The State of the Blog

By | Monday, January 26, 2015 2 comments
First, I would like thank those of you who expressed support for my continued blogging. That means a lot to me. Really. And the feedback about reading my blog via other venues is helpful, too. As I mentioned to at least some of you, I still very much enjoy comics and very much enjoy writing, so there was never danger of that stopping; my only concern was with this blog itself and whether or not it was serving its purpose.

As I noted last week, how this blog worked hasn't appreciably changed since it's inception back in 2006. Nearly a decade. The internet's changed a bit since then and, while I think my tactics have largely been able to keep pace, I don't know that my strategies have. Hence the disconnect I saw.

If you're actually on my blog site itself to read this, you're seeing some structural changes in the site layout. Some of my previous posts don't translate particularly well to the new format, but I think most come across okay. You might also be seeing some smaller changes if you're reading this (directly or indirectly) through a feed. There are some minor things I'll be doing differently in terms of formatting that should help both the UX and SEO overall. I still need to sort out how I might gather more reliable metrics for things that appear outside the blog proper, and I'll be digging around the next couple weeks to see if there any other tricks I can implement as well.

From what people have been telling me, there's nothing inherently wrong with my topics or style of writing. I didn't announce a potential scrapping of this blog specifically to draw reactions -- I honestly didn't expect to hear anything in terms of a response -- but it was nice to hear that my thoughts here are appreciated. So I'll be continuing my writing in the same vein that I have been. Most of the changes that seem to be needed are on the back-end; hence, the stuff I noted in the previous paragraph.

The problem largely stemmed from my focusing on the day-to-day operations (i.e. writing something new every day) without stopping to look at the broader picture. Tactics over strategy. That's long been an issue for me and, evidently, one still in need of development. *sigh*

So, where does that leave us?
  1. Actual comics blogging will resume shortly. You might experinece the occasional oddity in formatting as I sort out some of the tactical specifics of the recent updates. My apologies in advance for that.
  2. I've still got my ongoing column "Incidental Iconography" column in The Jack Kirby Collector. Issue #64 just came out in which I look at his unproduced The Frog Prince and I just submitted my column for #65 on Socko the Seadog!
  3. I've also got my two columns (one on webcomics, another on fans/fandoms) and a small assortment of reviews and commentary pieces over at I think all the folks there are doing great work, and we're queuing up some things later this year that should make 2015 a really good year for the site.
  4. As you may have noticed from my Patreon page, I've been able to return to working on my next book about the Blackstone comics of the 1940s. The past two years have been crazy busy with almost my entire pile of research in storage for much of that time. I've gotten everything organized again now, and have been able to start back into this. I don't have a precise timeline yet, but this will be my big project to complete and have published in 2015.
  5. I may as well mention my appearances circuit that I've got tenatively planned for the next several months. (I should note that these are basically just where I'll be; I won't have any booths set up or Artist Alley tables or anything. The one exception is the Wisconsin Marathon where I'll actually one of the runners.)
    • Feb 13 -- Scott McCloud talk at the Chicago Humanities Festival
    • Feb 18 -- Lucy Knisley signing at Challengers Comics
    • Feb 28 -- Mighty Con
    • Mar 14-15 -- Indiana Comic Con
    • Apr 11-12 -- SPACE
    • Apr 24-26 -- C2E2
    • May 2 -- Wisconsin Marathon
    • May 14-17 -- Atlantic City Boardwalk Con (very tenative)
    • Jun 6-7 -- CAKE
    • Aug 22 -- Wizard World Chicago
    • Aug 29-30 -- Lake Count-I-Con
Ultimately it's about continuing to try making a presence of sorts within comicdom. This blog is a part of that, as are the various columns and personal appearnaces. I want to not only add my voice to the broader, ongoing discussion of comics, but I want that voice to mean something. As long as what I do keeps working towards that end, I'm happy.
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Sounds like a plan. And I like the new look too. ^_^

Give it time, point people here. Be persistent to the point where it feels a tad uncomfortable, but do it. ^_^

Matt K said...

Note to others, I have heard a good deal about the Blackstone research and it sounds awesome. Resumed progress on this is great news!