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Please take this readership survey

I am running the following survey for the next week or so to learn a bit about my readers and why they come here, and how I might improve my coverage of the news that matters most to you.

Please take a moment to fill out this 13 question survey. The results are important as I contemplate making major changes to the blog.

PLEASE ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS. If one of the provided responses doesn’t fit your circumstance, please feel free to add what you would’ve responded in the comment section. – Thanks.

UPDATE: Survey has been closed. Thank you all for participating.

Community Comments

#1 Howard Tayler
@ 6:45 am

Note: your question about “where do you read comics” is heavily, heavily skewed towards what I believe to be your own experience.


Individual Independentcomic sites (webcomics)
RSS Feeds

I don’t get the paper, I don’t hit the syndicate sites, and the only syndicated strips I’m following these days are Dilbert and Get Fuzzy. I have a page full of bookmarks for the things I want to read.

#2 Jeff Stanson
@ 6:51 am

As a DailyINK subscriber, I selected “email subscription service” although I don’t use their email option. “Syndicate web site” could have applied, but I think you were trying to get at paid subscription. Don’t go back and change your survey to better fit these options at this point, just keep this in mind when evaluating answers.

#3 Alan Gardner
@ 6:52 am

Actually, it’s geared specifically for understanding where my readers get their syndicated content. But I did, add webcomics as an option (we’re early enough in the voting that I can make the change without skewing the results).

#4 Anne Hambrock
@ 7:01 am

If one of the changes you’re contemplating is a subscription fee, and it works, you’ll be proving my point on another thread about converting from a “free” business model on the web to a paid one. I notice you have added a lot of advertising on the site lately so I hope that means this endeavor is paying off for you.

#5 Howard Tayler
@ 7:07 am

I guess what I meant to say (and please know that I meant no offense) is that the list you provided was missing everything I use, which seemed to indicate gaps in your own understanding.

I have this problem myself when I post surveys. It’s the answers you don’t expect that you most need, and that you also are least able to elicit through the right questions.

I’m impressed by surveys which, when I take them, point out gaps in my OWN understanding. Like if, for instance, I was asked how I travel from home to the grocery store, and teleportation was listed as an option. Very enlightening…

#6 Danielle Corsetto
@ 9:01 am

I checked off that I get the Daily Cartoonist via their “e-mail service,” but I don’t actually – I check Twitter all day and if I see a Tweet from TDC about something that interests me, I visit the site.

Just thought I’d let you know! :)

#7 Dave Kellett
@ 1:14 pm

Alan, I hope you won’t mind if I share some best-practices that Webcomics have learned regarding subscriptions. In a poll asking if people will pay for content online…

If they’re honest, they’ll have an overwhelmingly “no” vote.

If, for whatever psychological reasons they do check “yes” (kindness toward the blogger, wishing to impart the message to them that there is great value in their work, etc., etc.), you’ll still find, when it comes time for readers to actually crack their wallets and/or click that Paypal button, that people â?? by and large â?? won’t match the poll. Usually, the number of people that pay versus the number of people that *said* they would pay is such a wide margin that you’ll find it disappointing.

This isn’t just anecdotal, by the way. I think every Webcartoonist you ask would echo that experience.

#8 scartoonist
@ 2:36 pm

I lost the thread earlier, as I mentioned. I try to get the gist of it here.

What I would say is that my reading is voyeuristic, to see what your targeted audience is discussing. I do not feel part of the targeted audience. I am a web comics guy. I am also a sort of critic and tend to view the broadsheets comics as a vast wasteland.

I will read much more if web comics are covered. Probably daily.

I would not pay for the current publication because of poor value to my own interests.

I might pay for a web comics paper. It’s not the amount, but the nuisance of it.

I would definitely make a contribution toward inclusion of news items I wanted broadcast to the web comics community. I would prefer a publication with featured announcements to one with flashing banners. Half way between Craig’s list and a press release. An example might be if I was forming a collective, achieved some goal with my blog or had just released a print collection. Some of those you might cover for free but others might not suit your needs and might require a donation.

The professional look of your publication is notable.

My own blog has taught me that writing critically about web comics is challenging because you have to spend so much time reading and you have to read a bunch to find a few worth covering. I am not able to keep up with the titles I read recreationally. A hard news approach to web comics would of course be a different story.

I also believe that comics people are difficult to mobilize in mutual support. I myself would expect cartoonists to automatically support an effort like yours with linking and news feeds but though you have many links I’d expect more.

It is hard for all of us. We want to succeed and work our tails off. Then suddenly the wolf is at the door again. People get mad with desire to reach their readership and income goals, and they forget how much they have in common with their colleagues. They start to resent competitors, perhaps. It’s only human but it is wrong and is setting up a lot of people to have deep bitterness about their standing.

If I didn’t have a long history of trying ideas and having a few succeed while many fail, I would be unable to sustain my creative efforts.

Ah, I’m off on a tangent. Anytime you want more opinions you know where to find me.


#9 scartoonist
@ 4:13 pm

I was reading other people’s comments and I thought I’d add that Todd Allen, in
The Economics of Web Comics, 2nd ed., says that rule of thumb on conversion to a pay site is 1% are retained. It’s a neat, inexpensive book that might be worth looking at.

#10 Mike Peterson
@ 2:50 am

I also read most of my comics by paid subscription site, though that’s only three bookmarks in a relatively large morning rundown. Would I chip in “$1 to 3 a month” — well, that’s roughly what I pay for DailyInk and the rest, so, yeah, I guess. Probably.

But I also put down that the most important part of the site to me is the comments and discussions. If they start tailing off, I’d lose a lot of interest, I’m afraid.

I used to visit daily, but they “improved” the site and now comments on Romenesko have nearly ended. I go there now about once a week and wouldn’t pay.

#11 Danny Burleson
@ 2:45 pm

Speaking of how you read stuff, I mostly read The Daily Cartoonist via an RSS reader and click over if I feel like giving my two-cents on a topic.

I received the update about this poll today (Sunday, March 30th, 2008), just in time to discover that the poll is over. In fact, if it weren’t for another blog I’m subscribed to mentioning it, I wouldn’t have found out about the recent “conference call” until Scott Kurtz updated his Webcomics Weekly feed after the call was over, as that update didn’t show until today as well.

Something wrong with the feed update?

#12 Alan Gardner
@ 2:55 pm

I suspect the survey plugin was throwing an error that was making the rss feed invalid. I’ve discontinued the survey tool. Everything should be back to normal.

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