< Piro >
Sunday - January 28, 2001
Ah, the joy of shameless commerce. That little fuzzy feeling that comes with blatant plugging Megatokyo Swag. I guess it's true - we have no shame.
When Megatokyo first went up back in August, the 'merchandise' button was a bit of a joke. The complexity and difficulty of printing, packaging, selling and shipping t-shirts was something I never figured we would ever deal with, never mind there being any 'demand' for such stuff. Oddly enough, people started bugging us for t-shirts right off the bat. We really weren't sure what to do. Greg over at Real Life pointed us to Cafe Press, and MT swag became a reality. I think everyone has been pretty happy with the stuff so far.
Y'know, i've never really thought all that much about the idea of one of these stupid websites earning money before. Fredart was just a bill i paid month after month, much like my internet access bill. It let me spam the internet with my crude artworks at will without hurting anyone.
These days, Even I can't ignore the rather startling numbers of people that are visiting this site on a regular basis. It's an odd thing, really. I don't treat Megatokyo much different than I treated Fredart, except for the fact that I do try harder to update regularly ^_^;; I still go to work every day and pound my head against the proverbial brick wall to get all those things done that need doing and thankfully result in a paycheck. Drawing and scripting stories, creating characters and little lives for them is fun - it's entertaining and rewarding. As my financial status in life clearly shows, i've never been the type that tries to bring in any payment for these activities. :P
The neat thing about the web is that you can reach a huge audience of people with far less money and effort than it ever did before. In fact, it breaks the old rule that he who spends the most money, wins. Unfortunately, the Internet Economy learned the hard way that massive numbers of visitors and people coming to a site does not immediately equate to huge returns on investments. This fact is really hurting a lot of people these days. People who maintain websites for a living are getting shafted by ther banner add networks, but it has more to do with failed expectations of what all this traffic means than evil men behind big desks chuckling as they screw people over (well, in most cases ^^;;).
But you would think that with all these people and visits and page views that it has to be worth SOMETHING, right? Well, there are a lot of very intelligent people who have been ripping their hair out over this problem for over a year now. Most investors threw money at internet companies figuring that after a while they would have it all figured out. The recent problems in the net economy are because, well, they haven't figured it out yet. ^_^ Of course, it's at this time that I finally sit in the midst of a fairly successful website.
Doesn't it just figure? ^_^
As many of you may have noticed, we have no banner adds. Haven't really been able to get any (not that we've really tried very hard). Banner adds don't bother me - they are non-intrusive, and they just take up some real estate on the page.
I have been very bothered by the fact that many comics now spawn pop-up windows with adds in them. I LOATH popup windows. You will NEVER see pop-ups on MT if i have anything to say about it. Banner adds are innocuous. Pop-ups are annoying. I'd rather devote a nice chunk of the main page to advertizing - like in a magazine. In today's economy, it's not really a good idea to be picky if you really want add revenue. So for now, we'll probably be ad-free for a while.
That doesn't mean that MT hasn't earned money for us. Sales from the stuff over at CafePress has been rather remarkable, and I've put the earnings to good use (thinks like Hard Drives, etc) - and in return for your money, you've received shirts or items that (i hope) you are happy with. We appreciate your purchases, and so, forgive us when we plug some stuff from time to time - only buy stuff if you want it ^_^
With all of my recent computer problems, i've even had people offer me computer parts and whatnot to help fix my still-a-problem computer woes. Aaagrh, it's so tempting... but I can't help but think it's just not morally right to accept such things. I don't know. It's like the Paypal 'tip jar' idea that someone thought would be a good idea. There again, i don't really know - it just seems morally questionable. At least when you buy a shirt or a teddy bear, you are getting something for your money. And this 'micropayment' stuff? don't worry about that stuff - the comic will always be free to view by all.
Aw, heck, who cares. I'm doing this for fun anwyays. ^_^
oh, and before i forget - you can now get 'baby doll' style women's/girl's shirts in all the MT shirt designs (for all you g1rlz) - the 'ph33l the lov3' one will be available in a girls shirt on Thursday. For now, i need to get busy on drawing the comic - which is the fun part. ^_^