Comic Non-Sans: What You Want

So I asked a couple weeks ago what it is readers who don’t have webcomicking experience want to see in webcomics in general.  I got a few responses outside the site, so it’s time to address what people on the other side have to say about what we do … and how much of it is reasonable.  Which is actually quite a lot.

First off, RSS feeds. And I’ll admit that this is something I’ve become rather dependent on, too.  Going through feeds first thing in the morning can be a lot easier, especially for the sleep-addled brain, than going through bookmarks and sorting them by day.  A while back I would have said this is a bit much work depending on the webcomicker/webmaster’s skill level, but now putting a feed up is insanely easy.  Myself, I’m integrating one using RapidFeeds as I’m overhauling my own site.  Very simply to use and update, and makes it easier for the readers overall.

Next is one I’ll admit was not said to me as part of this “experiment,” but to me by readers in the past, and that’s cheaper and/or free merchandise. Webcomickers often cause themselves the problem of getting their readers expecting free content by offering it simply by virtue of what they do.  I could talk about ways to convince people that the books are worth the extra money, but in the end, that’s an ingrained mindset and people will in fact want something for nothing.  In essence, that’s one for the “Ignore” pile.

Oh, and making it easy to donate. Guilty.  Which is odd, considering we should want that extra money.  I think a lot of it has to do with incentives, though (an unspoken point when I asked, but a valid one either way).  This falls into webcomicker forgetfulness, at least on my end.  But it is a reasonable point, and another one to clear out time for.  Not readers asking too much, but perhaps not as quickly as they might want or expect.

Last one I’ll address is fewer or no ads. And that’s a hard one right there, because that’s how a lot of people support themselves now.  What I’ll agree on, though, is fewer obnoxious ads. There’s no need to get carried away, and a good layout can support all different kinds of ads without cutting into the comic itself.  Granted, I’m still learning how to handle that on my own site, but I will admit to it being a reasonable request, at least in the latter case.

It turns out the stuff people want is, in fact, pretty basic at least on the surface.  Yes, some of the stuff people want is a bit much when it comes to cutting into the artists’ money and time, but there are elements that are moving with the times and may take a little time to work in initially, but will eventually pay off.  Until such time as the Internet evolves again, i.e. sometime in March.

Posted on January 4, 2011 at 00:35 by Kara Dennison · Permalink
In: Columns, Webcomics · Tagged with: