Comic Non-Sans: Comic Circles

Yes, I have indeed availed myself of a Google+ account.  Like most other people, I’m probably going to take a fair bit of time learning how to use it properly — making italic and bolded text, how to make a “People I Have to Add Or They’ll Ask Why I Didn’t Add Them” circle, etc.  Already, I’m watching bloggers and comic creators experiment with the new options available to them.  I, and I’m not alone in this, am dabbling in creating circles exclusively for art- and comic-related stuff.

Not long after I joined, perhaps two days or so, I saw the seeds of an idea from one or two webcomickers — Circle-specific comics.  Not distributed by a website or a blog, but rather only on G+, only to people who ask specifically to be included, and not visible anywhere else.  The comics are black and white, fairly straightforward and not to any specific theme (though I don’t know as there’s any sort of G+ “theme” yet other than it not being Facebook).  It’s a fun little extra, handy to read, and in its own weird little way makes you feel a bit special for getting to see it.

I can already see advantages to using G+ for webcomic distribution, albeit not as a sole means.  I use Facebook and Twitter (and used to use LiveJournal) as an alternate means of distribution — and, in a roundabout way, as a measure of readership.  Not everyone has Facebook and not everyone uses it for all forms of networking, but the response you get can give you a good idea of your following.

The advantage of G+ in this respect is that extra sense of caring on both parts.  You know for sure which readers care to go out of their way for extra content, and they in return get the good feeling that comes with super-secret bonus material.  Granted, I’ll be observing how successful this is before I try anything like it, but it could become A Thing before too much longer.

But is G+ as good for reporting your usual updates as Facebook or Twitter might be?  The thing is, G+ seems by its very nature to beg for more than just a passing update.  You’re not constrained by character counts, you can pick and choose who sees what, and (let’s face it) you already have Facebook and Twitter.  I think G+ could be another good means of distribution, provided you go out of your way to play with the “something more” you can get from it.  Extra notes when you post a comic because you have the room.  Playing, again, with usage of circles.  It’s very much a playground like now, and things are likely to change as they learn more about their customer base, but getting in on the ground floor and starting now to use its new features to your advantage could do good things.

Once I’ve figured out how to get my family out of my People It’s Okay to Cuss At circle.

Posted on July 26, 2011 at 01:00 by Kara Dennison · Permalink
In: Columns, The Written Word, Webcomics, Webcomics · Tagged with: , ,