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Bringing Moose River into the 2010s

July 2nd, 2019

TL;DR VERSION: I’m padding out the Moose River Ice Cream Social section; I just created new Moose River accounts for YouTube and Twitter. I also made a new title, in the hopes that people will see it at a glance and realize something’s been happening to the site since their last visit.

— — — — — — — — —

When I left Moose River off in 2009, the internet was a completely different place. Well, maybe not THAT different. But like, the whole “social media” thing was only just taking off, and stuff like Uber and Instagram and hashtags, etc, just weren’t in the mainstream just yet. So trying to get a comic noticed back then was challenging, but not impossible.

But today? Woof! There is WAAAAAAY more avenues for mass socialization for your potential art project. Like in 2009, the only people who’ll possibly see your stuff were people who WANTED to see webcomics. But now? I can post pictures of my work on Instagram and get viewed by anyone who just happens to be poking through whatever hashtag I give it. Heck, I haven’t even used my scanner ONCE during this resurrection period, as my cellphone camera has can get like 85% of the detail and quality I could use for like 10% the effort. Maybe for serious pieces I’ll use my scanner, but I’ll take a 15% quality reduction for nearly 10x less effort.

And let’s not forget Patreon, which is an AMAZING concept for helping artists get paid for their work. I mean, duh, I know what it is now, but it didn’t exist in 2009. If I wanted to make money off my work back then, I had to sell merch. But I also had to MAKE the merch first in order to sell. Today, on the other hand, if I am popular enough, then my very existence pays for itself. Yeah yeah, I still gotta produce artwork for the people who are tossing me some bones, but it’s not like I have to worry about going to cons and trying to sell a limited range of products anymore. Rather, I can just make art, and if 100 people just happen to throw $2 my way, that’s still $200! Just for being me!

— — — — — — — — —

Prior to this new and amazing world of 2010’s-era social media, here’s the kind of tools I had to help engage my audience with:

• OnlineComics.net — this was just a sort of phonebook for webcomics. (DEAD)
• KillBoredom.com — I legit forget what this was about. I think it was similar to OnlineComics.net. (DEAD)
• (A BBS message board) — Online forums are still a think, but these days they’re usually for broad user experiences, not for something specific like a webcomic. That is unless those forums have been around for the last 20 years and is a staple for the site. But today? HAH! (GHOSTED)
• DeviantART — surprisingly still around! In fact, out of ALLLLLL the links I had in the original Moose River Ice Cream Social bar up top, DeviantART is the ONLY one which still exists.
• (Email) — Of course email is still used, but today it’s all formal. Wanna message me? There’s twitter for that. (INEFFICIENT)
• (AOL Instant Messenger) — RIP in peace. (DEAD)
• LiveJournal — replaced by Facebook for basically all intents and purposes. (GHOSTED)
• MySpace — HAH! (SUPER DEAD)
• ComicSpace — The MySpace for comics. (DEAD)

The most interesting thing about all these different ways to engage my audience is how many of them were so narrowly focused AND simply didn’t have the same kind of useful tools that modern social media platforms have. None of these allowed me to upload photos on the spot, share long form stories, fart something out in ~280 characters, and to do this where millions of people could possibly see them.

Yeah yeah, again, this is all obvious stuff. It is 2019 afterall. But it’s more like, it’s so obvious to us today, but in 2009? The platforms available were simply too narrow in scope and audience. It’s no wonder so many of these sites are now dead and buried. Ah well.

2 Responses to “Bringing Moose River into the 2010s”

  1. SunshineDuk sezzzzz:

    It feels worth mentioning RSS feeds in this context, as while they weren’t social they were such a major aspect of keeping up with webcomics on a regular basis. Nowadays that role seems to be filled by social media posts with links to new content, but the algorithms make it hard to have that be a steady source of updates…

    (And hi, longtime reader from the way way old days–like, the Pokemon Aaah! old days–back here, as I’m still using my same ol’ RSS feed and these posts popped up in it as a very welcome blast from the past!)

  2. mayor of moose river sezzzzz:

    hahaha WOW! I didn’t realize anyone (still) used the RSS feed. Totally forgot about it. I mean, obviously it exists to be used, but I’m sure when you started seeing random pictures from Moose River for the first time in 10 years you were all “HOOOOOLY CRACKERS”.

    But yeah, I did forget about RSS as a concept… I did it for a while but I subscribed to too much stuff and it just became overwhelming. It’s not to justify the system that, like, YouTube uses, but at least if you subscribe to too much stuff on YouTube, their algorithms sorta weeds stuff out for you, and if you want to see more, it’s still there for you to check out. RSS was like, 100% all day every day. Also too, RSS is an independent system, nothing promotes it… so if you like one website, “RSS” isn’t a thing that can then give you recommendations of new content based on your current subscriptions. So I guess there are some pros with cons… but the concept of RSS is definitely a step closer to the subscription systems of today when you look at it in its place in internet history.

    Oh and finally about PA!; I uh… totally had my 20th anniversary video! You just missed it! … oh who am I kidding. I totally forgot to do it. 🙁 But it’s still “2019”, so I can still celebrate it sometime this year. When that happens, I’ll share some info here and naturally at PA.net. Anyways, thank you for being such a long time fan of my work, and I hope to continue to entertain you with my work in the future! (^_^) Huzzah, good times.

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Moose River
by Philippe Van Lieu
—Fully Charged - June 27th, 2019—

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