Submitted by Compugasm on April 20, 2006 - 02:27
In printed comics, the sticking to a deadline or schedule makes sense. It would be disastrous to not have a book ready, by the time you need to print a book and sell it. Is this a practice carried over to the web? Out of all the comics you read, can anyone recall (without checking) what days they actually update?
With webcomics, I belive it's becoming accepted that deadlines or schedules, such as updating on a M-W-F, do not apply. What if you miss a day, or change the updating schedule? I've seen many authors needing to apologize for missing an update. Instead of making the user come to you, the trend is reversing with RSS feeds. People join your feed, and when you publish/update something, they're automatically notified.
I update rather inconsistently, because there's no guarantee I'll get X number of hours a day to make a comic. One challenge in a comic that doesn't update frequently, when you organize things by date, it only highlights the fact you don't update often, or are sporadic at best. Visiting a page repeatedly with no update under those circumstances is certainly frustrating.
I don't believe visitors find comics or blog entries by date, and they only do so, because it was set up that way by default. When you search google, your results aren't displayed or organized by monthly archives. How often do you know the date what you're looking for was posted? Probably zero, so using that as the basis for navigating a site does not make sense.
What seems more appropriate is a website that functions more like a hyperlinked set of posts and topics rather than a journal of monthly archives. For webcomics, browsing by topics of interest makes more sense. Even if those topics are somewhat arbitrary or unclear. It'll still make for a better experience for fans to browse.