Welcome to the improved Daily Cartoonist

The Daily Cartoonist began a little over six months ago as an experiment in blogging, and a means of inserting myself into the cartooning community. The response to this blog has been inspiring. Each month the number of readers continues to grow – despite my having done no marketing.

About a month ago, I posted a survey asking for feedback to find out how well the site was doing. I also asked if there were features that you, the reader, wanted to see. There were two requested features that stood out and in the coming week they will be rolled out.

Change is good
First up will be an event calendar on the front page to give you a quick read of what events, speaking engagements, comic launches and the like are happening in the near future. There are a great many exhibits, performances and book signings going on that this feature will come in handy.

The second big change will be in-depth reporting on big events inside the cartooning industry. This new feature is called ‘In Focus’ and I have already lined up the first two stories. They will get big play on the homepage ‘ upper-right hand corner. It will be hard to miss them.

Other changes, as you’ve probably noticed, is a redesign of the whole site. When I decided to start writing the In Focus articles, it became apparent that I was going to need to modify the software that runs this blog in order to best manage the content. I looked at migrating the whole blog to another content management system ‘ but with over 800 blog posts, it wasn’t going to be easy and the risk of losing all the URLs that you’ve bookmarked was almost assured. I finally made the decision to keep the existing blogging system and hack it until it did what I need it to do.

Part of the redesign included the formatting of news stories on the homepage. I debated about this endlessly. Should I keep the page like a traditional blog ‘ wherein the contents of each blog post are visible on the homepage, or is it okay to just display the headlines and allow the user to click into the story for details. I finally decided on the latter for two reasons: firstly, it gives you a better scan of the news in less space and secondly, by making you click on the stories that interest you. I can monitor and track which stories are the most popular or valuable and after a while, I will see what types of stories are of the most value and can dedicate more time to these types of stories.

Follow the money
The last thing I want to mention is the advertising that is found on this site. I’ve decided to eliminate all but the Google ads. This site was not created as a money-maker, but I do expect it to pay for its own hosting fees, domain renewal, and maybe if there is money left over, I can apply it towards membership with the NCS and AAEC. So I hope you’ll understand the reason for the ads.

I hope you enjoy the Daily Cartoonist and find value in the work that I do. If you have suggestions or complaints about any of the changes that I’ve made, please send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you.