Scans_Daily: Actual, you know, data
One of the arguments that’s been trotted out in the wake of the scans_daily closing– sorry,
scans_daily is how I see it should be written — is that having things posted there tipped people off to cool things to read. We have anecdotes of people spending $2800 because of books that they saw on s_d, pitted against sales figures for monthly comics that have been going down month after month, year after year. Most of this is difficult, because there are very few correlations that can be pointed to that make us say, "Ah! Someone posted five pages of Stupendous Man #73 and sales went up!"
However, we actually do have data that we can point to– webcomics.
At various times, people used scans_daily to promote their webcomics, books that couldn’t be gotten any other way. And at one point, so did ComicMix. I posted the first seven pages of The Original Johnson to scans_daily on January 19th, Martin Luther King Day, to see what sort of traffic we could get.
How much traffic did we get? A negligible bump. Fifty click throughs at most over a few days, and not many of them stuck around.
As a point of comparison, the New York Times ran an article on The Original Johnson a month prior on Christmas Day, 2008, the least visited day of the year for the website and the newspaper. The article was buried in the sports section. And we got well over twenty-five times the click throughs from the Times alone, and seventy times the traffic.
So– was scans_daily a good promotional platform? I’d have to say no. Why? Because it was an illicit group, and had to stay under the radar. As an illicit group, it was limited as to how much it could grow– it had less than nine thousand readers when it went down. As Warren Ellis pointed out, it couldn’t be used to promote anything. What it could do– and did very well– was reproduce a lot of comics storylines well enough, month after month, so that people didn’t need to actually buy the comics over time.
There have been a lot of successes from online promotion. And we’ll see what sort of traffic we get from a link on Ain’t It Cool News, which wrote Lone Justice up today. But scans_daily has not been seen to have a positive impact on readership from our point of view. We’ll update you in a few days when the traffic dies down. In the meantime, I’ll be happy to publish any other actual data — Kevin Church, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
Woo woo woo.
In the meantime, a few more links:
- Copyright Holders Challenge Sites That Scrape Content – NYTimes.com Convenient timing.
- Robot 6 » A little more on the shutdown of Scans Daily
- Mightygodking.com » And I Shall Call It Dumbassopalooza: scans_daily and Peter David and The Internet is like a stone rolling downhill sometimes.
- Colleen Doran » Archive » Scans Daily
- airings: S_D’s demise from a person who really was there at the start of it.