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Webcomic goes Facebook

Robot 6 reports that Ricardo Proven’s webcomic, cheerfully entitled Donnie Goth, claims to be the first webcomic entirely distributed via Facebook app! Brigid Alverson, though, has her reservations:

…putting all your eggs in the Facebook basket seems to limit the potential audience somewhat. Aside from that handful of folks who aren’t on Facebook, many users (myself included) shy away from apps because they require you to turn over personal information. When I clicked on the Donnie Goth app, Facebook requested permission to share my “basic information,” which includes my name, gender, user ID, list of friends and “any other information I’ve shared with everyone.” Admittedly, all of that is already out there on my Facebook page, but the idea of handing it over in a neat package to an outside entity give me a nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach. On the other hand, if I could simply click over to the page, I’d do it — and maybe even “like” it.

I guess I can understand the appeal of distributing solely on Facebook. My brother-in-law is a Mary Kay consultant who (at the urging of the parent company) uses Facebook as his prime website. Still, Ms. Alverson’s criticisms are very valid. I’m something of a Facebook luddite myself (I signed up some years back, but haven’t gone back since), so the thrilling adventures of Donnie Goth will be lost on me.

Also, I’m not sure if I want to give Donnie my A/S/L. Dude looks like the sort of guy who can mess you up with some tragic poetry, know what I’m sayin’?

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Posted on September 13, 2011, in The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. To be very frank, I see no point in having a webcomic be produced in Facebook app only. Why would you want to narrow your audience to only users of a social network willing to give the app the permission to share info when you can do like everyone else and make it available to the whole net, even with a facebook Like button so it can be shared in Facebook?

    Maybe it uses social network mechanics to influence the reading experience? “Share with 5 people to read a fresh new page”? It still makes no sense. 😐

  2. Hello everyone. Thanks for covering the launch of the webcomic first of all. I appreciate it.

    You bring up valid comments and considerations that I will take into account. I chose Facebook, because in addition to it’s huge installed user base (720 million and counting), I like the idea that you could just pop on over to view the app without leaving your social network. So let’s say you’re chatting with someone and decide to multitask and read a strip, you could conceivably do both this way without leaving the Facebook environment. I also liked the idea that all the mechanisms for instant feedback and connecting with my potential audience was built-in as well as some robust reporting features. They also have a pretty good self-contained advertising system. The tools were easy to use for the most part.

    It seems most reader’s aversion to the Facebook environment has to do with permissions and the authentication screen they get at the beginning. I understand this and have been victim to many apps in the past that have abused this privilege, so I can see why people have built up a distrust to giving those kinds of permissions.

    However, I am open to feedback and suggestions.

    So, if I were to remove the authentication script and not require people to grant permissions, in effect opening the app to the entire world, would people still have a problem that the app was on Facebook? I’m curious.

    • I’m one of those people who dislike those personal information grabbing apps, so I have to say I was a little weary of doing it for your comic. But ultimately I decided I might as well try to support an artist out and give you some viewing numbers. But ultimately yes, I would’ve been more than willing to check out your comic if it wasn’t for the personal info price.

      I still however think having a comic on Facebook is a great way to get yourself some attention beside from the few of us who are too paranoid to try it out. And if losing that number of us is the price you have to pay for that kind of opportunity I think it would be worth it.

  3. I don’t really see the appeal either. For one thing, I don’t trust FB and would not hand anything of mine to it ever, but that’s the creator’s decision. I can’t take anythign distributed through FB seriously either – just like having one’s website hosted on a free host, it feels unprofessional. More importantly, I use maybe 3 FB apps and that’s it. Precisely because apps are a breach of privacy, I do not use any app that I don’t REALLY want to use, so there’s no chance I’ll ever read the comic. Also, FB is banned in several countries, and many workplaces in the rest of the world. Finally, it’s not an environment made for art or webcomics, they’d have to be shaped around it, and that’s a turnoff of its own.
    I just don’t see what FB offers that better sites don’t offer, to make it worth the trouble of making an exclusive app for it. Having a facebook page for a comic hosted on its own site is just as fine a way of tapping into that large (potential but unlikely) audience, and far less dodgy.

  4. Update – after checking with Facebook’s developer terms and policies, I have decided to remove the user authorization from the app. Now the webcomic is viewable by anyone at anytime even if they are not logged in to Facebook. Thanjavur the feedback and helping me to create a better app.

  1. Pingback: Webcomic Overlook on Donnie Goth | The Donnie Goth Webcomic

  2. Pingback: Who Are You?: An interview with Ricardo Porven (Donnie Goth) | The Webcomic Overlook

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