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webcomicsnation launched

PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 12:04 pm
by Matt Wilson
http://www.webcomicsnation.com

$10/month, $99.50/year

I'll paste the features from their website. A few are interesting.

"Post an unlimited number of webcomics series, or one-shots. No need to juggle multiple accounts for multiple comics!

Take advantage of unmetered bandwidth and unlimited disk storage for your account. We just keep adding servers and hard drives as needed, and the risks are spread out across the entire community, so there's no need to worry about paying the "success tax" if you get unexpectedly popular!

Promote your comics with complimentary banner ads on the Modern Tales network, which includes TalkAboutComics.com, GraphicNovelReview.com, AdventureStrips.com, and many other popular sites!

Take advantage of all the very latest technological tricks to build and keep an audience, including automatically-generated RSS feeds for every comic on your site, and xml-rpc update pings to 12 major search engines and aggregators every time you post something new, including Yahoo! and Technorati!

It should go without saying, but due to the sometimes predatory nature of certain sort-of half-way similar services (like, you know, the one owned by a big established newspaper syndicate), you retain all rights to your work, online, in print, and otherwise. I mean: obviously. Puh-leeze.

Create your own webcomics subscription service, and lock some or all of your comics behind a subscription wall, collecting money directly from your subscribers (using PayPal or any other payment method).

Sell ads on your own pages, and keep all the money for yourself!

Sell your print comics and other real-world merchandise on Modern Tales' popular Small Press Swapmeet website!

Make your webcomics available as Playstation Portable Download Packs!

Use our "Tooncasting" feature to allow other websites to present the latest strip from your series -- readers will have to click through to your site to get to the full story. It's a great way to build your audience!

Run an automated email list that lets your readers know when your comic has updated -- you don't have to remember to send it out! It just works!

Schedule your comics pages in advance, with no worries about your readers "peeking ahead" by figuring out your file naming system (you can name your files any old random name you want).

Let our archive management system handle the linking and cross-linking for you -- no more bewilderment over connecting hundreds and hundreds of past comic strips together in a manageable and navigable archive!

Use our automated systems for fan-art, artist sketchbooks, cast and character pages, and more -- the kinds of goodies that help build interest and fan loyalty in your work among the most dedicated kinds of readers."

From their forums:

"We say "unmetered" bandwidth, but we don't say "unlimited" bandwidth. If your bandwidth usage is causing a problem for the service as a whole, and interfering with our other customers' ability to serve their pages, we will want to talk to you about that." (summary: the bandwidth IS metered and we lied to your face)

"For those who don't know HTML, WCN has the advantage of ease-of-use: you do not have to know HTML to put up a WCN website. All you have to know how to do is create .gif, .jpg or .png files out of your comics, and use a web browser to upload them."

"The engine has to be used. There are lots of other web hosting companies out there that offer "plain old" web hosting (I even offer it myself on another server -- this one, talkaboutcomics.com, as a matter of fact). WCN is something different, and doesn't really compare to a "plain" web hosting account -- in some ways it's inferior and in some ways it's far superior -- but that judgment depends on what your needs happen to be. "

---

my thoughts are... that they call themselves the solution for professional cartoonists is hilarious. apparently if you like having your own web design, using CGI, PHP, or MySQL, or just having any control over your work in general, you're not 'professional.' and just think, you get the blessing of paying them 10 dollars a month for this glorious relinquishing of well-travelled experience.

this will be something to keep an eye on, a year down the road, to see what horror stories emerge, or what features (like "unmetered bandwidth") disappear when someone actually becomes successful (which is unlikely since noone will remember your url if it's in a folder). i still think the lack of personality or individuality is a serious mistake, but hey, it's up to you. you decide with your dollar.

um, so that people don't think this is just a crass bitch-off here are some positives: the ability to make back all of the profits from selling ads or subscriptions could be a serious lock for some people, and at least they're trying to have sites with content (cast, fanart pages). also joey's new comic is the best webcomic of the year and should've won a WCCA.

PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 12:16 pm
by JeffreyAtW
Matt I can't believe you'd say these things :o

Re: webcomicsnation launched

PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 12:22 pm
by Beyonder
Matt Wilson wrote:http://www.webcomicsnation.com

it's kind of laughable really. that they call themselves the solution for professional cartoonists is hilarious. apparently if you like having your own web design, using CGI, PHP, or MySQL, or just having any control over your work in general, you're not 'professional.' and just think, you get the blessing of paying them 10 dollars a month for this glorious relinquishing of well-travelled experience.

this will be something to keep an eye on, a year down the road, to see what horror stories emerge, or what features (like "unmetered bandwidth") disappear when someone actually becomes successful (which is unlikely since noone will remember your url if it's in a folder).


They'll probably just charge extra if a comic becomes indeed that successful.
But why be so negative about it?
If it works, good for them, if it doesn't, who cares?

And yes, a webcomic's success depends on it's url...
Oh wait, no it doesn't.

Perhaps your post was meant sarcasticly?

PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 12:23 pm
by Matt Wilson
I'm just bringing attention to it because it looks like they want attention or publicity, from either side of the coin. People should be aware of what they're getting into.

PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 12:37 pm
by JeffreyAtW
i think wcn is a stupid site for stupid people and only stupid people would be on it, BTW KEENSPOT RULZ!!!!!

PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 1:13 pm
by Caravaggio
Matt Wilson wrote:I'm just bringing attention to it because it looks like they want attention or publicity, from either side of the coin. People should be aware of what they're getting into.


An upstart business is trying to advertise it's services to make that business sucsseful?

Who would have thunk it? -_-

PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 7:59 pm
by Tangent
I suspect it won't ever gain the reputation of Keenspace because you're paying for this service and if you don't update, that's a waste of $10 a month right there. So they won't have as many "dead" comics littering the wastelands.

I also suspect they'll have decent servers at first. But as time goes by, we'll start seeing server outages and the like, just as has happened to Modern Tales itself.

Personally, I think Keenspace is a better bargain. Sure, sometimes you get screwed over with a crash and are unable to FTP to your site for a week or more, or lose everything as what happened with Damonk... but hey, it's free. And there's a friendly lot over there.

Of course, the longer I'm unable to FTP, I think the more cynical I'll become about Keenspace... but at least I'm not paying $10 a month to have my site go FUBAR. *chuckle*

PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 11:33 pm
by Zanzarra
Caravaggio wrote:An upstart business is trying to advertise it's services to make that business sucsseful?


Hey, thats pure genius!

*starts to write that down*

PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 12:32 am
by TdotOdot2k
I was really interested in this service, and still am. I like to try new things, and automated cast/fanart pages is just an all around nice little thing. I've been told you can't use your own domian with it, however, like I couldn't use my elvenbaath domain. So I'd have to tell my fans I was moving AGAIN (although a lot of them already said they wouldn't care as much as when I moved to keenspace) and another move and another request they change bookmarks just sounds like annoyance.

I read something about if you pay more you can use your own domain, but it was the low price that was lucrative. Hopefully I'll get more details on this soon.

I wish this service luck. Competition brings out the best in everyone.

Re: webcomicsnation launched

PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 10:41 pm
by Marcos
Beyonder wrote:And yes, a webcomic's success depends on it's url...
Oh wait, no it doesn't.


To some degree it does. It's much easier to tell someone itswalky.com than to tell them http://www.keenspot.com/~walkerton/.

Re: webcomicsnation launched

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 1:29 am
by Gianna
Matt Wilson wrote:this will be something to keep an eye on, a year down the road, to see what horror stories emerge, or what features (like "unmetered bandwidth") disappear when someone actually becomes successful (which is unlikely since noone will remember your url if it's in a folder). i still think the lack of personality or individuality is a serious mistake, but hey, it's up to you. you decide with your dollar.


I think you're reading too much in that statement that they'd like to talk with the guy who hogs all the bandwidth. Probably they're just covering their ass in case someone starts uploading 1mb daily images and uses up 100gb a month. My guess is that they'll recoup the costs of any successful webcomic's use of bandwidth with the money paid monthly by all the less successful ones. The best thing anyone can do if they think of moving to WCN is to estimate their current and projected use of bandwidth and check with them if it's going to be ok.

Re: webcomicsnation launched

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 7:36 am
by Beyonder
Marcos wrote:
Beyonder wrote:And yes, a webcomic's success depends on it's url...
Oh wait, no it doesn't.


To some degree it does. It's much easier to tell someone itswalky.com than to tell them http://www.keenspot.com/~walkerton/.


True, but I can still let the url I purchase forward itself to a specified url, so they will always use the same url in the address bar to get to the page, they'll only see a different one once they're in the page.

Re: webcomicsnation launched

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 11:46 pm
by christwriter
Matt Wilson wrote:
"We say "unmetered" bandwidth, but we don't say "unlimited" bandwidth. If your bandwidth usage is causing a problem for the service as a whole, and interfering with our other customers' ability to serve their pages, we will want to talk to you about that." (summary: the bandwidth IS metered and we lied to your face)



Meaning that if somebody is loading huge images that should be a tenth of that size, or hotlinking like a mad feind, or using it as a way for people to download their feature-leingth flash movie, or otherwise abusing the privilage of not having to watch how many people go clicky on their site and go to a 404 because they used up their bandwidth for the day, they will be told very politely to stop, or the admin will explain the benefits of formatting an image so that it's not 50MB at 300DPI.

It sounds like a reasonable precaution, seeing how there are people everywhere who will take advantage of a relatively free ride. Now I'll admit, I could be wrong, as I don't have the cash to invest and am pretty happy where I am, but it seems reasonable to give it the benefit of the doubt. At least for the first year, anyway.

CW

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 4:19 am
by Syke
There's a file size limit of 7 megs. Eeesh... and here I average around 70K.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 5:46 am
by Phalanx
Syke wrote:There's a file size limit of 7 megs. Eeesh... and here I average around 70K.


:o Heck, I don't think one of my full colour multi-layer goodness knows how many dpi photoshop originals is even 7 MB...

my thoughts are... that they call themselves the solution for professional cartoonists is hilarious. apparently if you like having your own web design, using CGI, PHP, or MySQL, or just having any control over your work in general, you're not 'professional.' and just think, you get the blessing of paying them 10 dollars a month for this glorious relinquishing of well-travelled experience.


Geez, dude... that really IS digging for insults where there aren't any in the first place. that'd be tantamount to complaining Keenspot's motto "Still the best damn comics on the web" is hilarious because if your comic is not on Keenspot it's not "a damn good comic". Which is just plain silly.

Out of curiosity, why all the hostility towards WCN already? GS or not, I still help out with Comic Genesis (Keenspace) and I do happen to know once a comic gets very popular those comics often are on the lookout to going independent and selling their own ads. And incidentally, not everyone is interested in having to figure out their own CGI or PHP solutions to a webcomic site. WCN seems to be targeted toward that niche and making it easy for them to move to a site of their own.

Also if I'm not mistaken, WCN's planning to do domain hosting sometime in the future too.

While I personally think it has its limitations, at WCN provides an alternative. Which can't be a bad thing.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:02 pm
by Matt Wilson
Out of curiosity, why all the hostility towards WCN already?

Nah, I'm not being hostile. I don't want Joey to fail, I want him to succeed, but I keep finding his decisions questionable. I was myself involved in a short lived Modern Tales animation site that could've happened but didn't due to factors like this (and lack of communication... and RICH V STONE....). Then I saw the original prospect of WCN in 2004, which only provided a couple megabytes of webspace, and had many tiers of accounts, none of which carried features that warranted the prices, which really disappointed me. Now, WCN is much improved but it still has a ways to go but it's already officially launched so changes are.. well, not going to happen. Oh well.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:15 pm
by wrightc
Webcomics Nation doesn't look like the answer to all webcomics hosting problems, but it does look very interesting. If I weren't on Keenspot I'd probably be considering trying it out.

The "No metered bandwidth" thing, well, I wouldn't go so far as to call it an outright lie. True metered bandwidth means you pay per x amount of bandwidth consumed. Most metered bandwidth sites give you a base amount and charge you when you go over it.

WCN's caveat means that it could *potentially* wind up that way, depending on how low the bar is set for bandwidth being a problem, but it won't necessarily be that way. Only time will tell. Though I think it'd be better for them in the long run if they made it a metered site, but jacked up the level that metering began to an impressively high level. That way there'd be no question when the bandwidth became a problem.

The engine is actually a pretty good idea for cartoonists who just don't know enough to manage their own site. Control over your site is good only if you have the technical savvy to exert that control.

Anyway, I suspect there will continue to be bumps in the road, but from what I see now it looks promising.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:43 pm
by reinder
The bar is set pretty damned high.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:47 pm
by wrightc
Not too bad at all. Each server could host 44-45 comics with traffic equivalent to mine. Considerably fewer Sinfests, though.:)

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 1:02 pm
by Syke
$10 a month isn't bad at all for what it offers, .. just having the ability to do mailing lists alone is worth that, inhouse advertising, etc. I would kind of worry if this is another thing that is going to start up... and then fall by the wayside like graphicnovelreview did... I found that site last month... hasn't updated since January, but it was interesting enough to bookmark.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 1:08 pm
by wrightc
Well with Joey at the helm I doubt it's going to be neglected.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 3:21 pm
by reinder
WCN is supposed to become Joey's bread and butter business. He's not going to neglect it.

So far, there seems to be a very good response, with some biggish names from print and webcomics joining.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 6:58 pm
by Matt Wilson
The bar is set pretty damned high.

Not bad. The way server costs are decreasing every year, Joey could potentially make a lot of money with his service. Curious to know if anyone will be as successful as him though!

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 7:07 pm
by Syke
Heh, it's good. :D I just wanted to see more of the graphic novel review site.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 3:36 pm
by tweebus
Matt Wilson wrote:I'm just bringing attention to it because it looks like they want attention or publicity, from either side of the coin. People should be aware of what they're getting into.


Clever!
I like the site. There's some really good work going on there.
The sites clean and easy to navigate.

$10 a month? I think anyone truly interested could scrape that together.
Which means it might keep out people who just want to try out a comic
on a whim. Sparing us hundreds of dead, un-updated drivals.