Archive for July, 2009

More archive comics fixed

July 30th, 2009 by Reinder

I took some time off the clock during a slump at my day job to fix up some more remastered comics for the Drunk Duck mirror, and in the process I fixed a serious problem with the comic for May 1, 2002, bringing back three panels that had been missing for years. I also fixed a spelling error in the comic for May 2, 2002.

The May 1, 2002 installment, coloured by Drooling Fan Girl, is still one of my favourite installments, largely thanks to her colour choices. I'm glad to have it back on the website.

Expect more delays

July 21st, 2009 by Reinder

Between me working full time again (long distance from Aggie's place), Aggie breaking her foot, two baby goats being born here at the minifarm, me throwing repeated fits at the local internet service and router, and the need to sleep at least occasionaly, I haven't been able to get any new updates done. What little art time I've had these past week and a half has gone into the remasters on Drunk Duck and what with the internet connectivity problems, it's been a torment just to get those uploaded in time - I spent a profanity-filled hour uploading just three episodes the other day. I'm afraid we're going to have to go back to the every-other-week-if-we're-lucky schedule we had in April and May.

Actually producing the Drunk Duck updates doesn't take that much time anymore, and it's important enough to me to keep doing it. It's the one subsection of my publishing empire that does update regularly (720 updates in as many days) and it's slowly closing the popularity gap with the other sites and mirrors. At half an hour per update, it's worth it to me to keep it going and doesn't detract from producing the new updates at all.
Nevertheless, I'm sorry there's no update! I'll try to get something up as soon as possible! And to get back on some of the comments and responses I got to that recent post about the reader number. I haven't forgotten that either.

Update later this week, I hope

July 13th, 2009 by Reinder

Due to stuff going on around the house, I haven't been able to get the next update done in time to post it on Monday. I hope I'll be able to work on it some this week and get it out ASAP; otherwise it'll have to wait until next week.

I also have some blog comments to follow up on. Sorry I haven't done so yet; it's been hectic here in middle Tennessee.

Ads, stats, updates and state of the comic

July 4th, 2009 by Reinder

Updates have picked up but visitor numbers and ad revenue have slumped. What to do?

As you may have noticed, I have removed an underperforming block of Project Wonderful ads from ROCR.net. After two years, the button block at top right had been slumping in price and even going unsold, which suggested to me that they were played out. Besides, having lived out in the boonies for the past six weeks, I have come to appreciate once again the value of web pages with a low footprint that will load faster, or indeed at all, so I'd been looking for elements to trim from my website. Project Wonderful ads have a large Javascript overhead so they are good candidates for removal if they don't bring home the bacon.

Still, it is arguable that all my ads are underperforming compared to other websites with the same audience size. That's something worth considering. ROCR is one of those old standbys that have a loyal audience but don't attract a whole lot of buzz; there's a shortage of casual visitors who come in and poke around and then hit a button to go somewhere else. Which suggests to me that I should avoid relying on advertising too much and use any reclaimed space on the website to promote stuff aimed at the loyal visitors, such as e-books.
Actually, I'm not convinced I'm keeping the interest of all the loyal visitors either, or rather, I'm not creating any new ones with the latest batch of updates. During June, semi-regular updating resumed after two months of sparse updating with what I consider to be some fairly desperate attempts. Since AdventureCon, there's been at least one pencil-based update a week and I am personally much happier with the quality of the art and script. But the readership statistics have been disappointing over this period. I didn't do a post on readership numbers for April and May because there really wasn't any point; pageviews slumped predictably because there weren't any updates for people to read. The numbers for June, however, show the slump continuing:
ROCR.net: 98002 pageviews, 8434 unique IPs, down from 260,000/11513.
ROCR@Drunkduck: 9951 pageviews, uniques unknown, up from 4900.
COTWQ/ROCR@Moderntales jointly: 9341 pageviews (estimated), monthly uniques unknown, down from 42000.
This means that compared to March, pageviews for ROCR.net have slumped by 60%; those for the joint presence on Webcomicsnation/Modern Tales have slumped by 75%. The only silver lining is how well the remasters on the Drunk Duck mirror are doing. I put a lot of work into updating the old art for that, and it's the one area of my content empire that's growing in popularity right now.

This leads me to conclude that the problem is not so much the regular summer doldrums as the pencil art not finding an audience. Some of my most loyal readers have written in to say they like it a lot, but it may be harder for newcomers to get into. This is unfortunate as pencil art will be all I have to offer for the time being, and in any case I rather like it.

For now, I will continue to update with one penciled page a week, and try to find an audience for it that likes pencil art. I know that audience are out there, but apparently it is not stumbling on ROCR. Who knows any good pencil comics to advertise on?

Finally, enjoy today's update: some gift art by my fiancée on the occasion of the website's ninth anniversary!

Related: Statistics for March, Statistics for February

9th Anniversary, 700th rerun comic, extra update today and later

July 1st, 2009 by Reinder

Today, July 1, marks the 9th anniversary of Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan as an English-language webcomic. In previous years, we've had special artwork for the occasion, but this time around, I didn't have any good ideas for it, so you get an extra regular update instead. Yes, June's been a very productive months for new updates.

Aggie's made something for the occasion too, and that will go up as soon as one of us has scanned and processed it.

Meanwhile, over at the Drunk Duck mirror where I have been posting reruns of the older comics, often in remastered format, we've just hit comic no. 700 on this very day! That makes it a double milestone.