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Social Media for Young Cartoonists Project: Week 1

Fact: We have some awesome interns, as you’ve seen in the last week or two with Hilary Allison’s incredible lid-blowing-offing of the Nib Holder Industry video, and Hilary and JP Kim‘s reports on SVA student comics fair Fresh Meat. Awesome, but like so many young cartoonists, still invisible to the vas majority of comics readers. They are both just finished with their third year of comics school, and will soon need to figure out how to make their way in the larger world. In fact, JP needs to figure this out sooner than Hilary, since he’s taking the year off in Philadelphia.

With that in mind, Matt and I challenged the two of them to spend their summer figuring out how to get their comics seen. JP has spent the last semester thinking about this subject a lot as our “social media intern”, so he’ll be taking the lead. But he’ll soon figure out that Hilary is force to be reckoned with: She’s sure to catch up to him in a matter of weeks.

Follow Hilary and JP’s progress via weekly reports here on dw-wp.com, and via our various Twitter streams: @dwandwp, @whurf, (not to mention @mmaddencomics and @jccabel) and Hilary’s as soon as she announces what it is. Friend all of us on Facebook (JP, Jessica, Matt, Hilary TK), “like” DWWP, and most of all, please comment here with your insights and advice.

FACT:  In the last ten years, social media has become ESSENTIAL to anyone wishing to build a readership in comics.

social media n.  1. forms of electronic communication through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content.

(Merriam-Webster.com)

Hilary: Okay, so I need to build a website.  But do I really need a facebook?  And a twitter?

JP:  Yes.  You really do.

We’re Matt and Jessica’s interns, 21-year-old tenderfoots, and we’re embarking on a summer-long study of social media for cartoonists… not just how to use it, but how to use it effectively to launch or boost a career.  Each week we’ll share our progress, our theories, and our discoveries in navigating the vast sea of this World Wide Web.

JP Kim (at right) has already captured a small audience through Le Whurf, an original series of non-sequitor comics and I Am A Cartoonist, Hear Me Roar, a more general blog-folio.  He’s moving out of New York this afternoon, leaving SVA to pursue a secret art entrepreneurship in Philadelphia.

Hilary Allison has more ground to cover.  She has an outdated ComicFury for her HaHaConstancePlanck strip, and that’s it.  With one more year left to claim that Cartooning BFA, Hilary is sticking to SVA… and organizing the hell out of student group Cartoon Allies.

Getting Started

(i.e. what we did this week)

Drank a lot of coffee.  Used a lot of wi-fi.

Came up with a list of objectives, both broad and specific…

  • Acquire:

[√] Domain Name
[   ] Website / Blog
[√] Twitter
[   ] Facebook
[   ] Tumblr

(Not checked ’till we both have ‘em.)

  • Find out who our audience is.
  • Attract (and keep) an audience for our comics
  • Gain name-recognition.
  • Gain art-recognition.
  • By the last week of August, generate enough traffic that the first 5 Google search results for “Hilary Allison” and “JP Kim” will point to us.

We made a schedule.

Attached goals to dates.  (Hilary: How many followers should we have by July?)

Argued.  (JP: You’re bogging this down with details!)

Ordered bagels… and more coffee.

We bought domain names.

This step was incredibly easy.  Cleverdot.com.  $10/year.

HilaryAllison.com was taken (not by another Hilary, but by cybersquatters.)  $80+?  No thanks.  Hilary opted for the unclaimed “HilaryAllison.net”

JPKim.com was also occupied.  (Redirects to an unfurnished-looking site in Korean.)  JP went with JP-Kim.com.  He owes Hilary $10, payable before spending money on cigarettes.

We signed up for Twitter.

Or rather, JP signed Hilary up.  (JP was ahead of the game.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

…..

For Next Week

[  ] Have Both of Our Websites (framework) Up
[  ] Link Domains to Websites
[  ] Make Some Decisions About Content
[  ] Decide on Posting Frequency / Create Update Schedule

Google results as of today:

 

 

Comments

11 Comments to Social Media for Young Cartoonists Project: Week 1

  • by Jorge Colombo

    On May 9, 2011 at 11:47 am

    This is one I want keep reading.

  • by Wes Shepherd

    On May 9, 2011 at 11:53 am

    wow, thanks for this. I need to learn alla this noise.

  • by Tom Hart

    On May 9, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    This is going to be great. Matt/Jess, I need these guys when you’re done with them.

    -TH

  • by Jessica Abel

    On May 9, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Spread the love! Please share this post on your pages to help Hilary and JP’s project.

  • by Rachel @ Last Res0rt

    On May 9, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    I have to question the effectiveness of merely gaining enough traffic to make the top 5 search results your name — I do that already, but I also have a much more… “unique” name to accomplish this with.

    Perhaps it’s a case of the goal being necessary, but not sufficient?

  • by Hilary Allison

    On May 9, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Thanks for the support, everyone!

    @ Rachel: Top 5 in Google is definitely just one of many litmus strips! JP and I are looking for more ways to quantify exposure/traffic/reputation. Any tips? (Snazzy site you have there!) We’re especially interested in determining how many page-views, unique viewers and returning viewers equals “a lot”… a very subjective matter, I suspect?

  • by Rachel @ Last Res0rt

    On May 10, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Well, a big part of social media is networking with other cartoonists as much as it is everyone else… so why don’t you send me an email and I’ll see what I can do? ;)

  • by Hilary Allison

    On May 11, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Thanks Rachel! Emailedja.

  • by Kat Fajardo

    On May 12, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Good luck guys! I’m looking forward to your progress over the summer!

    rooting for ya!

  • by Jahhdog

    On May 15, 2011 at 8:27 am

    I have been in this mode since January 2011.

    As this is not my main source of income and my 9-5 job as well as my wife’s design business takes precedence I am limited to the amount of time I can donate to making comics AND maintaining social media sites.

    I will follow you guys with keen interest over your journey!

    ArrrOOooo!

  • by Helena Juhasz

    On April 23, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Just finding this info now. Thanks! I just signed up for social media last summer too. It’s quite the learning curve. I’m still trying to figure out how to be more efficient at it and spend more time actually drawing!

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