Friday, May 20, 2005

Title: 1450

May 2005


Title: 1450

May 20, 2005
12:01 AM

PLEASE NOTE: The following rant was made at 5am when I should have been in bed. Any views noted within are not intended to offend. This is probably something that would go better in a live journal or something… but this is the best thing that I’ve got. So please don’t send me any angry e-mails.=)

I have noticed a trend in the past few days. Actually, anyone who has any remote sense of webcomics has probably noticed a trend in the past few days. As of today, there are 6 very prominent Keenspotters who are packing up their bags and heading for the hills. Some of these people had me stunned when I discovered their plans for leaving. Such as Steve Troop of Melonpool, who we offered space on our server awhile ago, but he seemed so content where he was that he didn’t move. Or last month when Howard Taylor jumped ship. I had always kind of considered Howard as the “face” of Keenspot. Anytime there was a speech that needed to be made, or a business deal that needed to close, Howard was always there.

Greg and I happen to know all of the people who are leaving at the end of the week. Greg became friends with them during his lifespan at Keenspot. I know for a fact that each of the seven people who are going independant this week, are so in love with their comics that nothing could come between them. This makes me believe that the move is not about the money. If anyone can tell you that its hard to make a living off of ads and merchandise, its Greg and I. I’m not sure if all of you know, but the comics on Keenspot don’t make that much money per quarter. Some are lucky to get $100 for 3 months worth of comics. Its just the state of the world right now. Advertisers want to pay less for more advertising, so us publishers have to be competitive. Its a hard road.

I wish that Greg and I had been more open about our departure from Keenspot. We left because we had the opportunity to control our own site, for free, and control what kind of ads could be run. That’s why we have been so particular about what ads we have been allowing on this site. Sure we would love to bring in money, but its something much more than that. We want the integrity of the page to be intact. So we left about the time some questionable ads started to appear. It’s as simple as that. We also were no longer seeing the benefits of the KeenSpot name. Greg’s readership had stayed at a steady number of readers for years. Of course, it was partly because of KeenSpot that Greg received some of those readers in the first place.

Don’t get me wrong, I think KeenSpot offers an incredible service to the webcomics community. If someone has worked very hard to get their comic to a certain readership and then kind of plateaus at a certain number, it would benefit them to join KeenSpot and take advantage of their cross-promotion. As long as the author doesn’t expect to be a millionaire by joining KeenSpot, then it’s the perfect set-up for them. As soon as their readership plateaus at KeenSpot, then its time for that cartoonist to move again in a different direction. Greg has more than doubled his readership since leaving KeenSpot, but that’s only because we decided to move in a different direction. I really believe that KeenSpot should use this theory for their benefit and market it as such. KeenSpot is the place you go if you want to have a strong cross-promotion platform. I should make up their marketing stuff for them. Or maybe I shouldn’t, they are probably doing fine on their own! ^^

There are people out there that hate KeenSpot too. Although, I think it’s more of a hatred for Keen Space. It’s something about the ability for people to be given a free space to make a webcomic and not have to work for it at all. It’s when an artist thinks it’ll be a good idea to make a comic, but they don’t have the talent for it or the passion that most cartoonists NEED in order for their comic to survive. It’s these people that make webcomics look bad. I’m not saying that all KeenSpacers are like that… just a good majority. I think that a lot of the KeenSpacers would agree with me there too.

edit: Funny joke was taken out because people were misinterpreting the joke.

I guess this is what I come up with when I lay in bed not able to sleep.