An important message from the Empress of Northia

The Empress of Northia“It has come to our attention that that the online comic Sandra and Woo, which we are very fond of, has fared quite well in the first two rounds of the 2013 Webcomics Tournament at ComicMix.  Beating Buffersafe and Axe Cop with ease, Sandra and Woo now competes against Paranatural in the third round with only 32 remaining online comics.

We are sure that all of you are aware of the fact that not voting for our most favorite comic could only be regarded as an act of rebellion! And when confronted with bloody rebels, even our nearly unlimited benevolence comes to an end! Only people without a Facebook or Twitter account might be spared in the Night of the Long Knives!

On the other hand, if Sandra and Woo should come off as the winner of the whole competition, we will show our eternal gratitude and bestow an exquisite painting on our people! We will charge private eye extraordinary Sandy South with the acquisition of a suitable wallpaper!

Now vote, my subjects, vote!”

Poll results

From 11 August 2012 to 8 February 2013, the following eight polls ran on Sandra and Woo. All of them got over a thousand votes and it’s time to present the results. There are now four new polls that appear randomly in the right sidebar.

Poll from 11 August 2012:

Poll Nr. 49

My two favorites are The Lord of the Rings and Back to the Future. The Godfather is also my least favorite movie trilogy.

Poll from 11 August 2012:

Poll Nr. 50

67% of our readers read 12 webcomics or less. In the same poll from 23 June 2009, only 46% read 12 webcomics or less. The number of voters that read 30 comics or more fell from 22% to 12%. I think this shows that a larger portion of casual webcomic readers, in contrast to webcomic fans, now also read Sandra and Woo, not that people read fewer webcomics nowadays. But one can’t be sure.

Poll from 11 August 2012:

Poll Nr. 51

While 20% of our readers sometimes use a smartphone to access Sandra and Woo, only 13% sometimes use a tablet.

Poll from 11 August 2012:

Poll Nr. 52

Only 11% of our readers have bought books from two or more webcomic creators. This shows that publishing a Sandra and Woo book is likely not worth the effort.

Poll from 20 November 2012:

Poll Nr. 53

The social media buttons below the comic are used rarely. But I think they blend in well with the general page layout and they load fast, so I probably won’t remove them.

Poll from 20 November 2012:

Poll Nr. 54

My personal favorites Princess Mononoke and Laputa: Castle in the Sky, which tells a really exciting adventure story, are only on 3rd and 7th place. I also liked Spirited Away, but I found the story and the character development of Howl’s Moving Castle confusing. The incredibly cute fire demon Calcifer saved the movie, though.

Poll from 20 November 2012:

Poll Nr. 55

Only 7% of our readers are vegetarians of some sort. This might even be below the ratio in the general population in the age group from 14 to 30. Then again, Sandra and Woo features several carnivores that aren’t afraid to eat cuddly rodents.

Poll from 20 November 2012:

Poll Nr. 56

Without an in-depth look at those who have a rather complex opinion on the matter, 36% of our readers are supportive of hunting, whereas only 25% are against it. I thought the option “I’m rather against it.” would receive significantly more than 14% of all votes, maybe 30%.

Google goes too far with new image search

A couple of days ago, Google released a new version of its image search. This turned out to be a huge slap in the face of content creators like me. When clicking on a thumbnail, the original image is hotlinked and embedded into Google’s result page. This costs bandwidth and the user has less incentive to visit the webpage of the original creator.

Here is a nice comment about the topic by a webmaster called EcoCatLady in response to Google’s blog post:

Well, it is easy to use – but it’s killing my biggest web site (a photography site) which is also my main source of income. In the past few days my page views have been cut in half while my bandwidth usage has increased – thanks to Google’s hotlinking of high resolution photos.

If this continues it will force me to either make some dramatic changes to the site (ie: removing all high resolution images and forcing the user to jump through a bunch of hoops to get them) or it will put me out of business all together.

I really don’t understand why Google insists upon harassing image publishers in this way… for all other types of content Google allows the user to find the content, but sends the user to the page to read the article or watch the video. But for image publishers it simply provides an easy way for people to access our content while circumventing our websites completely. The least you could do would be to disable right clicking on the hotlinked image and get rid of the “view original image” button so people would have to come to the site to download the content. It’s only fair…

I know user experience is paramount, and I’m all about share and share alike (I’ve even released all of my photos into the public domain.) But bandwidth costs money, and publishers do have to make a living, and for most of us that means we rely on page views and ad revenue. Is this groovy search feature really worthwhile if it puts the publishers out of business and ultimately means that quality images are being removed from the web because we simply can’t afford it anymore?

Character occurrence frequency 2008 to 2012

Here is a diagram that shows how often the main and supporting characters appeared in the strips of each year. Note that there were only 20 strips in 2008. Cloud will appear more often again in 2013.

Character appearance stats 2008 to 2012

Merry Christmas!

I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year! Once again, my family has the bestest Christmas tree:

Christmas tree