Showing supportMay 24th, 2012 |
I just got a comment on my site which went something like this:
There used to be a link on this page to your other cartoon, are you not doing it any more?
I answered in the "ya sure" mode, saying there were big buttons at the top of each entry that zip you from ChuckleADuck to Nickyitis or from Nickyitis to ChuckleADuck (not to mention to Crowtoon Studios). I then got this followup:
Ah, I understand now. I'm running AdBlock on Chrome and the links get blocked.
Boy, did that give me pause. You see, I understand the concept of an ad blocker. Cut out the surrounding stuff and just see the meat But what I think many people forget (or just don't know) is how a web cartoonist makes money. They can hope for donations from fans (doesn't happen). They can hope fans will buy books, or clothing, or artwork (happens rarely). Or they can at least hope for some small dribble of revenue from ads. For many cartoonists (I won't say most because I don't have the hard data but it's most certainly the case for me), ads are their primary source of site revenue. Primary as in "none greater."
So what does that mean when someone has an ad blocker on while visiting a webcomic site? It means that person is ensuring the cartoonist will receive zero, not just a tiny dribble, but ZERO revenue.
Now, of course, there is absolutely nothing stopping viewers from watching anything they want to on the web. It's free (for now) and open access (for now). However, does that make it "a good thing?" Can driving a webcartoonist's revenue to zero possibly be desirable? I'm biased, of course, and I certainly feel the answer is "NO." Having ads blocked and withholding support in the way of merchandise purchases sends a pretty strong message, whether it's meant to or not. And that message is "Your stuff is worth absolutely zero to me. I'm willing to do support it to the tune of zippo and that's it."
Ugh. Not a pretty thought. Especially when, by definition, web viewers are people who LIKE the material. Because, unlike the funny pages in a newspaper, they aren't buying everything for one price, whether they like it all or not. On the web you visit the toons you truly enjoy; the ones that speak to you. The ones that, to you, have real worth.
And isn't that, well, worth something?