Is smackjeeves dead?

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Is smackjeeves dead?

Postby Demise » April 8th, 2019, 11:31 am

I used to be active on this site back on 2015 but stopped using it along the way because of life in general.
I am now back and confused because of the new setup and stuff, and I was wondering...
back then smackjeeves was really popular with tons of active users using it,
I remember before new comics with only 1 to 3 pages gets 50+ fans in a span of a 2 days or a week.
And now I see some good new potential comics with more than 10+ pages received like 20+ fans in a month?
So I was wondering, is smackjeeves not as popular as it was before?

Please educate my ignorance :|
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Re: Is smackjeeves dead?

Postby eishiya » April 8th, 2019, 11:48 am

SJ isn't dead, but yeah, it's not as popular as it was. The format of the site caters best to an older audience and isn't very inviting to younger fans getting into webcomics for the first time. In addition, the lack of a good mobile app puts SJ effectively out of sight for a good chunk of the potential audience, which doesn't browse the web.

The site's popularity was already declining in 2015, and it's only gotten worse. SJ would have to stop being SJ to become popular again though :/
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Re: Is smackjeeves dead?

Postby Gibson Twist » April 8th, 2019, 3:14 pm

It's still a pretty great place to host a webcomic. The forum and community membership were great once upon a time and less thriving now, but for people who make comics and want a place to put them, it's honestly better now than it ever was. The built-in audience factor was always pretty limited for most.
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Re: Is smackjeeves dead?

Postby eishiya » April 8th, 2019, 4:27 pm

Gibson Twist wrote:It's still a pretty great place to host a webcomic. The forum and community membership were great once upon a time and less thriving now, but for people who make comics and want a place to put them, it's honestly better now than it ever was. The built-in audience factor was always pretty limited for most.

This. The comics that do best on SJ are and always have been those that gain their audience primarily from outside the site, since SJ is primarily a host rather than a "platform" for readers. Hosting here should be treated mostly like self-hosting.
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Re: Is smackjeeves dead?

Postby Demise » April 9th, 2019, 5:18 am

So, basically smackjeeves isn't as popular as it was before?
And it's popularity is gradually decreasing over the years?
I personally find the new setups a lot more difficult than it was before, but it's only my opinion.
But I also wanted to talk about other platforms such as tapastic and webtoons.
Honestly I have never used those, but if you do can you please tell me the pros and cons it has?
Thanks for your time by the way.
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Re: Is smackjeeves dead?

Postby maelstrom51210 » April 9th, 2019, 11:27 am

I have experience with Tapas, not really Webtoons though (from what I gather its similar to Tapas). Pretty much those sites have more of an emphasis on the premium comics that are site-specific. Tapas, I know, has a system where you can buy more episodes of the premium comics. I'm not really sure about Webtoons.
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Re: Is smackjeeves dead?

Postby claudeb » April 10th, 2019, 1:05 pm

I don't know... Smack Jeeves is pretty damn good at recommending me new webcomics to read. That's quite reader-friendly IMO. And maybe I haven't been here for more than a few years, but look everywhere online, people complain their favorite little corner isn't as popular as it once was. That just makes perfect sense. The web has been growing exponentially, and doesn't seem to be slowing down. We're all going to get more distracted as time goes on.

To me it looks like SJ is doing fine. Maybe it was even bigger in the past. I'm just glad to have it the way it is.
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Re: Is smackjeeves dead?

Postby Gibson Twist » April 11th, 2019, 3:46 am

Tapas and Webtoons are completely different models of webcomics to traditional webhosting, designed more for phone-based reading in a vertical scroll format without much option for customization. There's a boom in the popularity of that style, but I don't think it means page-based comics are losing audiences.

Also, don't conflate traffic in the forum to traffic on the site. The forum isn't the site. There's still plenty of activity on the site.
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Re: Is smackjeeves dead?

Postby Demise » April 11th, 2019, 6:27 am

Oh, I'm well aware they are different. I never stated that they were the same to begin with.
The thing I am now asking for are the personal pros and cons experiences for those who have used those platforms.
(examples: Is it harder to get recognition on those sites for those who have yet established a name in the art community etc.)
I'm also aware that there is still activity in this site.
The subject has been pretty much answered, I just added a follow up question /(owo)/

Thanks by the way to those who replied uwu
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Re: Is smackjeeves dead?

Postby Ulta » April 12th, 2019, 1:51 am

Coming from someone who is posting here on Smack Jeeves, and also on Webtoons and Tapastic....and Deviantart...this is what it seems to be like.

TL:DR version - It's been good on all of them, but I lean most to Webtoons. SmackJeeves has been good for traditional style though.And DA is great to host promotional events for said comic to let readers get more involved in your project.

Keep in mind my comic was up on DA for 8 months before I started putting it on Smack Jeeves, and then a bit later, it went up on Webtoon and Tapastic.

Devianart - between 250-350 readers (if the pageviews for the recent pages counts as good estimates)
SmackJeeves - 295 fans with 412 readers (take that as you will, I STILL dunno what the readers part actually means)
Tapastic - 68 subs (this is super low numbers for Tapas. Popular ones tend to be at least several thousand to 10k subs)
Webtoon - 726 subs (and this number just keeps growing every time I look at it so often)

Now with that info...here's my personal pro's and cons. Keep in mind, ALL of these can only be effective if you keep updating and are active on a regular bases. Engaging with your readers is also pretty great if you can do it.

Deviantart...don't use this site for webcomics. It's not TERRIBLE for it, but getting your crud noticed quickly in it is really hard, even when you utilize groups and post your comic in every known group imaginable. It's an art-sharing place, but definitely not a place to get your comic noticed, and it really looks like it's upcoming layout change is going to RUIN the place. For now it's easy to upload there though, and you can do some really cool customizing to your page to make a fancy display, so there's no harm in it just being another outlet for some people to find your work. Heck it makes a GREAT place to host neat events that SJ just isn't built to do, like putting up fnacy blogs that advertise interactive contests and Q&A's that are themed around your comic. When done right, it's a fun home for actives. I have been on that platform for years though, so I had time to build a watcher base before my comic even went up. Keep that in mind.

Smackjeeves is a rather good platform for traditional comic hosting, mostly because of it's easy and creative format and layout customizing. If you don't have your own website for your comic, Smack Jeeves is pretty great, and it has a really nice 'comic-suggesting' bit, although it seems it really does like to favor the popular ones rather than little guys (not always the case, but I see the same ones in 'comics like this' on most of the ones I watch). I think my comic only got lucky because I was able to get into an Ad beta test and a banner for my comic showed up for a while on the front page. But that was before SJ got bought out recently. Still a nice site. I like it here, and the readers have been quite great and engaging to talk to once they start talking. I've actually had several fans from SJ go to my comic's official site and my DA page so they could participate in events, since SJ's main site just only has your comic and a news wall.

Tapastic - I mean...it's not BAD, but I still have yet to crack the code on just how you get noticed there. I don't think it's a dead site, but it does seem to be a bit hard to get noticed. Not sure why. Barely any readers comment either. not very fun, evne though you only need a 100 subs to unlock ad revnue. We'll see if that changes my mind.

Webtoon - Okay so this is where it gets weird. Webtoon is pretty much exactly like Tapas (With some differences), but the activity in this place is HUGE. Readers are also not afraid to comment either it seems, to the point where more popular comics there gets pages upon pages of comments that you just can't reply to all of them. I don't know if this is truly the reason, but both Tapas and Webtoon are platforms built for mobile-viewing. I've seen traditionals there, but they are hard to read on mobile. You can still try, but be prepared for lots of 'I can't read this' comments. I honestly think the nature of convenience for reading comics wherever you are on your phone is why a place like Webtoon seems so active (and the audience seems to be lots of kids for some reason. It's like the youtube of comics). I am still not sure how I got noticed their either, all I know is every time I update it goes on a 'recently updated' page for your comics genre. Otherwise, maybe there's some hidden algorithm that helps the comics get spread around. I've been really enjoying the attention it's been getting there, and although it's growth is great, it's still in a baby stage (popular series on that site have several thousands of subs, and several MILLIONS of likes through all their episodes). The audience has been pretty good, if not a bit 'basic' and random on what they comment.

One last note is, making traditional comics versus vertical-formatted ones has it's own pros and cons (this thread is good to read for that viewtopic.php?f=26&t=20113 ). Doing BOTH like I have isn't really the way to do it unless you got a lot of time like I do, so go with whichever you personally feel would be best for your story or is easier for you. Making either isn't hard (vertical is actually a little easier imo).

To end this...pick your style (traditional or vertical) and just post it on the sites that best work for it. Webtoon seems to be the best to get noticed for vertical, and SmackJeeves is pretty great for traditional comics getting noticed. Sorry for the word dump.
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Re: Is smackjeeves dead?

Postby Demise » April 12th, 2019, 6:38 am

Thank you very much for such detailed response!! ^-^

I didn't know Tapastic is a dead site? But I did heard from others that
getting recognition there is very difficult since they tend to favor the ones that
are already popular.
The thing I always loved about smackjeeves is how easy it is
to be discovered because of the "Brand New" section that a lot of other webcomic hosting platforms lacks
making it a lot more convenient for new creators like me.
I also don't know why they added the "readers" part in the new setup as well tbh, and about deviantart...
I heard a lot of art thievery happens there I'm not sure if that is true though.
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Re: Is smackjeeves dead?

Postby Ulta » April 12th, 2019, 2:39 pm

I've not had problems with art thieves on DA yet. It does happen though, but it can happen on any art site, not just DA. And from what I see, reporting art thieves is easy and I think they are dealt with swiftly.

I don't think Tapas is dead either, but it's sure doesn't SEEM as bustling as Webtoon. But I do like Tapas' seamless reading between episodes though, that part is it's only leg up to Webtoon I feel.

Hope I was helpful ^^
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Re: Is smackjeeves dead?

Postby Songdog » April 12th, 2019, 6:01 pm

We all zombies here man.
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Re: Is smackjeeves dead?

Postby Vitotamito » April 15th, 2019, 10:33 pm

I've noticed less yaoi on the site, so yeah, it's pretty much dead at this point
Sonic-ock wrote:Prepare yourself for the gay adventures of Kuro the dragonwolf and Shiro the wolfdragon.

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Re: Is smackjeeves dead?

Postby claudeb » April 16th, 2019, 6:24 am

Songdog wrote:We all zombies here man.


Iiinks... Iiiiinks...

Vitotamito wrote:I've noticed less yaoi on the site, so yeah, it's pretty much dead at this point


You mean there used to be more?! :o

Oh well, still plenty to go around.
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