We said it in the welcome post, but please allow us to say once again:
Welcome to the new GoComics.
This is (not to put too fine a point on it), a big deal. For those of you who've made GoComics a part of your everyday life as well as those of us who've worked on this for the last year, what you're looking at today represents some serious changes, and that is a big deal for all of us.
We didn't change things simply for the sake of changing things. Everything you see here represents some pretty tough decisions and discussions on our part. At the same time, we know that unexplained changes are pretty frustrating. So let's take a moment and walk through what has (and just as importantly - hasn't) changed, even though it might look otherwise.
Q: Where did all the comments go?
That's an easy one: they’re still right where you left ‘em back on the current version of GoComics. This beta version is a completely new site that was built from the ground up, and we wanted to give you, our valiant beta-testing friends, the first go at commenting up the place. Rest assured, all existing comments from the current GoComics will be brought over when we have our official re-launch in 2017.
Q: Where did my daily e-mail go?
Funnily enough (Is that a word? Let's just go with it.), that's the same answer as with the comments. If you're a Premium (formerly Pro) member who is signed to get your favorite comics emailed to you every day, you're going to continue to get that e-mail. We didn't want to clutter up your inbox with multiple versions, so you'll continue to get the existing style e-mail until our official relaunch, after which you'll get the same content with an updated look. If you're not a Premium GC Insider, well....you might want to rethink that choice, because the Premium My Comics Page is a-maz-ing.
Q. Speaking of - can I still see all of my favorite comic titles displayed on a single page?
Oh, heavens, yes. Premium members still get their daily comics displayed on a single page (or pages if you like to organize things). We love that feature as much as you do. All we've done is make the comics larger and introduced recommendations like the example you see below.
Q: Yeah. About that...what's up with the recommendations in My Comics pages?
Do you get a little sad when your favorite title didn't update? We sure do. So to help make the daily comic read a little brighter, we'll offer up an alternate comic strip when one of your subscribed comics doesn't update. If you like it - awesome! Maybe it's a new title you've never seen before, or one that you haven't seen in a while. We're hoping you'll discover some new favorites!
Q. What if I don't like the recommendations I'm seeing?
Good news! If you don't like a recommendation, just dismiss it (by clicking on the 'x'), and the site will learn from that choice. Over time we'll have a better understanding of your preferences, and we'll serve up recommendations accordingly.
Q. What are the Genre pages for?
When we asked folks to answer our survey last year, a lack of discoverability was one of the biggest issues. We introduced categorization by genre so that we could build connections between comics and make them easier to discover. Like Workplace comedy? Well, here's all the titles on the site that fall under that genre. Maybe you missed a New Comic Alert when a new title launched, and now you'll be able to find it with similarly themed titles that might already enjoy.
Q. Why did you break up the A to Z page?
Honestly? Size. We knew while many of you relied on that page to see what updated on any given day, other users found it very cumbersome and difficult to navigate. To solve that we broke the A to Z page up into more digestible sections, and added the ability to filter comics by their last update on the Popular, Recommended, and Genre pages. We've also given you the ability to filter your comics by whether a title is in print, out of print, or web-only.
Q: Where did the magnifying glass go?
Like many of you, we used the magnifying glass to see larger versions of the strips we love. So with this version we decided that, rather than have you click on the magnifying glass, we'd just show you the largest version your screen can accommodate. Same result, but with one less click.
Q. The buttons under the comic strips look different. What do they do?
I'm glad you asked! The heart button is our "like" function. Show your appreciation for a strip by liking it, and we'll use those likes to show you (and creators) what strips are popular on the site. Right now we're starting with weekly, but soon enough we'll have enough information to show what's popular by the day, or by the month.
Q. Explain the push-pin thing.
Okay, technically that's a statement; not a question, but let's roll with it. The push-pin icon saves an individual strip to your Favorites page, where it will be available to you any time you like. Consider it the refrigerator door of GoComics.
That's pretty much it for the major changes. What else do ya got?
Q. So is this just how things are now? What I see today is what GoComics will be like from now on?
Actually, no. The motivation behind releasing a beta version of the site was so that we could give you a chance to voice your opinion. We know that some functions or ideas might not work the way we expected them to. Or maybe something won't resonate with you the way we thought it would. We'll be using the next few months to test out ideas, tweaks, and maybe even complete overhauls of sections based on your interaction and feedback. What you see today is not a destination; it's a starting point. Just like you, we want the best GoComics experience possible
Q. How should I give you that feedback?
Ideally you'll do so by using our contact form. You can also take our super-short survey.
Q. Why can't I just comment here?
You can do just that, as a matter of fact. We'll be reading and responding to comments on a regular basis. The disadvantage to comments is that they can be hard to put together and understand as a group, but if that's how you want to communicate we are here to listen. And oh, yes - we are definitely listening.
Okay, this is getting a bit long in the tooth, so we've got time for one last question. Fire away.
Q. Why are you talking in third person?
That's a fantastic question, but unfortunately we're out of time. Keep your eyes on the Blog, your feet on the ground, and remember to
READ COMICS EVERY DAY.