Random, somewhat connected thoughts on the site, traffic and future plans…
ITEM: Ever since I got back on the blogging horse late last year, traffic has been on a steady upswing, which is very nice. January was our best month since our peak early last summer, and February is tracking quite nicely. Many, many thanks to Dirk Deppey in particular, who drives a ton of traffic here every time he posts a link on Journalista!. Thanks also to Johanna Draper Carlson, whose Blogs Worth Reading link sends a regular stream of traffic this way, too.
ITEM: Speaking of Deppey, If I’d have known how much traffic I could get from an off-the-cuff post about Wizard, I’d have made it a monthly column! Who would have thought that Journalista! readers were more interested in Wizard‘s sculpted butts and busts than in Stephanie Fierman (another unexpectedly popular post) or a series of columns on marketing comics? Rubber-neckers!
ITEM: Speaking of linking, our own Blogs of Note links in the sidebar represents personal blogs of note and not obligatory link swaps. While I’m always flattered by someone linking here, it doesn’t automatically mean I’m going to reciprocate. That expectation goes the other way, too, as I don’t expect reciprocity from those I link to. The Watchtower, on the other hand, includes links to pretty much every comics blog I come across.
NOTE: For those who DO link here, the preferred URL is www.comiccommentary.com, which currently redirects to the blog, and will simplify the eventual transition to Comic Book Commentary v2.0.
ITEM: A few new tweaks to the site include the addition of an email option for notification of new posts to the blog, via FeedBurner; a Babelfish translator, via AltaVista, for our non-English speaking visitors; and a bookmarking feature, via AddThis, that offers access to your favorite social bookmarking functions (all over in the left sidebar). The Creator Directory is being updated periodically, focusing on lesser-known, up-and-coming creators as I come across them; and the CBC Bookstore, powered by Amazon.com, is perfect for some focused grapic novel and TPB shopping, with a variety of suggestions for almost every taste.
ITEM: I’ve been on Blogger since 2003 and despite their painfully slow adoption of new features, haven’t been terribly compelled to switch to another service. I recently considered WordPress but the thought of converting everything for what seems like a marginal upgrade was off-putting. Last week, though, I discovered iJoomla Magazine, and fell in love. It offers the kind of functionality that fits perfectly with my vision of Comic Book Commentary v2.0, which I’ve been brainstorming ideas for since I relaunched the site under loudpoet.com last summer, as well as better fitting into my larger plans for my own writing this year.
ITEM: I’ve signed up for Robert McKee’s Story Seminar in March, a huge first step in my shift from simply talking about wanting to focus more on my own writing and actually focusing more on my own writing! I left the poetry scene back in 2003 (though really, my heart stopped being in it back at the end of 2001) and fell into comics blogging by accident in 2004 (not unlike how I got into poetry, actually, believing I could do better than most of what I’d seen) and while it’s been great for keeping the juices flowing from a mechanical perspective, creatively, it’s been a bit of an obstacle as it sucks up the depressingly little bit of free time I have. The Story Seminar is an investment in, and a commitment to, changing that. Comic Book Commentary v2.0 will fit into that quite nicely, I think.