Zuda By The Numbers

By | Thursday, November 15, 2007 1 comment
The Zuda experiment continues apace, but they're upping the game a notch by actively ranking the various comics and presenting them in their ranking order. (Whereas previously, if you hadn't noticed, they were just being listed alphabetically by title.)

High Moon has maintained a reasonably comfortable lead by most stats so far, and it's currently sitting in the #1 spot. It's got the most votes, listed in more people's favorites, the most views, and the highest average rating. (Let me point out that a vote is a different criteria than being listed as a favorite. Casual viewers are not privy to vote counts.) Writer David Gallaher noted a little while back on his High Moon Production Blog why all three are significant...
First off, there is the vote... This is your number one decision making tool...

While you can only Vote for one comic at a time, you can Rate them all. This will be a crucial tool in close races where more nuance is needed in order to accurately express your opinions...

Jumping around that Comic Information section you'll see that we're tracking the VIEWS as well. We figure some people just like to read without any greater level of participation. That's ok by us and as far as the competition goes, having a widely read comic is a great indicator of success.
Supposedly, these notes all came from Zuda, and the entire piece is written as if it's directed towards readers, but I can't seem to find this same information anywhere on Zuda's own site.

David posted another note more recently, also from the Zuda staff...
We're still about two weeks away from closing the polls and so far only 50% of the users have cast their ballot!

A curious ranking I would like to point out is that of The Dead Seas. It's currently ranked at #7, but it is listed in more favorites and a higher average rating than both Alpha Monkey and This American Strife which are in the #5 and #6 slots respectively. What it lacks, though, are views. Both Alpha Monkey and This American Strife have each been opened/viewed by roughly 50% more users than The Dead Seas. (Going back to Zuda's note above about viewings being significant.) What I'm not sure of, though, is whether Zuda is counting the number of views or the number of unique views. One person could come in and look at the same comic a few dozen times to bump up a specific comics' numbers, unless the Zuda folks were on the ball enough to track the views against users' IP addresses, thus making "ballot stuffing" such as that more difficult.

More curious, however, is the #2 and #3 ranked comics: Dead in the Now and Battlefield Babysitter. However, Babysitter has a higher average rating, more views, and is a favorite of more people. One has to presume that it has been voted on more often, but it seems strangely nebulous exactly how Zuda is arriving at some of their ranking calculations. One would presume that a comic which is viewed more, has a higher degree of critical acclaim, and is tagged as a favorite more often would ALSO be voted on more often, so for Zuda to show that's evidently not the case can certainly raise some questions about the transparency/honesty of the judging. (I'm not saying that Zuda is rigging the voting, mind you, just that they seem to be leaving the door open for some of the competitors to argue the final results.)

As it stands, we're about two weeks away from seeing how things end for these comics. If things continue as they have so far, I think it shouldn't be hard to predict with reasonable accuracy all of the comics' rankings. There are definitely some clear favorites here. But to all of the participants, congratulations across the board -- you're all doing a heck of a lot better job than I could!
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Those posts are derived from the ZUDA blog, which you can find here: