Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The New ComicSpace: Definitive or Incremental?

This summer the new ComicSpace will open, replacing the existing one as well as Web Comics Nation and Online Comics.

Most of the hosting sites are looking long in the tooth right now, so this is an opportunity to set a new standard.

For fun, I'll offer a few predictions, based solely on gut feeling, overheard remarks and unreliable bits of gossip.

  • I expect state of the art performance in comic hosting.
  • I expect a site that is somewhere in between ugly and bland. If they job out the home page we don't know what we'll get but if there's a big, raised "CS" in the upper left corner we'll know who to blame.
  • I expect advances in internal networking for comics members, but not external networking, innovations in ad serving or community formation.
  • If it is fast and easy to load your comic -- the opposite of Web Comics Nation -- people will rush to join. The question is whether members of lowbrow sites will make the migration.
  • Since the comics people who have made the most impressive proposals for rethinking site design and services and building a definitive site have apparently not been consulted, either the site will lack their insights or the owners have gotten those insights from other sources. I predict some of the most compelling ideas will be missing and this will give rise to yet another heavyweight site a year or two down the road.
Take these predictions lightly, but let's see what comes of them.