Thursday, September 11, 2008

ComicsRank: New Site with a Twist

Here's a new comic site with an interesting twist. ComicsRank tracks participating comics' traffic, and assembles a popularity list from there. It's like a Nielsen Ratings for webcomics. It's a neat way to work around the distortions that plague many top list/voting sites.

As usual, I've enlisted my own comic, this time Li'l Nyet, to see what happens. I can assure you, the first thing that happens is a minor cardiac event, as days roll by and your comic reports zero readers.

There's a reason. The site spends up to nine days studying your traffic to make adjustments for things like people with high browser security settings. Li'l Nyet is still be analyzed.

The site collects data much like Google Analytics -- via code you insert in each web page. I've recently finished installing Webmaster Tools code, title tags, favicons and various other goodies on over 350 pages, and I'm not up for adding ComicRank to more than my home page right now. Besides, I already know my traffic. This is just for the sake of pushing and shoving other comics out of my way so that I can rise in the rankings. I haven't got the stomach for much of that. Being part of a two person team gives me a little bit of an edge, and I'd sooner see the solo efforts grab the spotlight.

I spoke to Steve, who lives in England, the owner of the site. He didn't offer a last name, so I've assigned him "Smythers-Jones." He's a smart guy and an interesting person, and he's working on a Content Management System for comics that is unshackled from server languages. I think his heart lies in that area, and ComicRank will take a back seat to those efforts for a while. My brain does not lie in that area, and I'll have to bring a consultant to hold my hand for the story on the CMS project.

Meanwhile, ComicRank is an interesting novelty. The user interface is unique and pleasing, and the comics that have found it are a varied lot, arousing the desire to examine some of them.

You might enjoy trying it, and there is no easier way to plant your flag on English pixels. No joke: getting your link on foreign websites is always an achievement, as people everywhere still tend to cluster around domestic sites.