Improvements (And Room For More)

Jon Maki, President and Publisher
Jon Maki, President and Publisher

While we wait for Creators to start signing up and posting comics – You are, like me, waiting for that, right? – I continue to tinker with some of the settings and features of the site in an attempt to improve the overall experience.

The latest improvement:

Enabling (and creating) Groups, which allow registered members of the site – whether they’re Creators, Collaborators, or just fans – to socialize and share information.

It’s really taking the next step in capitalizing on the social networking features enabled by the plug-in I installed for customizing the sign-up form.

To capitalize further, I created a Group called Artist Alley, which is a Group for all registered Creators to interact with each other and their adoring public, and one called Collaborators, which allows those who are interested in becoming Creators and looking for their partners-in-comics to let the world know their names and what they have to offer.

Of course, these are all very basic, and are just laying the groundwork for what is to come for OpenDoor Comics.  Even the current overall look of OpenDoor Comics, and any new sites created here, is very basic.  It is, with some minor customization, the most basic, default WordPress theme available.

But that goes back to my original ideas about Supply and Demand.  I just want to have something out there for people to begin using so that we have something to build on.  After all, there is no need to reinvent the wheel, but once we start using the wheel, we can begin looking into ways to improve it.

Let’s take the Collaborator-matching as an example.  Right now, there are two basic paths:

  • Sign up, list your skills and interests, and check the box indicating that you’re looking to collaborate and be contacted by other registered users.  Others will be able to see that information in your profile – particularly if you join the Collaborators group – and anyone interested in working with you can then contact you.
  • Let me know that you’re interested in collaborating (via e-mail) and what your skills and interests are, and I will look through the index of potential matches and do the matchmaking legwork behind the scenes.

Neither path is particularly innovative or complex, but they do provide a starting point.  What kind of improvements will the future bring?

I can see incorporating more cogent questions into the basic Collaborator profile, or maybe some kind of personality assessment.  Or maybe setting up some Google Hangouts, or even real-life meet-ups.

But maybe not!  Maybe no one fill find that useful.  The point is, with that service, as with every other aspect of OpenDoor Comics, there’s plenty of room to improve.  It’s something that I recognize and am working on, and I hope that you recognize it as well, and view it not as obstacle, but an interesting challenge and an opportunity, because much of what we’ll see in terms of improvements to the site depends on you.

In particular, having the resources (money, mostly, which will lead to more available time) to devote to improving existing features and developing new features, and being able to entice some skilled and talented people to join the OpenDoor Comics team and help with that development, depends on people like you visiting the site (and configuring your ad-blockers to allow the minimal, non-intrusive ads to display…pretty please?), donating to the site (see the button over to the left), selling and buying items in the Supply Closet, buying items from the OpenDoor Comics Shop, and signing up and creating your own comics.

And, of course, just generally being willing to provide support and spreading the word and having faith that, in time, OpenDoor Comics will be in a position to achieve its Vision and Mission, and do its best to live up to its Values.