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Friday comics are interesting for me...
(16 Nov 2007)

The Harmless Free Radicals comics that come out on Friday are a particularly interesting problem for me. I mean, the demand is fairly simply, but the solution might be subtle.

The comics that come out on Friday, traditionally, are also the comics that I have chosen to print in the Whatcom Independent. I am in charge of what goes up on my website, but I made this decision a while back for a variety of reasons and for the sake of people's expectations I intend to keep it. The Friday comics have been in print for a whole week before they go online. It's a courtesy to the paper at the very least.

Anyway, this means two things:

1. The comics in the paper act as a representation of the comic as a whole to the county of Whatcom. Ideally, I want to pick the comics that appeal the most to the largest number of people in the county. Largely in hopes that they will become curious and follow the web site address at the bottom of the comic to read more stuff. But also to help sell the ad space around the printed comic in order to help keep the Indy in business and paying me to print the thing.

2. The comics in the paper, being posted on a Friday to my site, end up being the first thing people see on the website when they visit the page over the course of the entire weekend. Because these comics get the most airtime online, I want them to be the best they can be, simply to impress more readers online.

Heck, I'd like all my comics to be amazingly good, but that's something I'm still working on. In the mean time, this provides an easy editing choice. Sorta.

Question is, do I want to have what is an essentially stale comic sitting on the front page for three days straight just as a new set of readers who've seen that comic are likely to be pulling up the website? Or do I want to move it to say, Wednesday, and have all new comics starting Thursday, with Friday being a secondary flagship comic?

And finally, how much does this actually matter?

If anybody has any votes, I'm definitely willing to consider them.

On the other hand, it may soon become a moot point, since if I can keep up this M-F schedule through the beginning of the year I might actually go full daily, with the weekends being something special.

Mind you, with my current advertising campaigns, most of my heaviest traffic comes during the middle of the week. We're easily talking a difference of 4 to 1. That's roughly 8,000 page hits during the week to 2,000 during the weekend. Which really brings me back to my main goal.

Make all my comics better.

Posted by Fenmere

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