Web Site Changes And Maybe Ads For Us On Other Sites

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Web Site Changes And Maybe Ads For Us On Other Sites

Postby PonderThis » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:12 pm

What I'm trying to do is get more traffic and hopefully more contributors. This is a big long TLDR post but please I encourage you long-time spamusers to comment on this.

Website Changes
I’m planning on doing a few things to encourage participation.

Front Page Changes
Some of you are thinking, “Front page? What front page?” because you never visit it, but yes, there’s a front page ;). I’m thinking of adding a graphic as shown here, drawing attention to (1) the “About Us” page on the wiki, and (2) the forums.

Please look at the About Us page and feel free to edit it to make it clear that we welcome new contributors! I’m thinking if nothing else a cartoon illustrating someone discovering our site for the first time (and liking it, DUH :) ). And if you have ideas about that page but aren’t sure what to do or want to discuss them (or you’d just rather not do it yourself), please post something!

Concerning Missing Images
I don't want new people going to "Start With First ..." and reading through only to hit missing images. This issue has been mentioned in the past and I have a plan of action here.

First I should mention that I wrote a utility that copies posted images (only in the OP of Spamuser Comic threads, that is) that I first ran a couple of years ago. I just now wrote a report that analyzes the results and here’s the numbers:
  • Total Number of Spamuser Comic Threads: 9624
  • Total With Good Images: 8072
  • Total With Missing Images But I Have A Copy: 446
  • Total Missing Altogether: 1106

The next thing I’m going to do is write a utility to copy the missing images to this website and edit the posts to point to the new image location. Now this may make some of you worry about copyright issues, so I’m thinking of adding something about this to the FAQ (and maybe also as a followup post to StevenF’s “How to Post a Guest Strip”). Here is my take on it:
New FAQ Text? wrote:All images posted as a Spamuser Comic are assumed to be the work of the person starting the thread and the copyright is held by that person. This web site claims no copyright on any image you post.

From time to time copies may be of posted images. If an original link to your image goes bad this site reserves the right to host a copy of the original image on this web site. This is no way affects your ownership or copyright of your image. If you do not want your images hosted on this site then (a) make sure your links don’t go bad, or (b) send PonderThis a PM stating you want to “opt out” of spamusers.com image hosting. We would really prefer you didn’t do this, though, as old comics with dead image links make the Baby StevenF cry.

If you don't like what I'm saying or if I'm not clear or you have something better, let me know.

Yeah But That Still Leaves 1K+ Missing Images
I plan on making a new Spamuser Comics subforum with a name like “Missing In Action” or some such. I’m writing a utility right now to move threads with missing images (not counting the two stickies, of course) from Spamuser Comics to the subforum. This forum will be locked to new threads but still allow commenting on anything in there. For example, if one of your threads is in there but you still have your image file and you’d like to mention that. If you have images that you want to host here directly, because, say, SuperImageHost keeps deleting them, peem me and we’ll talk about it.

After I run this utility, if you spot anything with a static “SuperImageHost no longer has this image!” type of image, let me know and I’ll move those threads individually to the MIA forum.

Other Front Page “Perusing Comics” Issues
I seem to remember a few very old threads where people posted multiple comics (all with different subjects) in the OP. Should I do anything about these, like making new threads? Or make a new [subtitle] tag that the front page code would parse?

For that matter, for a long time we had an unspoken rule about posting new takes on a subject line someone else did first in the same thread. None of these show up on the front page. I can (a) split these off to new threads, (b) create some sort of “supplementary data table” that points to these posts within their threads and read that table for use with the front page (this would be a bit more work and would take some time to do), or (c) don’t worry about it.

Thanks/Like/Funny Button
Several people have mentioned this before. Jek found a mod and that mod does support our version of the forum software we’re running. I must admit I’m a bit uneasy about installing this as I never know ahead of time how much work this sort of thing will be. For one thing I’m pretty sure I will have to individually edit all 8 board styles, but how much editing will be required I just don’t know.

Seems like a lot of work but if you all bug me about it I'll do it.

Advertising
Advertising our site on other sites, that is. There are several advertisers I would consider, but I’m leaning towards ProjectWonderful since I seem to see that on a lot of webcomic sites. Furthermore, these ads all tend to be for other webcomics. It’s a sort of comics-advertising-comics sort of thing which I think targets who we’d want to see here. Another advertiser I see on some webcomic sites is AdChoices, but they seem to be a general advertiser plus I think all their ads are flash ads which I’d really rather avoid.

Where To Advertise
In perusing PW’s FAQs I’m not sure if I can target a type of website (i.e., “comics”) or if I have to target specific sites. In case it’s the latter, please post sites you think we’d do well on. A couple of webcomics I looked up real quick that have PW ads are SMBC (http://www.smbc-comics.com/) and QC (http://questionablecontent.net/).

Creating Ads
I’m thinking maybe some of our more prolific spamuser comic posters could come up with an ad or two. The ads should convey who we are and what we do. You could draw something around our semiofficial motto, “Where your spam subject lines become cartoon fodder!” or make up something like “Got Spam? Want to Mock It? Draw something and come on over to …” or the like.

PW has several different standard ad sizes. The two used in the sites I mentioned are:
Image
Image
There’s more here.

Now if I decide to go ahead and place these ads, maybe we should have a few fresh new Spamuser Comics in storage to post right before we start? Nudge nudge hint hint.

Hey, If We Get More Traffic …
It occurs to me that if we get more traffic there may be an occasion where you’d want to get hold of me, like when we had the “Maximum Login Attempt” thing happening or if something happens to the site itself. Peem me and I’ll send you all of my various email addresses, just in case.

Hmm, speaking of more traffic, maybe we should get a new mod or two? What do you think? Any nominations? Jek, you’ve helped out a lot in the past so I’m kinda sorta looking in your direction …
Last edited by PonderThis on Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Put certain text in gray to show I'm not going with those ideas.
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Re: Web Site Changes And Maybe Ads For Us On Other Sites

Postby EvilJekyll » Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:28 pm

PonderThis wrote:What I'm trying to do is get more traffic and hopefully more contributors.

Cool.

PonderThis wrote:Some of you are thinking, “Front page? What front page?”

Oh yeah, that thing.

PonderThis wrote:I’m thinking of adding a graphic as shown here, drawing attention to (1) the “About Us” page on the wiki, and (2) the forums.

I like the concept. I know that you were just doing a rough, this is what it would look like except better because this is an example. I'd say if you're doing comical click here stuff, you may as well do it for the whole bar.

PonderThis wrote:Please look at the About Us page and feel free to edit it to make it clear that we welcome new contributors!

I seem to remember most people claiming to be confused as to how to edit for some reason. Suggestions for other people contributing would be cool. I haven't contributed in quite some time myself though to be honest. :(



PonderThis wrote:I seem to remember a few very old threads where people posted multiple comics (all with different subjects) in the OP. Should I do anything about these, like making new threads? Or make a new [subtitle] tag that the front page code would parse?

I would go with the subtitle tag. If nothing else, Empty_Can's masterpiece deserves not to be split up.

PonderThis wrote:For that matter, for a long time we had an unspoken rule about posting new takes on a subject line someone else did first in the same thread. None of these show up on the front page.

I vote:
(b) create some sort of “supplementary data table” that points to these posts within their threads and read that table for use with the front page (this would be a bit more work and would take some time to do),
or
(c) don’t worry about it.

PonderThis wrote:Thanks/Like/Funny Button

I abstain as I brought it up. It's up to the Spamusers. I just feel it would give an easy way for people to participate and show they're still around even if they don't have too much time to invest.

PonderThis wrote:Advertising

You sure you want to shell out money for this? That's fine, but I think we should figure out what the most likely sites we want to advertise to should be. Most spamusers like similar sites, so I would say ask the Spamusers and see what sites we should go on (basically what you said.)


PonderThis wrote:Hmm, speaking of more traffic, maybe we should get a new mod or two? What do you think? Any nominations? Jek, you’ve helped out a lot in the past so I’m kinda sorta looking in your direction …

If there are no objections, sure. I usually check in once a day or so. GregorR would be a great addition as a mod, if he's up for checking in as often.
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Re: Web Site Changes And Maybe Ads For Us On Other Sites

Postby MysticalDescent » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:16 pm

I feel horrible for not coming up with a longer or more interesting reply to all of that, but that seems well thought out and sensible to me, for what it's worth.
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Re: Web Site Changes And Maybe Ads For Us On Other Sites

Postby EsBe » Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:32 pm

I would volunteer to make a banner ad, but the only funny things I can think of right now are obscure in-jokes that nobody else would understand. :P
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Re: Web Site Changes And Maybe Ads For Us On Other Sites

Postby Null » Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:39 pm

"For that matter, for a long time we had an unspoken rule about posting new takes on a subject line someone else did first in the same thread. None of these show up on the front page. I can (a) split these off to new threads, (b) create some sort of “supplementary data table” that points to these posts within their threads and read that table for use with the front page (this would be a bit more work and would take some time to do), or (c) don’t worry about it."

I would say leave them as is. Some of the multi-image threads directly commented on previous images in that thread (Pixie and I did a number of those). Other people posted responses as new threads. Going through and changing them all to be consistent would mean making judgment calls on the purpose of the re-postings. Sounds like a lot of unnecessary work you should save yourself from worrying over.
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Re: Web Site Changes And Maybe Ads For Us On Other Sites

Postby PonderThis » Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:09 am

EvilJekyll wrote:[Concerning the front page]I like the concept. I know that you were just doing a rough, this is what it would look like except better because this is an example. I'd say if you're doing comical click here stuff, you may as well do it for the whole bar.

While I'm open to changing up the artwork, the idea is to get noobs to (1) read the "About Us" to get an idea of who we are, and (2) visit the forums and participate. Assuming they become interested by reading the comics in the first place. Now that's not to say we can't change up the graphic from time to time to emphasize different things, but that's what I'm doing right now.

MD, thank you for reading. I worked all weekend on this project (mainly on writing various utilities) and it does the li'l ego good to know you read my post.

EsBe wrote:I ... volunteer to make a banner ad ...

YOU'RE HIRED
;)

I'll put the subtitle idea and supplementary data table idea in the secondary "to do" list. If I get to one or both of them, great, if not, no tragedy.

C'mon, I know there's more of you out there, please let me know what you think.
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Re: Web Site Changes And Maybe Ads For Us On Other Sites

Postby IanC » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:08 pm

I can be a mod :P

Whoever does make some ads, try not to make them as a flash file. Im sure im not the only person that doesn't minds ads, but cant stand flash ones.

(plus i have got an extension called "Click to Flash" installed, and actually now i think of it, i don't even have flash working on my mac since Apple blocked the old version of it due to security risks and i haven't bothered to install the latest version)
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Re: Web Site Changes And Maybe Ads For Us On Other Sites

Postby ntw3001 » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:20 pm

This all sounds rather good. I can surely supply an ad if it is necessary.

If we want people to visit the 'About Us' and 'Forums' sections, it would probably be good to just... make those buttons like, way huger than the others. Prominent. Make it so folks know the forums is the real deal around here and the front page is just a secret trap to drag them in here.
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Re: Web Site Changes And Maybe Ads For Us On Other Sites

Postby EsBe » Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:16 pm

PonderThis wrote:
EsBe wrote:I ... volunteer to make a banner ad ...

YOU'RE HIRED
;)


Nooooo! What have I done! :shock:

Also, yeah, Noscript blocks everything Flash for me. Actually it blocks basically everything because I barely ever whitelist anything, come to think of it.
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Re: Web Site Changes And Maybe Ads For Us On Other Sites

Postby Nyperold » Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:58 pm

Yeah, I'd rather ads be either static images or animated GIFs.

If I have a (possibly) good idea for one, I'll either do something myself or post a text description or something.

(As a side note, I briefly misread "the Baby StevenF cry" as "the Baby Steven Fry". Which is the wrong spelling, of course, but still, great mental image. :lol: )
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Re: Web Site Changes And Maybe Ads For Us On Other Sites

Postby PonderThis » Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:29 pm

I should've been more forceful in my statement above. Let me rephrase: Ain't no way no how we gonna be doing no rickin'-frackin' flash ads. I hates them.

Oh, and I just had an idea for an ad if someone wants to draw it:

SPAM
We eat it for breakfast and poop out cartoons
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Re: Web Site Changes And Maybe Ads For Us On Other Sites

Postby EsBe » Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:17 pm

PonderThis wrote:I should've been more forceful in my statement above. Let me rephrase: Ain't no way no how we gonna be doing no rickin'-frackin' flash ads. I hates them.

Oh, and I just had an idea for an ad if someone wants to draw it:

SPAM
We eat it for breakfast and poop out cartoons

[Insert joke about how it's unhealthy to keep skipping breakfast so often...]
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Re: Web Site Changes And Maybe Ads For Us On Other Sites

Postby PonderThis » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:11 am

OK I've been working on the program that'll fix posts that can be fixed and move the ones with bad images to a new subforum but it's a bit of work and it's not done yet. Meanwhile I had an idea for a collaborative cartoon for the "About Us" page that could maybe be adapted to an ad later. It's called The Four Stages of Discovering Spamusers, showing various stages of "spamusement" culminating with a stevenf cartoon as shown below.

Image

Can I talk some of y'all into claiming a panel? I'm looking for a 640x480 image (gif or png), grayscale and drawn in black lines to match the original stevenf cartoon.
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Re: Web Site Changes And Maybe Ads For Us On Other Sites

Postby EsBe » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:25 am

PonderThis wrote:OK I've been working on the program that'll fix posts that can be fixed and move the ones with bad images to a new subforum but it's a bit of work and it's not done yet. Meanwhile I had an idea for a collaborative cartoon for the "About Us" page that could maybe be adapted to an ad later. It's called The Four Stages of Discovering Spamusers, showing various stages of "spamusement" culminating with a stevenf cartoon as shown below.

Image

Can I talk some of y'all into claiming a panel? I'm looking for a 640x480 image (gif or png), grayscale and drawn in black lines to match the original stevenf cartoon.

Not line drawn, but this immediately popped into my head: viewtopic.php?t=10958
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Re: Web Site Changes And Maybe Ads For Us On Other Sites

Postby PonderThis » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:42 pm

I'm getting a missing image for:
Image
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Re: Web Site Changes And Maybe Ads For Us On Other Sites

Postby EsBe » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:50 pm

For real? Because it shows up here and this is *cough* at work, so it was never even cached to begin with.
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Re: Web Site Changes And Maybe Ads For Us On Other Sites

Postby PonderThis » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:06 pm

Well now it shows up just fine. Must be our crappy internet provider here at *cough*work*cough*.
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Re: Web Site Changes And Maybe Ads For Us On Other Sites

Postby PonderThis » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:51 pm

Just fixed 444 comics' missing images. Whew!
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Re: Web Site Changes And Maybe Ads For Us On Other Sites

Postby Clueless » Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:10 am

Sounds like a plan. Perhaps you could add some sort of "The comic thread contains additional comics"-marker that links to said thread or something. No need to link to the comics themselves.

I've actually started to host my spamusements myself, seeing as ImageShack doesn't seem to be all that reliable. I got to editing about 78 of them before I got distracted by something. I should probably get back on that.

I am a bit unsure about the "Thanks/Like/Funny/+1/Whatever Button" - thing. To me, it kind of feels like a way of going "I wish to endorse this comic/comment but I do not want to explain why or reveal my identity," taking the lazy alternative to commenting on stuff.

So, yeah...
I'm against the "Endorsement"-button thing.

Also, I might try my hand at one of those ad-things later on.


EDIT: I just got a rather silly idea. Instead of a "Like" or "Dislike" button, how about a "I am neutral towards this"-button? Perhaps represented by a :| -smiley?
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Re: Web Site Changes And Maybe Ads For Us On Other Sites

Postby PonderThis » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:07 am

EsBe, while that wasn't what I was thinking about for the four-panel cartoon, I'm wondering if it might be good ad material, for example ...

Image

Clueless, thanks for your thoughts. That's kinda where I've been coming from in regards to the "Like" thing.

Hmm, I just had an idea about that, though. What if, instead of putting it in the forum, I add a "like" button to each comic's front-page view? That would be a lot easier to implement, plus I think it makes more sense. If someone doesn't want to participate in the forum then this is the quickest way to express liking something. For that matter, in addition to a like (or maybe for us call it "I laughed at that"?) button, have the whole list of "share" buttons every webcomic seems to have today. For example, look at SMBC where the guy has a whole list of the things underneath his comic.

So imagine this page with our "I laughed at that" button along with a line of various share buttons just below the comic image, perhaps to the right of the "Discussion" link.
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Re: Web Site Changes And Maybe Ads For Us On Other Sites

Postby EsBe » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:33 am

I think that in order to laugh at the comic you linked, you'd also need a link to the inside joke on the wiki. (I wonder if there could be some way to embed wiki links into posts when submitting a comic, so they could be automagically picked up and displayed by comic.php)
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Re: Web Site Changes And Maybe Ads For Us On Other Sites

Postby PonderThis » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:44 am

As long as it's not the latest comic on the front page at the time I place any ads I think we're good. It doesn't hurt if someone runs across an image based on an inside joke ... they can always click on the "Discussion" link and ask about it. In fact, that's kind of a good thing from the "get people to participate" point of view.

Meanwhile, I added an image to the "Four Stages of Spamusement" comic ...
Image

Yeah, it's a bit rough but fits in with the style. Except the cross-hatching. That kinda sucks, I'll probably erase that part.

C'mon, whip together a quick 640x480 drawing (the full size image is 1280x760 so I can resize it to whatever looks right on the wiki page) to fill in a panel!
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Re: Web Site Changes And Maybe Ads For Us On Other Sites

Postby Null » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:20 pm

I think I'm in agreement as to the "Like" stuff. On the front page, sure, but in the actual forums I personally prefer comments. Those are much better as feedback. I think I had the same argument re: the star system.

I've got an idea for panel 3 but I don't know when I'll be back at my main computer to try it.

Update: Like this but less retarded.

Image
Last edited by Null on Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Web Site Changes And Maybe Ads For Us On Other Sites

Postby PonderThis » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:27 pm

OK, I've just run the "MIA" script. I'm sure it's not perfect so if you spot anything in the MIA forum that has an image, or anything in the main comic forum that's missing an image, let me know.
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Re: Web Site Changes And Maybe Ads For Us On Other Sites

Postby PonderThis » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:41 pm

Check it out now. Click any comic on the front page.
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