely excellent producers in Nico Nico Douga, the best place to be watched by public. I, as a fan, am very pleased at the situation.(2007年05月21日-今日のニコニコ１０ 蓮華の咲く沼地)
June-December, 2007: Dawn of the Community
(1) Enrichment of introducers of iM@S MAD movies
Even if the good movies were created, the opportunity to be watched would be limited without introducers. Once, introduction of the movies relied on links by major news sites. However, the major news sites were not specialized in THE iDOLM@STER, and links to THE iDOLM@STER related contents are a small part of many links. Of course, links to iM@S MAD movies were less than it. Since February 2007, increasing its number, the iM@S MAD creators produced large number of movies. Thus, need for the specialized introducing sites rose. After June 2007, "introducers of iM@S MAD movies" were getting enriched in the iM@S MAD Community. During this period, introducing websites including"敷居の先住民", "花見川@ニコニコ部", "空から降ってくるので", "おっホイ。","はじめてのC お試し版", "書店アルバイターのアイマス日記", "思考は現実化する", "YaSuYuKiの日記(nicovideo出張所)", "ティンときた！－勝手にまとめるアイマスMAD－" and "タクヲ日誌" started. Each of these website does not gain so many accesses. The most viewed "敷居の先住民" even gains 2500-5000 accesses per day usually. A one time, introducing websites in Flash Community that was formerly very active were Flash news sites including "かーずSP", "(∀)イイ・アクセス" and "ホタテプロダクツ." They supported the community with its numerous accesses. Comparing with them, the scale of the introducing websites in iM@S MAD Community looks smaller. However, the ability of support for the community is not smaller than one of Flash news sites. Though each sites does not gain many accesses, the number of news sites is the matter. In fact, a number of news sites of iM@S MAD Community exist. They supported the Community with light-heartedly introducing from famous movies to less-known ones by their characteristics.
(2) Return of wakamuraP
The most important person in more than 1000 movie creators in the iM@S MAD Community must be wakamuraP. He was a guest for the "International Nico Nico Movie Festival," and also made a comment in the TV program "NetStar" of NHK(Japan Broadcasting Corporation). He gave a great impact with his "iDOSM@STER and Perfume Perfect Star Perfect Style like promotion video" movie in July 2007. The movie became the most important work in the combination movies of THE iDOLM@STER and Perfume. Movie creators with especially high skills known the "SummitP," became models among other movie creators. Provoked by SumitPs, others also improved their skills. Then the standard quality of iM@S MAD movies uploaded enormously everyday also increased. Among "SummitPs," wakamuraP has an extremely high reputation.
In 2004, a famous black work, "2-channel dai-oh" movie, was warned and prohibited its distribution. In 2005, the boom of 2ch ASCII art movies was getting end. "Koi-no-mai-yahi FLASH" movie that triggered the "Noma-Neko Trouble" that terminated the boom was also a black work. From the first, black works were shady. After the trouble, black works were looked more dubious.
"Parody is interesting. I want to create works that I can not make in my business," Mr. Wakamura said, but there was a gap between what he wanted to do and circumstances. At that time, the field for black works, Nico Nico Douga, addressed the gap. Mr. Wakamura appeared in Nico Nico Douga as wakamuraP. The times gave him the appropriate field, and he played an active part.
(3) Establishment of the society among iM@S MAD creators in IRC
IM@S MAD creators connect to the IRC channel, "Meeting of Nico Nico iM@S producers." Though they sometimes discuss technical topics, they usually chat.
(4) More increase of iM@S MAD creators and diversification of iM@S MAD movies
Start of "Weekly iDOLM@STER Ranking " and increase of introducing website brought the iM@S MAD Community more ability to dispatch information, and it caused more increase of iM@S MAD creators. During this period, many iM@S MAD creators including orgoneP, kuumaP(クーマP), whoP, To-KaP(透-架P), Saito-MinkP(最東みんくP), Mizuki-P(観月P), ShirakawaP(シラカワP), TomoP(友P), wakamuraP(わかむらP), RogaiP(呂凱P), Die-tou-ryoP(Die棟梁P), To-yo-jinP(東洋人P), Shigu-reP(時雨P), DeepP(ディープP), Do-Don-PachiP(怒首領蜂P), PipiruP(ぴぴるP), Kage-yamaP(影山P), DikeP, HydeP(ハイドP), dodoP, M@co.jP, Kou-katsu-zenra-tomi-ta-keP(狡猾全裸富竹), DSP, KiharuP(きはるP), TPTP, SadiP(サーディP), GyawazP(ぎゃわずP), YuriaP(ゆりあP and ulaP started their activity.
The iM@S MAD Community has enormous number of movie creators. It means that creators who have various backgrounds exist, and caused the evolution and diversification of iM@S MAD movies. WakamuraP's is a professional art director, and echoP also told that he got skills in his former workplace. Movies made by such creators who had professional results also became models among other movie creators. This may be one of reasons why the whole quality of iM@S MAD movies was getting rise. In addition, different movies from the conventional style came into existence. For example, illustrators joined the Community and created the standing movies with self-drawn illustrations that were appropriate for music, story and material rather than captured movie from THE iDOLM@STER game. Gamers also created original game playing movies such as "iM@S virtual record of war," using iM@S characters.
(5) Successes of events and more revitalization of the Community
Since June 2007, "Birthday Festivals" cerebrating THE iDOLM@STER characters' birthday have been opened as events in the iM@S MAD Community. They are simple events that movie creators upload movies in the birthday of a character and put "Birthday Festival" tag. They were not full-scale events that someone coordinated, invited participants in advance to and lets participants make movies based on prefixed theme for. The first full-scale event, "Bottom Class Producers Festival," was hold in September 2007.
The birthplace of "Bottom Class Producers Festival" is the thread named "meeting of bottom class producers." Cx0101P coordinated the event. A set piece of music is "Anata-no-hito-koto(your one word)" suggested by Kura-udoP. Cx0101P made a special thread for the event on the "iM@S refugee's BBS" and decided the detailed rules of the event by answering questions on the thread. Categorization by movie title or tags did not bring enough festival atmosphere, so he produced an official movie file compiling participants movies, and released it by separating into several parts. He also created an advertisement movie for people who did not read the thread. In addition he asked wakamuraP to participate with the event as a judge. The event was successfully held under such detailed preparation, and highly appreciated. In November 2007, "iM@S KAKU-tail Party" and "im@s MAD Survival Championship" were also held successful. Provoked by the successes of these events, various events are actively held in the iM@S MAD Community. The activity of the Community got into swings more.
"The group of people who may lose if they get a account of Nico Nico Douga" was organized several days ago, I as a complete Nico Nico junky think, "it would be better to get it rather than to get stubborn". When I had to go to job two days of the last three consecutive holidays, what it was so sad is that I could not watch Nico Nico Douga as much as I desired! Or, I can personally declare that Nico Nico Douga is the most interesting service in those that I have ever seen since around 1993 when I began to use the Internet. If you have not used it yet, what a pitiful life you live! (Excuse: please do not mind if I am writing about a unique situation of iM@S MAD movies(*1), because I am rarely watching other movies) I guess that many people are under the impression that Nico Nico Douga has an inhumane atmosphere refusing novices because it derived from 2-Channel BBS. However, it is completely wrong. Even in 2-Channel BBS, several particular bulletin boards are inhumane, and others are not. The "warmness" of the Nico Nico Douga Community is a little different from it. For example, a guy firstly released a movie of his/her own making. Because the iM@S MAD Community consisting of many superb craftsman has high technical level, the work of the novice is seedy. However, comments that such a movie obtains are mainly positive and seriously looking for good points, like "if you modify this, it will become better," or "though the first half is not very good, the latter is a hard work," setting me wonder why you can be so kind for others you do not know. At the last, the watchers finish with appreciation comments like "GJ! (good job!)" or "I expect your next work." The most movie creators wish to work much harder in the next opportunity, if they get such comments. Though I feel this when commenting, it is an expression of the concerning-consciousness making watchers feel "I am also one of members decorating the contents." The pressure of field making watchers feel themselves holding the power of line and death of the movie generates an atmosphere denying thoughtless comments. Of course, devastators who cannot feel the atmosphere come sometimes, but the pressure of many good participants drives them away. The watchers think that they must treasure movie creators, because the creators provide the basement of works that the watchers finalize with commenting on. Thus the creators in Nico Nico Douga receive very favorable treatment and are also respected. This is very similar to the community of OSS(Open Source Software) managed well. In such communities, it is natural behavior for pioneers to lead followers, so it is also natural that the know-how is disclosed and compiled. I want to note that there was a warm community facilitating such culture prior to actual merits such as know-how sharing. The existence of good communities is crucial as a motivation to disclose own know-how. From point of view of system architect, the tuning of displaying comment helps the formation of the culture well. Though I sing my own praises, as I developed tDiary, an online diary system with commenting function, I held up a slogan, "comments should be short with love," for its users. I still believe that this point of view is essential for systems or services with a commenting function. The Nico Nico Douga actually suits the slogan. Before everything, the longer a comment is, the quicker it goes across the screen, so it should be short and simple in order to be read well. However, a curt comment faces the pressure to prevent the rough atmosphere, so watchers make affectionate comments. Though I am not sure that its developers aimed it, the tuning keeps contents in good atmosphere, so I cannot do anything except saying "GJ!" Therefore I would like to say to come on and join us because it is not painful. Reinforcement of system does not catch up the increase of users, so it is not very comfortable for users to use the service. However, if the value of the service will rise with continuous increase of good users and maintenance of a good atmosphere, the service will be recognize socially and receive more investment. I think that the number of its users should increase at this rate in order to be used without logging-in by --everybody, like YouTube. Anyway, it is much more interesting to join and liven up than to disrespect from the outside.
- 1 Parody movies using materials from the videogame for Xbox360, "THE iDOLM@STER"
After January 2008: Evolution period
(1) Watchers Festival and provoked increase of introducing websites
In the Flash community, not only movie creators but also watchers, such as Mr. Kaazu(かーず氏) and Ms. FLASH50(FLASH50女史) played a role to obviously act and lead the community. Compared with the Flash community, movie creators in the iM@S MAD Community took almost dominant role to lead the community, and watchers and introducing websites were in just a supporting position. However, movement to hold an event led by watchers occurred. In January 2008, "Watchers Festival" coordinated by a watcher, Mr. Arakawa77, was held. In the festival, participants created their own "my lists" including favorite movies with comments and made the lists public. The aim of the event is for people not only to watch participants' favorite movies but also to watch movies that gained relatively lower access than expected by its quality. Mr. Arakawa77 also called for establishment of introducing websites. Many introducing websites including "荒川河川敷", "オレハヤ_19", "激刊！アイドルマスター", "気がついたら出来てたブログ""とかちつくされる日々" and "爽快・楽しくなる動画" was established to respond the call.
The "Watchers Festival" and "Controversy on what introducing website should be" initiated full-scale events, such as "Let's Talk and Be Talked without Haste" and "NicoM@S Fan Letter," led by watchers was planned.
(2) "The iDOL M@STER Nico Nico Douga Summarizing Wiki" becoming a portal site
As a part of "Watchers Festival," "The iDOL M@STER Nico Nico Douga Sammarizing Wiki" will be improved. So far, the number of uploaded iM@S MAD movies continuously increases, and the number of iM@S MAD creators is also over 1000. Steadily updated "The iDOL M@STER Nico Nico Douga Summarizing Wiki" is now a massive database that includes information about more than 700 movie creators. The plan is to strengthen the Wiki in order to make it a comprehensive information site of the iM@S MAD Community. In March 2008, the page of links to introducing website was added. During the first phase of supplemental plan implemented between April 15 and 27, information of 571 movie creators was supplemented.
"Actually, the number of movies reached 30,000 in much faster pace. It took 191 days to reach 10,000 uploads, then it took 134 days to 20,000 after that. After 20,000, only 83 days, 12weeks, passed before achievement of 30,000 uploads."
Figure 4-2: Bar chart of daily uploading ["iDOLM@ASTER DaTaM@STER 3 of Kotori Otonashi" by Te-Te-TeehP]. The number of uploading continued to increase after the beginning of 2008.
* 5. Characteristics of the iM@S MAD Community in April 2008
(1) Many information senders
Information senders in iM@S MAD Community consist of more than 1000 movie creators and more than 40 introducing websites. Of course, not all of them are working actively. There are movie creators who made only one movie and introducing websites that updated only for short period, such as three months. Even considering them, however, I can say that the number of information senders is still large.
When an event is held, the number takes shape. The more information senders exist, the easier it is for the event to succeed and the more events are planed. In other community, for examples, events named "FLASH contest between two group", "FLASH BOMB" and "num1000 remix project" in Flash community, and ones named "Anti-Christmas Committee" and "Pitifulness Ranking" in Text Site Community were held. The reason why protesting events against BOTTers and cheaters were often held only in Ragnarok Online Community despite of existence of those users in every MMORPGs was that the Community included many members with skills to send information, such as illustrating, programming, writing and so on because of its history.
Like such precedents, many events have been planned in iM@S MAD Community. Thus every event can obtain enough number of movie creators. Even events that require about 100 movie creators can. The reason of the situation is that there are many movie creators and many introducing websites advertising the events. It indicates that the iM@S MAD Community is now full of vitality. On the other hand, when the vitality will become weaker, the number of events will also decrease, or event will not got enough participants. Those phenomena may indicate that the Community is in the period of maturity or decline.
(2) The community with few negative remarks
So far, the number of negative remarks in iM@S MAD Community is remarkably small. Though they exist, they are in the miscellaneous thread, "iDOL M@STER," and the one named, "isolated thread for serious discussion," as known as an excreta pot in iM@S MAD Community. In fact, "Tsun-De-Re-Carta Trouble" is the only trouble in the Community. Others are small quarrels between individuals. It is unusual to deny others. Basically introducing websites do not write negative comments, so every comment of the websites are positive ones. Therefore the circumstances bring forth brainstorming effect in the Community.
(3) Introducing websites presenting movies hard
When major news sites introduce interesting contents, typical linking method is linking the webpage and commenting a bit just below the link. They deal with the liked contents as consumer products, so the links temporally increase the access, but introduced websites not always developed. The discussion how to make the best use of temporally increased accesses was raised among linked websites.
On the other hand, introducing websites in the iM@S MAD Community not only link to the movies but also write comments in its own way. In addition they introduce movie creators or write long review. Thus they are focusing on "grow" contents in the Community. The reason why they are so hard is that they update their website to urge others watch movies that they feel interesting. Ex. 1,2,3 and 4
Of course, some introducing websites use the presenting method like major new site. Although such websites are also necessary, introducing websites in the iM@S MAD Community as a whole put emphasis on introduction itself. Thus this raises the creators' motivation. However, it means that introducing websites are burdened. We should watch when the situation would continue until.
(4) Unified community deriving from a tacit understanding that only who can follow should follow
Although it is not intentional, the underlying understanding in the iM@S MAD Community is that "only who can follow should follow." In this article, websites introducing movies are written as "introducing websites," but they are generally called "introducing blogs." "Blogs" in Japan mean diaries. Though diaries that tell what occurs in the day to familiar people work well to introduce iM@S MAD movies into inside the Community, they do not work for outsiders. There are various ways to introduce iM@S MAD movies to outsiders, including description of history and what is going on and what is great(ex.). It is also another way to inspire major news site to link the article with dealing with topics related to outside of the Community(ex.). However, only two introducing website, 『花見川@ニコニコ部』 and 『敷居の先住民』, are introducing iM@S MAD movies into outside of the Community. Though the number of introducing website has increased, such kind of websites have not. Many say that "though the number of posted iM@S MAD movies goes on increasing, the number of watchers do not." One of the reasons of the situation is lack of introduction to, and it can be an issue of the Community.
However, the weakness in outreach, or internally oriented, is not always a problem. Internally oriented posture has problematic impression because it often comes up with "decline of the community," but it also works as a filter that removes people who do not have earnestness. This caused "the community with few negative remarks" and unique one unified well.
(5) Dependence upon Nico Nico Douga
The main uploading field of iM@S MAD movies is Nico Nico Douga. Needress to say, the biggest risk of the iM@S MAD Community is the closure of Nico Nico Douga. Even if the service does not end, iM@S MAD movies will be banned when the policy will deny MAD movies and black works.
If such a situation takes place, Nico Nico users have to flee to other video hosting services, such as "zoome". In addition to limited number of video hosting services that provide a scrolling comment function over video, other video hosting services also have a same risk. Even if such kind of migration succeeds, the scale of the Community must shrink.
The iM@S MAD movies are also called Nico M@S, because they depend on Nico Nico Douga. The service is the lifeline of the Community.
* 6. Conclusion
=Material= “THE iDOLM@STER” worked as a tool to output materials needed to produce MAD movies.
Besides “iM@S MAD,” “Hatsune Miku” is also a popular category among movies in Nico Nico Douga. “Hatsune Miku” is a very tool, and it is understandable to be used to make movies in Nico Nico Douga.
On the other hand, “THD iDOLM@STER” is a simulation videogame for home use. However, some smart guys found that it was very fun to combine video of the videogame with other songs, thus the videogame became a tool to output materials for MAD movies.
Originally, “THE iDOLM@STER” is not a networking game, thus it means that it cannot make a large-scale online community by itself. However, the community that consists of people with skills to send information was formed because the game has worked an excellent tool for online activities.
=Producer= It depends on the chef whether materials works or not.
The community around “THE iDOLM@STER” that was useful as a tool for online activities gathered superb technicians. Among the technicians, some had results in other communities or as professionals, and played a role of models. Thus the quality level of iM@S MAD movies rose. The diversity in the iM@S MAD Community also became larger because technicians with various abilities came together. The diversity also postpones tiresomeness or running out of materials that must come some day.
=Advertiser= Introducing websites
The advertisement was by seller in case of commercial arts. Thus personal websites review instead of advertising. Because the iM@S MAD movies are not commercial works, personal websites should play a role of advertiser. These are introducing websites of the Community. The websites hesitate to write negative comments on the movies. This is as same as that the ads never pick up weak points of commercial products. The introducing websites have contributed with playing a role of advertiser faithfully. They also inspire the movie creators’ motivation with introducing their movies hard. As the Community develops, expectation for them is getting bigger and their parts are getting more important. When they can accept the burden until?
=Infrastructure= Appearance of Nico Nico Douga service
Many of iM@S MAD creators are particular about the quality of movie itself. Nico Nico Douga can provide good quality of video with well-tuned settings, and it is suitable for iM@S MAD movies.
Commenting function of Nico Nico Douga provided effects of not only sharing strong emotion but also rising creators’ motivation by feed back of comments. This caused that a number of movies posted on the service. An evolution phenomenon by affecting each other amongst various category of movies including THE iDOLM@STER, Hatsune Miku, Let’s Go On-Myo-Ji, To-Ho and Gachi-Muchi in the service occurred
=Future?= Where will the Community go to or won’t it go to anywhere?
Creating movies requires a lot of time and labor. Though to create iM@S MAD movies is much easier than from scratch because they use commercial works as materials, it is also sure that creators spend time and labor for works that do not make money. Personal production including iM@S MAD movie consumes time and labor, but does not make money. It can obtain reputation among websites, but it may not help to get reputation outside of websites. Therefore people in the “Text site boom” and “Flash Golden Age” were oriented to commercialization or professionals. In other words, they hoped to build a system to get value for their work in order to keep time or labor consumed for creation valuable. The desire to get value urged creators to go forward, even if they could not get value at that time. Thus some attempts including “Web Tipping,” publications and MUZO.
What will the iM@S MAD movies aim to? Where will they go? Many of introducing websites hope to maintain the entertaining status quo. It is very natural, because they are just watchers. However, on the side of movie creator, it is not always. According to the situation of other communities, it may be natural that some thoughts including wish to build a system to get value or reputation with developing the community more. However, it is very difficult to get value because the iM@S MAD movies are black works; it is almost impossible. Thus they cannot aim to build the system to get value. Under the situation, what should the iM@S MAD Community aim at? Do they works hard to maintain the status quo as the introducing websites hope?
* 7. At the end - why I wrote this -
Taking advantage of watching a movie, "iDOLM@STER CDTV like medley May 22," I have watched various iM@S MAD movies. What I thought at that time was that what had happened in "Text site community" or "Flash community" would begin to occur in iM@S MAD Community. July 2007, I felt to need to record, and generated a webpage, "the History of 'THE iDOLM@STER' MAD".
After that, a drastic development of the iM@S MAD Community was what I hah expected. However, some exceptions also existed. I thought that a weak point of iM@S MAD movies was in its material. IM@S MAD movies use videos and graphics in the videogame. Because all movie creators produced movies with limited same materials, I expected that people would lose interest when the novelty would wear off.
In September 2007, my expectation was that the boom of the iM@S MAD movies would end until the end of the year. In November, Momo-TsukiP expressed his retirement from editing "Weekly iDOLM@STER Ranking." "Tsun-De-Re-Carta Trouble" occurred. In December, ArisueP also retired. The Community showed its tiredness, I though that my expectation was coming true. However, in 2008, the Community was completely revitalized. New introducing websites were established. "iDOLM@STER and Caramel Dansen" was a smash hit. New editors of "Weekly iDOLM@STER Ranking" worked well, even though the release timing was a little later than before. In addition, the release of new materials, "iDOLM@STER Live For You!" The Community developed further more.
In March 2008, I began to write "About evolution of iM@S MAD Community" as my target. Just one year after the appearance of "tUNAK M@STER," I understand that it may be too early to write the study. In writing an ongoing boom, there are not only what I can write but also what I cannot. It also goes against my policy that it is better to wait for a while before valuing an occurrence. However, as time passes, relative information also disappears. Thus it would become time consuming to do it. When things come to the worst, it may become impossible. Therefore I reached to conclusion that I should write what I could write now. This study is its result.
How many studies seriously compiling the occurrences of communities exist, even though there are several communities on the Internet including "Text site community" and "Flash community" and each of them has its history over a period of years? I think that it is very unhappy that no one records the occurrence that will be forgotten after the end of its boom in spite of the rise of communities by brisk personal creative activities. I wrote this study in order to let me a model to resolve the situation. The biggest merit of HTML file on the WWW was that I could use hyperlinks, so I linked enormous contents.
I think that the foundation of web services, the birth of cultures and communities on the services and connection between websites by hyperlinks are similar to "nerve-networking" or "ecosystem" and interesting as subjects of study. I will be happy if this article will help to increase people who are interested in the Internet culture.
* 8. Bibliography
[web2]てってってーP 『アイドルマスター 音無小鳥のデータマスター』 『２』 『３』 てってってーのなんとか、2007～2008年
[web3]桃月P 『「アイドルマスター」タグの新旧データ比較』 涸轍鮒魚、2008年
[web4]桃月P 『「週刊アイドルマスターランキング」データ集 Part2 その他編』 涸轍鮒魚、2007年
[web5]cx0101P 『第1回底辺P祭り 裏話その１～４』 NEO EGA、2007年
[web6]flashboarder 『FLASH・動画板が衰退した理由』 FLASH動画血風録、2007年
[book1]釜本雪夫＋くぼうちのぶゆき 『テキストサイト大全』 ソフトマジック、2002年
This text was originally written by Sakuraba, and translated by italian_shell. Many Thanks.