In Retrospect

Jun 27, 2016, 11:00:18 AM

...In Retrospect

This is the capstone to The Rabbit and the Moon project, a retrospective on the entire project, one that took me 4 years and 4 months to complete.

I thought it might be fun to present the whole thing as an infographic, and I've spent the better part of a month collecting data from my own notes and Google Analytics and putting together an infographic that contains all of the details -- at least interesting details.

The infographic is 6 pages and there'll be one page a day over the course of the week. It doesn't paint the whole story or express all my thoughts and feelings about the comic, but I will do so in the accompanying posts.

Tempus Fugit

"Time flies..." (when you're having fun)

The time passes anyway...

4 years and 4 months. Whew. Like nothing, amirite?

That's 17 seasons.

Or 1,581 days.

Or 37,944 hours.

Or...too damn long.

And yes, it's how long I've worked on This Mortal Coil: The Rabbit and the Moon.

Here's a thing you probably didn't know about me: I actually do keep a daily log of what I do. I don't fill it in daily, but once every few days, which requires me to recall the minutiae of my day-to-day life.

I started keeping this log, because I had too many moments of asking: "where did the time go?"

It cost me nothing to reflect every now and then and write it down in bullet points into my Evernote log. I've got log entries like this dating back to 2010. That meant I could look over my notes and collate the data that's pertinent to this project.

One thing about keeping a journal like this, you really get to learn why forgetting things is a good idea. Good things happen. Bad things happen too. I wrote it all down as objectively as I could. No rose color glasses here in the assessment of my life, but it makes it difficult when I come face-to-face with something I don't want to remember.

I digress... let's break it down...

1,779 hours to draw this comic. At my best estimate. I bullet pointed what I did during the days but not how long I spent doing those things. I know fairly well how many days I worked...886 days by my notes.

I figure, on a weekday, I can spend 4 hours a night, let's say 10pm to 2am.

That's late, right?

Well, I'd be up wasting that time, so I might as well waste it making a comic at least I'll get something out of it.

On weekends maybe I can spend all day -- so I'll say anywhere from 8-12 hours. I used a spreadsheet and added the hours up and also added the hours for each different type of task and built the pie chart above showing the estimated hours in each division of labor.

Oh, don't worry, I wasn't a hermit for 4 years. I spent plenty of time with friends. I've watched countless anime series. I worked on video games (as my job). I've spent hours reading other folks' webcomics, online articles, and whatnot.

Even though I invested 3,617 hours over 886 days spread across 1,581 days (or 4 years) I only spent 9.5% of my waking time doing this. It's probably how much time someone else might spend playing World of Warcraft  (nothing wrong with that), but I'm happy with my decision. I wanted to build something big and doing a little every night means I have that big thing now and I can build on.

If there's a moral you should take away from this right now, it's that you can waste your time, work a full time job, and do a hobby, or as they like to call it now, a "side hustle."

If you care enough, you will find the time.

Web Analytics

I wanted to keep this information simple for the infographic. There's a lot I could have put down here because Google Analytics has it all, or almost has it all.

Of the folks who came to this website to read the comic, you were mostly 25-34 years old and male -- 76% guys to 24% girls. You mostly read the comic sitting at a desktop (presumably at home).

Some extended analytics data:

Google Analytics | The Rabbit and the Moon

Google Analytics | The Rabbit and the Moon

I started this blog way back in 2012. That first spike is about when the comic launched (September 2013), and from there...nothing. A lot of that has to do with the erratic update schedule and an third lesson I learned over the years:

If you build it. They won't come.

Sorry kids, it's not like Kevin Costner's Field of Dreams movie.

And I was worried about hate mail, doxxing, and all that... it was tumbleweeds and crickets for a good year. My updates to the comic were erratic, I had no comments section, parts of the website were probably not working well SEO-wise (and probably still aren't today). So yeah, nobody showed up to play ball with me.

It wasn't until I began to fix some of these issues that I started seeing useful stats (i.e. stats to boost my morale).

The comic reader I created relies on AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript and XML) which means that it doesn't load new HTML pages. If you binge on 100 pages of my comic it'll only count as 1 page view, so I had to fix that, and it does mean that there's potentially more page views that Google couldn't track, but this is what it is, and what I got to go on.

I advertised and that also helped raise This Mortal Coil's profile. I got a lot of binge readers. Later I added WP's comments but due to my erratic update schedule and late-to-the-party advertising and social media I have a feeling all of that contributed to Mortal Coil never taking off.

I started to post weekly which I think also really helped. Keeping a schedule is a good idea.

The comic's story could be another reason why it never took off, but we'll get into that later...

More stats:

Top three browsers of choice: Chrome, Firefox, Safari.

If you did read on mobile, it went Apple iPhone (29.5% of the sessions), and iPad next.

What country did you read from: US was first, then Great Britain, then Brazil.

If you want to know some of the other metrics drop me a note in the comments and I'll see if I can provide it for you.