Woo could use your help

Sandra and Woo has reached the quarterfinals of the 2013 Webcomics Tournament at ComicMix! Only 8 webcomic of 300 are left, and Sandra and Woo is one of them! Our opponent now is XKCD. I begin to believe that we can actually win this contest since some of the most popular online comics such as Penny Arcade and Order of the Stick haven’t even made it to the quarterfinals. So beating XKCD is certainly possible.

Although I’m still skeptical about the possibility to buy votes for your favorite comic by making a donation to a charity, I would be super happy if Sandra and Woo came out as the winner in the end. That would certainly give our comic some additional exposure. I doubt we’ll get into the same position next year, so it would be great if you could support us this year with as many votes as possible in the last rounds of the tournament! We will also release a new wallpaper featuring private eye Sandy South and her partner Qoo if Sandra and Woo should win.

Woo vs. XKCD

No important message from Sandy South

Yesterday, I prepared the message from Sandy South you can read below. But sometimes things don’t turn out as expected. I thought Sandra and Woo’s next opponent in the 2013 Webcomics Tournament at ComicMix would be Manly Guys Doing Manly Things since it won the popular vote by a wide margin against Commander Kitty. But one or more die-hard fans of Commander Kitty bought so many additional votes that it actually won. I think being able to buy some votes for your favorite comic was a nice idea (the revenues go to a charity), but if the end result is just dependent on how much money the fans of the comic have, the complete idea of voting goes out of the window.

Vote for Sandra and Woo if you think it deserves to win, but I would have preferred a contest without the ability to buy votes.

Sandy South“I’ve been observing the suspect for quite some time. In the 2013 Webcomics Tournament at ComicMix, he already managed to knock out three opponents, Buffersafe, Axe Cop and Paranatural. I’m positive that they’ll need a whole year to recover from the knockout. I’m talking, of course, of the online comic Sandra and Woo. In the round of 16, he now faces the most dangerous competitor so far, Manly Guys Doing Manly Things. Still, Sandra and Woo seems to be the favorite in this fight to the death. But only if he manages to acquire the votes of all his loyal supporters again. I just hope they understand that the stakes couldn’t be higher for Sandra and Woo.

The Empress of Northia seems to be quite fond of the suspect as well and charged me with the acquisition of a flashy wallpaper if he should continue to stir up the competition.”

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?