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In Search of a Correlation: Webcomics, Posting Schedules and Readership

What is it about Monday, Wednesday and Friday that make them the seemingly optimum publishing dates for webcomics?

When it comes to reading webcomics, I'm slightly more obsessive than many. I have my comics neatly arranged inside two bookmarked folders on my Firefox Toolbar - one for daily comics, and one for everyone else. The "everyone else" category subdivides into folders for each day (with comics that update on more than one day duplicated on each day), with a catch-all "Irregular updates" folder for ones that repeatedly fail to meet their official schedule or have no schedule.

Organized like this, it's easy to observe how many fewer webcomics choose to publish on the "off" days. My reading list on Tuesday and Thursday is half the size of the other weekdays. My Saturday and Sunday links are almost nonexistent in comparison.

My question is: why those days?

My default assumption is that those days (M-W-F) garner the biggest readership. Is it because most folks are at work or school and looking for a diversion more on those days than on Tuesday or Thursday? Is it easier for the creators to get them out on those days? Or is it just so common now that it's become the default schedule?

Webcomic creators, what's your experience? Webcomic readers, what's your rationale?

Please, tell me! I'm most curious.

Tradition

Terrence Marks's picture

Honestly, I think it's a matter of tradition and inertia by now - there are enough other comics that update MWF. People who read your strip probably read other MWF comics and are conditioned to expect new comics those days.

Before I made the switch to Piperka, if a comic updated Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, I didn't have a bookmark folder for it. I couldn't categorize it easily and would probably end up missing updates. So I think it's just a matter of inertia and reader expectations.

--
Terrence Marks

Spare Parts
You Say it First

--
Terrence Marks

Spare Parts
You Say it First

There were several reasons I

roofpig's picture

There were several reasons I chose the M/W/F schedule. Saturday and Sunday were out at the onset; I need my weekends. Next, with the M/W/F schedule I'm capturing the beginning, middle, and end of the work week. There's just something about starting your work week off reading a comic update and ending it the same way, you know? Plus, it's three days as opposed to the two day T/Th schedule.

Outside of that, M/W/F just felt right for what I was doing. I would love to move to a full five day update schedule, but that would involve time that not even God himself would be able to find for me.

- College is more fun when magic is involved. Bardsworth

- College is more fun when magic is involved. Bardsworth

I chose my schedule (Tuesday

ElegantGremlin's picture

I chose my schedule (Tuesday and Saturday) because those were days that other comics updated less on.

My hits are most on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

-- Chris Kirk

Mondays and Fridays

shiftypenguin's picture

I update Mondays and Fridays because those are the days that work best for my schedule. I originally wanted to do Tuesdays and Saturdays, but that didn't work out.

I update Simulated Comic

Kevin's picture

I update Simulated Comic Product once a week. I used to update on Fridays, but I found it hard to get the work done on Thursday nights. I Currently I update very late on Sundays, in time for the Monday morning web-rush.

Tuesdays

tynic's picture

We update every weekday, and tuesday leads by a long way in terms of uniques. Dunno why.

 

Byrobot Dot Net

It's also nice to have at

Fabricari's picture

It's also nice to have at least one day buffer between post days to catch up in the case of disaster.

Steve "Fabricari" Harrison

Steve "Fabricari" Harrison

I update SMBC every day.

I update SMBC every day. I've found that the traffic flow is something like this:

Top days: Monday, Wednesday
Second best days: Tuesday, Thursday
Third best: Friday
Fourth Best: Sunday (though, Sunday tends to have page views nearing the second best or top days)
Worst: Saturday

It was, to some degree, based on this that Chris Jones and I decided to make Captain Excelsior a Wednesdaily comic.

Agreed. I've found that

Agreed. I've found that webcomic readership seems to fall dramatically at the weekend, meaning that - to maximise visitor numbers - it's usually better to update on weekdays.

It then becomes a function of how frequently you update. Three days a week lends itself naturally to Monday, Wednesday and Friday updates. Two days might be Tuesday and Thursday (although other combinations are obviously possible). If you only update once a week, the actual day is probably irrelevant.

Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids

Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids

For nemu*nemu, we chose

nemu-nemu's picture

For nemu*nemu, we chose Monday, Wednesday and Friday as comic days simply because we hoped to be able to do the strip at least 3 times a week. Most people surf the net while at work so those days seemed like the right way to go.

More importantly, spacing the comic in an every other week day format gave us breathing room to work on things during the weekend if we fall behind (which is almost always!)

Anyone who does a webcomic knows how much work it is to keep to schedule! The M,W,F schedule probably garners more viewership than if we released them on a Sat/Sun/Mon schedule. Publishing every other day also help keep the comic top of mind if we have loyal viewers. I'd love to grow our audience and do the comic 5 x's a week or even daily but it's a struggle just keeping up with 3 times a week some months!

nemu-nemu.com