Vote on Top Web Comics (May 2012)!
by ReinderDijkhuis
It's that time of the month again! Vote on Top Web Comics to help get ROCR into the top 100 of that fine, fine ranking of webcomics, which gives me... oh, a dozen links each month. Last time, we got the comic to # 67 at the time I got out of bed to check, so that's the number to beat.

As a vote incentive, you will get to see, at the end of the process, a page in progress that I finally went to work on today, after leaving it in my drawer for a year. It's a page that's intended to be inserted into the storyline The Rite of Serfdom to make one scene transition a little bit smoother. As such, it's set well after the events in the storyline you're seeing right here, right now.

In fact, I had redrawn that entire sequence already, in 2011. That was a slow, slow process, and by the time I finally got around to drawing that extra page, I got frustrated and gave up. Now that I've found a new location that I can withdraw to in order to work on my comics and other art without interruption, I've finally picked it up again. And while the page is still in a very early stage, it is moving forward again, at last.
Comment moderation
by ReinderDijkhuis
When I set up this website, I chose to make comments moderated, because based on my experience, everything that isn't moderated will quickly be flooded with spam. So far, though, I'm not seeing any spam in the moderation queue, and moderation seems to be slowing down the conversation, such as it is. So I'm turning comment moderation off for the moment.
Uploaded through April!
by ReinderDijkhuis
Comics are now uploaded through April 30, covering most of the first storyline, The Green Knight's Belt. I even added basic transcript information to the latest batch, though I didn't go as far as to include full transcripts. Unless I made a big mistake, daily updates are guaranteed for the rest of the month, and I won't have to look at the upload interface again until the 30th, when it will be time to upload the comics for May, as well as the first real episodes of my new comic, Spun Off.

Under every comic in this storyline, I add some info on when it was originally created (in 1991 or 1992), and when it was first published online in English (in late 2005) with a link to the comic's appearance on the main site. I hope it's not too annoying; I am convinced that those early comics need to have that bit of context, because I'm more than twice as old now as when I made them, and they truely are the product of a different era. I add the link as evidence, but also to pay myself back for the effort in uploading the comic. The main site is still where all the comics are, where people can read them all RIGHT NOW if they want, and where I earn a little bit of money from advertising. I'm hoping that as the archive here grows, its audience and its share in the ad revenue will grow, but for now, the main site is where the action is.

I was surprised this week when Pewfell announced that it would go to a 3-a-weak schedule over concerns that a large archive would quickly become too intimidating. I agree that they can be, but that doesn't really come into play until after the first 700 or so updates. In ROCR's case, that's also roughly where the art starts to become acceptable, and also I've always depended on my readerships being the kind of people who like to archive-dive, so for me, I can't wait to get to that point. I can always slow down later. Much later.
Vote on Top Web Comics!
by ReinderDijkhuis
It's April 1 and ComicFury is having its big April Fools joke. The only joke I could think of this year was "Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan will resume new updates on its main site, every day until the current storyline is finished", and I don't think that would have been very funny.

However, April 1 is also the first of a new month. I've put up a new voter incentive image on the Top Web Comics website and would like to invite all of you reading this to drop your vote today and tomorrow, when your vote makes the most difference. As I speak, ROCR has gone from 380 to 68, though it will probably drop fast again as the day progresses. But don't let that discourage you: vote once today and once tomorrow to give ROCR that little bit of extra exposure that it needs!
First impressions of ComicFury, and goals
by ReinderDijkhuis
This morning, I uploaded the next seven updates, bringing the total to 16. I plan to update through the end of The Green Knight's Belt and post Headsmen as well, which means I'm committed to putting up updates for the next two months, to a total of 74. After that, whether I continue or not depend on how fed up I get with the updating system.

My first impression of ComicFury is that it's a nicely flexible system with a good feature set. Its uploading back-end isn't that great for people who want to rerun an existing comic with over a thousand updates. There is no bulk upload feature, no automated calendar setting, and some items such as "Allow HTML in the user comment" have to be set manually with every new update. Transcripts and keywords go by the wayside when you have a lot of things to upload and want to get them over with quickly, even though they are very useful features.

For people with new, active comics, especially when they're not too sure about the update schedule yet, ComicFury's backend is very good and makes some best practices for comickers easy. Transcripts enhance search and could also be used to make comics sites more accessible for people with visual impairments. Keywords also help with search and alt text is built right into the system for compliance with basic HTML standards. Good stuff. Don't know how useful it is to have up-to-the second scheduling for updates; I'd happily trade that in for automatic scheduling of multiple updates, even for comics that are not reruns.

By the end of The Green Knight's Belt, I would like to have a hundred page views a day, and by the end of Headsmen, it should be closer to 150. That is a really modest aim; when I started English-language publication of Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan in 2000, my numbers easily climbed to that level, and it was reaching them that prompted me to get a domain name and site hosting on what was then Keenspace, so I wouldn't have to update manually anymore. If I reach those numbers again here, it will be worth my while to continue this batch of reruns and I will probably start uploading a whole year's worth of comics as well as some side projects.

Speaking of which, I have one new side project that will definitely come to ComicFury and have it as its main home, at least for the time being. More on that later.