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"We are extremely proud of the expanding Drunk Duck webcomic site and the amazingly faithful, creative, vocal and loyal community that resides there."
-- Platinum Studios President Brian Altounian,
Interview with Publishers Weekly, posted July 15
I've reported recently on the vibrancy and autonomy of Drunk Duckers, as epitomized by their self-conducted Drunk Duck Awards. I admire these comic creators, from whose ranks have emerged artists like DJ Coffman and the webcomic Gunnerkrigg Court.
So I set out to take some measurements of the community.
The (graph) shows the number of unique visitors to Drunk Duck over the last twelve months, as tallied by Compete.com. I should point out that the smaller the website, the shakier the data, but DD is in the range where the data is probably pretty good.
The graph shows a 35% decline over the past year, and 10% over the last month. That 10% comes just after the DJ Coffman uproar, in which the former Ducker quit Duck's parent, Platinum Studios, over issues including late payments. Coffman has since appeared around the comics web as a sort of anti-Duck, debunking and critiquing the company.
Alexa's graph shows a similar decline, though if the spring spike was the last set of numbers handed to Altounian, he might think visits are growing.
Or he could be using a different metric, like new memberships. I don't have access to that data.
It's my opinion that Platinum as a company mishandled the Coffman affair and continues to show little knack for public relations. I recently printed a piece on the Drunk Duck Awards, in which the awards spokeswoman lamented a lack of support or interest from Platinum. Would it break the bank to distribute some gift certificates?