April 19, 2007

A matter of some importance

This is just copied and pasted from my MySpace blog, but it's very important that I post this here, as well. If you don't have time to read the entire thing, please at least skip to and read the last paragraph. It's the most important one.

Okay. So I have been doing a spot of thinking lately, and as we all know, that's when bad stuff happens. Anyway, I was thinking about why my comic strip doesn't get much traffic, despite the fact that it's been around for over two years and that most people I meet genuinely like the strip.

I have come to the following conclusion: George has always been intended as a comic that anyone, regardless of age, could theoretically find funny and interesting if they have a quirky enough sense of humor to enjoy it. That sort of mentality flies in the newspaper funny pages (where I initially foresaw George during its inception; it was never truly meant to be a webcomic until relatively recently), but it doesn't transfer to the realm of the internet webcomic very easily. You see, generally, the people who frequent the internet not only on a daily basis, but consistently throughout the day, obviously make up a huge chunk of internet traffic. It takes a special, certain kind of person to sit their asses on a chair in front of a computer for more than half of their waking hours. These people are often jaded, cynical, and sarcastic, though usually witty and desiring their humor intake to have these same traits. That's why comic strips like Penny Arcade, CAD, Megatokyo, and PVP Online are incredibly popular. They are all heavily geek- and gamer-oriented and each display at least a touch of all or most of the traits I mentioned earlier.

However...if you are a casual internet user, which I descry that many readers of my blog are, odds are you've never even heard of those four webcomics. If you are a casual internet user, you probably questioned whether they are really "incredibly popular" or not. The truth is, none of those comics are popular on the same level as something like Dilbert is. But they are far more popular than Dilbert is on the internet. It's all about the medium...Dilbert is in the newspaper, and "normal" people read the newspaper, often daily. Penny Arcade is only found online, and "normal" people don't read geek/gamer comics on a computer screen on a nearly-daily basis. But it could not survive in the standard newspaper funny pages. The population at large wouldn't understand it and wouldn't want to read it. Well...the reverse is what I think I've got going on with George.

I know lots of people personally, and maybe you're one of them, who enjoy reading George on an occasional basis, usually when I force you to, but don't visit the site apart from when I hassle you to do so. And that's fine, because I know that you have lives that are busy and you don't always have time to visit a comic strip site online. But my question is this: What can I do to turn you into a regular reader? I'm not talking about content changes to the strip, I'm talking more in technical terms here. For example: Would you read the strip often if it were somehow sent to your e-mail inbox whenever I update it? Would you subscribe to a newsletter that alerts you when the comic has been updated, so you can check it out at your leisure? I implore you, my internets friends, to give me some ideas I can use to hopefully make George a more widespread indulgence among you, the backbone of the world wide web, the casual internet user.

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