The webcomics blog about webcomics

Eternal Questions

Sometimes you find yourself pondering the big imponderables. For instance:

  • Is It Funny Today? launched on Monday courtesy of a couple a college guys. Webcomic gets registered, people vote on the latest installment being funny or not … I dunno, just doesn’t seem that compelling to me. I don’t need to know if one of my webcomics is found worthy of laugh-chuckles by 47% of site users for me to enjoy it. At some level, it reminds me of some game show or reality show or something, where the reward isn’t for actually knowing something, but for guessing how many other people think the same way.

    That’s besides the fact that not every webcomic is meant to be funny, or to be funny in every episode. The developers appear to be giving this some thought as well with a new “story comic” feature. We’ll see if IIFT? turns into a thing, or is just the proverbial flash in the pan.

  • What the hell is up with ADSDAQ? A bunch of webcomics creators use it as a key component of their advertising model, and a bunch of them them are telling me that ADSDAQ has dropped them as clients. Reasons have ranged from “Improper Content” to “Too Many Graphics” (um, they do know what webcomics are, right?) to “Site Under Construction or Broken”.

    I can’t tell if this is a general retrenchment in internet advertising, or if it’s a deliberate attempt to pull back from webcomics accounts — in which case, what’s wrong with saying Sorry, our models say that your site doesn’t produce enough benefit for our advertisers, nothing personal? If you’ve been using ADSDAQ and have been dropped, add a comment with the reason you were given. If there’s logic here, then by Darwin we’ll find it!

  • What’s the best webcomics story of the year? This isn’t my year-end roundup — that’ll be in a few weeks, and in a somewhat unusual form. No, I think the most significant thing that’s happened in webcomics this year is an outburst of collegiality and common good that’s been building. There’s a lot of webcomickers that have gone out of their way to talk about their peers and promote their work, to provide a general “Rah, go Team Webcomics!” feel at conventions, and today, there’s an outbreak of everybody and their dog pointing to webcomics merch made by other creators. Seriously, look at the front page of the people who make their living at this, and chances are pretty good they’re linking to what could be considered competitors for your entertainment dollar (start here if you like).

    If not for the fact that DJ and Scott still bring it, I might think I’d fallen into the last reel of It’s A Wonderful Life. And Scott & DJ? Seriously guys — I love your work and like both of you personally, but if either of you didn’t exist the other would have to invent him. Let this be the Christmas that your hearts grow three sizes and you find the strength of ten webcomickers (plus two). Do it for the children.

I have not been dropped by ADSDAQ, but fear it will happen soon. I make the majority of my comic’s income from them.

Comics I’ve recently heard dropped include:

The Book of Biff
Questionable Content
Book Elves

The reason that is usually sited is that ADSDAQ is not able to “contextualize appropriately to serve contextually relevant advertising.” In other words, graphic heavy sites are hard to mine for content for targeted advertising.

But I think this is baloney because many webcomics have blogs and also annotate images for this very reason.

My suspicion (and this is only my theory) is that webcomics do not have the highest quality page views. Many readers just visit the site, read the comic, and immediately leave. Also, many webcomics get *a lot* of traffic through digg and stumbleupon, and these readers don’t stay long enough to check out ads either.

But even if this is the case, since ADSDAQ can choose whether or not to fill an ad space, they should be able to adjust their fill algorithms to compensate for such problems.

In the end, I think ADSDAQ is making a mistake. Webcomics represent a your 20-30 year old audience that spends a lot of time online, and (on average) has a lot of expendable income. If I were an online advertiser, this sounds like the perfect demographic to shoot for.

I think we can also add Multiplex to this list of sites dropped by ADSDAQ.

Clan of Cats has reported they have been kicked off ADSDAQ.

Me for the same reasons as above

Adsdaq has had it in for webcomics from the start. Several months ago, they mentioned that while I was okay for now, that the days of webcomics would be numbered. True to their word, December rolled around and comics are dropping like flies. We’ve been tracking the horror on the private Keenspot forums for a few days now and the “dropped from Adsdaq” are rapidly outnumbering the “still miraculously on Adsdaq.”

Personally, I hung in there until a couple days ago when Flat Feet was delivered its walking papers from Adsdaq. It’s a particularly large blow to me, since they provided 2/3 (and occasionally more) of my ad revenue. Of course, they never let Sporkman on to BEGIN with…

They’re citing the the fact that they’re advertising is “contextual” and that text is required for them to serve ads correctly. This is, as far as I can tell, crap. Every comic that was dropped was pumping out reasonable fill-rates between 25 and 30%. Furthermore, many of the sites (including me) had text content on every page, usually in the form a daily blog / news posts. I imagine that the Adsdaq auditors simply went to each site, saw a comic strip, and clicked “cancel.”

Anyway, I’m still understandably steamed up about it, two days later. They were providing a decent chunk of change towards web cartoonist livelihood.


Non-webcomic site here. Our sites were as much as $10,000 per month with ADSDAQ, and now they’re dropping us (dozens of sites) one by one with vague explanations.

Yup, I got dropped by ADSDAQ on Friday. The notice was just a form e-mail, with the obvious explanation being “Domain has a high volume of graphics and images such as anime or comic strips” (because none of the others applied to me).

BUT, shit-starter that I am, I sent a sharply worded e-mail asking for clarification… and got another form e-mail with essentially the same thing. But this time, the list also included “Domains with comic strips.”

So there you have it.

I signed up with Direct Media Exchange (DMX) recently and have been seeing comparable CPMs from them (50¢ or more) — buuuut the ads have included some for (sexually suggestive/porn) and (obnoxious and flashing), among other undesirable ads. I’m bearing with them and trying to get the ones I don’t like banned, but it’s a pain in the ass, and we shouldn’t have to monitor the kinds of ads we’re getting constantly, obviously. So, I’m still trying to find another alternative.

[…] of big dollar figures, The Great ADSDAQ Purge of Aught-Eight continues apace, with scarce a webcomicker left standing. Reports would now seem to indicate that […]

I’ve been a website publisher for years and can pretty much tell you that if you screw around with the advertising technology companies they will all kick you out in the end. You need to have honesty and integrity to survive in the long term.
What do I mean by screwing around? How about stuffing your page with hidden content to drive traffic to it? Your buddy Book of Biff for example has a hidden div in his pages with 250 lines of hidden text. Just select view-source and scroll to the bottom.
First the hide:
div style=”left: -3322px; position: absolute; top: -4433px
Now the stuffing:
quiting smoking
which is better lavitra or viagra
what is better levitra viagra cialis
viagra pay by e-check

etc. There are 250 lines of this stuff. This is cheating and gaming the system and will get you banned from every ad exchange system out there.

[…] what’s the Biggest Webcomic Story this year? Gary Tyrrell of Fleen thinks that it’s goodwill: …I think the most significant thing that’s happened in […]

Alli – Thank you so much for pointing this out! My wordpress install was hacked into recently adding a line of code into the footer that generated that huge list of spam links you found. Hopefully I removed it before googlebot decided I was a spam farm.

[…] the same lines, there was an interesting comment in our previous ADSDAQ story regarding hidden keywords in the site code for The Book of Biff. Biff creator Chris Hallbeck was […]

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