Because let's face it: over the last few years this forum has gone from a vibrant community with dozens of posts per day, bristling with theories and energy, to a stagnant backwater lucky to see than ten posts per week (not counting comic reactions -- and now-a-days even those don't run more than seven or eight per comic). And the comic itself has gone from being "Oldest and best comic on the internet" to "Sluggy what?"
So I'm making this topic to solicit ideas and strategies on how to draw in more readers/posters, before the forums fall so far below critical mass that a post like this fails to get any replies.
(1) Wiki manipulation: editing wiki's to reference Sluggy Freelance where appropriate (or inappropriate but unlikely to be deleted), such as pop culture references section, etc.
This used to be my preferred idea, however efficacy has turned out to be questionable. A lot of wiki's do mention Sluggy in many places, most prominently TvTropes, however we don't seem to have experienced an influx of new readers. Still, the idea may have merit. A good place to start would be to determine every movie Sluggy Freelance has parodied over the years (Army of Darkness in the Storm Breaker Saga, Alien in the Sci-Fi Adventure, 28 Days Later in 28 Geeks Later, 13 Ghosts in Ghosts in the Gas Tank, Harry Potter one through four or five in the Torg Potter's, etc) and check the appropriate Wiki's to ensure they reference Sluggy Freelance. Kitten I and II is a bonus here since being genre parody it allows us to put a mention of Sluggy in every slasher movie ever made.
An important part of this may be the quality of the writeup. Perhaps in order to attract new readers it needs to be more than some variant of "Parodied in Sluggy Freelance: X," but rather a clever sentence with a hook tooting Sluggy's unique and amazing qualities. Something like this for Alien; "Parodied in the supernatural buddy comic Sluggy Freelance story 'The Sci-Fi Adventure.' The Alien, nicknamed Aylee, survived the storyline and became main character Torg's friend and secretary after being unable to stomach his anti-dandruff shampoo."
Or something better written than that...
(2) We could crowd-source the funding for some Google text ads. We'd need to come up with good short descriptions for that to work, aimed at a variety of interest angles. Spending some time on this might be a good idea even in the absence of some kind of ad due to the notorious difficulty of describing what Sluggy Freelance IS. Perhaps a list of one sentence descriptions emphasizing certain elements?
Something about Sam with some kind of Twilight quip in it?
Something about Aylee, the man eating alien from another dimension who became the main character's secretary. Perhaps a quote from the comic where Aylee is negotiating Torg's insurance claim and Torg tells the guy to quite kicking because he's tickling Aylee's tonsils?
In face, quotes from the comic might be a really good starting point for these.
An abbreviated text version of the "Election Issues explained using balls" comic?
For those who like Magical Girls, something to do with Gwynn?
For those who like resurrecting gymnastic assassins and that strange-Japanese-word-I-can't-remember-right-now-meaning-psycho-girlfriend, something on Oasis? Heck, just a brief description of Oasis's career would make me click a link to the comic!
Well, that's what I got off the top of my head. Anybody else want to chime in?
OrzBrain wrote:Some more ideas:
Sell comic ebooks. I read the other day that Schlock Mercenary got a deal with Baen books to sell ebook pdf/cbr versions of the print comic. This for a comic freely available online, mind you. I believe the Schlock e-comics include the print limited edition stories.
There are many ebook and e-comic distributors other than Baen. Selling Sluggy Freelance via them at say 99 cents a pop would not only bring in money for Pete, it would also act as promotion and bring the comic to a whole new readership used to reading long form comics and not bothered by the "The Archive is Huge!" idiocy.
This however would make more work for Pete.
We could use the pirate BitTorrent network to our advantage. Since the comic is already freely available, what's the harm in bringing it to a wider audience?
Huge numbers of CBR format comic books are illicitly distributed via torrents. We could assemble the free portion of Sluggy books into CBR format, and then those of us with high upload bandwidth connections and a tolerance for illegal activities could package them in torrents with popular or respected and well known print comics such as Watchmen and Neal Gaiman's Sandman series and the Buffy and Angel comics and upload them to places like The Pirate Bay and Demonoid. This would expose a whole new audience to Sluggy Freelance.
OrzBrain wrote:And more:
Schlock Mercenary uses an extremely clever and interesting way of manipulating Google's search results. Below every comic there is a plain text transcript. This meant that searches for random words might bring up the comic, which is useful considering the amount of text in a webcomic, all locked up in unsearchable image form. We have the Sluggy dialog search database, which means we could probably do this easily. It would, however, require the cooperation of whoever runs the website, which might be impossible to obtain.
And what it makes Google do.
That means that hypothetically a search for 'vampire sparkle' might end up here.
How about a petition to Rit or whoever handles this stuff?