└ posted on Tuesday, 23 March 2010, by Novil
I want to say that I’m happy that only a small minority of our visitors appears to block the ads on our website with an adblocker. Without the advertising revenues it would be hard to justify all the time and money we’re investing in Sandra and Woo. After some changes to our ad strategy, which I was able to implement with the data and experience of the last months, we’re now making a nice amount of money each month that way.
That said I want to talk a bit how advertising on mid-sized websites like ours works since most normal internet users certainly don’t have any knowledge about it:
There are currently three advertising slots on our website, the leaderboard at the top and the two skyscrapers on the left and the right sidebar.
To get banners for those slots you have to apply with your website at an internet ad agency. Google AdSense is open for practically every website, but they also only pay per click as opposed to per pageview which is much more lucrative in most cases. Therefore it’s a good idea to apply at other ad agencies, but most of them have strict requirements regarding the content of the website, the number of visitors and the placement of the banners on the website.
A key feature of general purpose ad agencies is that all of them offer the option in their admin panel to specify what to do with the ad slot when they are not able to deliver a banner for it, for example because the visitor is from Russia and none of their advertisers is interested in serving ads to Russian visitors. Therefore you place the ad agency that pays the best on the first position of your ad chain and the others after each other. The fill rate of the ad agencies is depending on their place in the ad chain since the “best” visitors are already taken by the ad agency in the first place. Google AdSense is an exception to that as it offers a 100% fill rate which makes it a natural choice for the last position in the chain.
Our current ad chains look like this:
- Leaderboard: ADSDAQ Leaderboard –> Six Apart Leaderboard –> Burst Media Leaderboard –> ValueClick Leaderboard
- Left Skyscraper: ADSDAQ Left Skyscraper –> Six Apart Left Skyscraper –> Google AdSense Left Skyscraper
- Right Skyscraper: ADSDAQ Right Skyscraper –> Six Apart Right Skyscraper –> Burst Media Skyscraper –> Google AdSense Right Skyscraper
Since there have been many complaints about inappropriate ads all over the internet in the last year, most ad agencies now offer the possibility to filter ads by category. Here you can have a look at the categories we’re currently filtering:
As you can see I have blocked many categories so that you don’t have to see ads with questionable content. Although that’s costing us a significant amount of money in the short run, I believe that we’ll profit from it in the long run since there’s less of a reason to block ads on our website.
└ posted on Saturday, 20 March 2010, by Novil
Get Gunnerkrigg Court, Vol. 2: Research at Amazon.com
The 2nd volume Research of Gunnerkrigg Court is now finally availabe, for example at Amazon.com (will be shipped on 24 March). Gunnerkrigg Court has won three awards at this year’s The Webcomic List Awards, including “Best Comic”. I have already bought the 1st volume, Orientation, and have been really happy with the great paper quality of the hardcover book. And as you can see it in this photo of Research the new book looks just as good. So if you’re a regular reader of Gunnerkrigg you should really think about getting the new collection.
└ posted on Friday, 19 March 2010, by Novil
There’s a review of Sandra and Woo on page 98 of the Russian game magazine Game Land 06/2010:
Our reader Rinta, who is a native Russian speaker, was so friendly to provide the following translation of the article. Thank you (and also to Ben, who translated the first part as well.)
When I asked Oliver Knoerzer whether it’s true that in Germany it’s forbidden to depict violence and other dark sides of the real life, he commented that if there’s some sexually explict materials on the site – then it should be protected from the access of underages. It seems that no other measures are taken. The most interesting thing is – that one of the latest strips of Sandra and Woo contains some specific erotic scenes. Although as “it” is done by animals – German censorship hasn’t yet closed the “delinquent” site. The furry porn lover was actually Woo, a spring-horny racoon. But the real victim of his actions was his owner, a girl named Sandra, because he used her YouTube account to watch these videos (by the way, the account actually exists).
However you can’t tell that this is a common plot twist for Sandra and Woo. Knoerzer tells us a lot of different stories with no typical line in them. His web-comics strips drawn by Indonesian artist Powree can sometimes be like “Nemi” – when social and political issues are touched. The other times they can be like “Peanuts” – when the adventures of Sandra and her friends – Larisa and Cloud – are the main subject. Or like “Over the hedge” – when Woo gets out to the forest and interacts with his own friends – Fox and Squirrel. Oliver doesn’t hold himself from giving a direct references to some well-known stories of other writers, but you’ll never tell that his comics is an afterproduct. If you already have some experience in comics world – you’ll like Sandra and Woo even more because of these little links.
I’m not sure why half of the article focuses on giving a heavily simplified overview of German youth protection laws. Showing two mating raccoons should be a complete non-issue in practically any country of the world.
└ posted on Tuesday, 16 March 2010, by Novil
I hope you’re going to do many more awesome Gunnerkrigg Court pages, Tom. Because a self-inflicted Author Existence Failure would be, like, not cool.
Here, take me as an example:
That’s better, isn’t it?
(100% is, of course, exaggerated. But sometimes exaggeration just *feels* right to describe a state of mind…)
└ posted on Sunday, 7 March 2010, by Novil
We’re looking for Sandra and Woo guest art for a special event on our website that is supposed to take place at the end of March. We’re looking for three different pieces, but you don’t have to come up with an idea of your own. Instead I will give you a detailed instruction what to draw. One of the drawings should be colored, the other two would also work in black and white:
- Drawing Nr. 1 featuring Cloud (two panels)
- Drawing Nr. 2 featuring Woo and another well-known raccoon character
- Drawing Nr. 3 featuring Larisa (should be colored)
If you’re interested please write an e-mail to email@example.com which picture you’d like to draw. You should be able to send the final version to me before Thursday, 25 March 2010. Since several people could be interested in drawing a specific piece it would be convenient for you to attach/link to some of your other drawings so that I can chose my favorite artist and nobody wastes time drawing a picture that won’t be used.
After their initial use on a prominent spot of the website the drawings will then be posted on the “Artwork” page.
When coloring the character(s) you should use similar colors like in the following pieces of artwork or this strip (note that the colors in this strip are slightly off because of the lighting conditions at sundown).
Please don’t add your own footer or watermark to the picture. I will add a standard one (including your name and website) for a consistent look. This footer will be more prominent than the one we’re usually using.
- If your guest art is drawn digitally it would be the easiest if you just send it to me in its original size in a lossless format (for example PNG without reduced color depth).
- If your guest art is drawn on paper and then scanned in, you should send me a cleaned-up version of reasonable size in a lossless format.
Your name and website will be put in the footer of the picture as well as in its description. Your website has to be rated USK-16 (suitable for teenagers) or less or it won’t be included that way. This excludes any sort of pornographic and extremely violent content. The website does not have to be a webcomic site but could also be a blog, gallery, etc. You can include a short description of your webcomic/website.
Don’t forget to include the url of your website in your reply.