General Discussion

THE LAST STRAW - That Camel's Broken Back
Ally Haert at 10:56AM, April 4, 2011
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Comics have always been a big deal for me. As a child I would stay up late on school nights reading The Incredible Hulk and Silver Surfer comics, despite my parent's best efforts. During high school I discovered Strong Bad E-mails, which in turn led me to Megatokyo. The world of webcomics opened up to me and I was addicted. So my New Year's resolution this last year to start a webcomic of my own was a “coming of age” moment for me. At last!

I chose Drunk Duck for a number of reasons. 1) I've been reading comics on Drunk Duck since 2005 (though on a seperate account). 2) Drunk Duck seemed to have one of the largest, most helpful, most active webcomic communities. 3) It was user friendly enough for a code deficient html retard such as myself.

But right as I'm starting up an account and figuring out how to get going….the site crashes. Not a little fender bender kind of crash, either. We're talking an 18-wheeler pile up of epic proportions.

Needless to say, I have some concerns. Not really concerns about the website's coding; I know there is a capable Tech Staff for this site. I'm not really worried about lost archiving either; I haven't started posting yet.

I'm worried about the community.

How much is going to be too much?

It's completely unreasonable for people to expect the site to constantly be in a state of improvement while also expecting everything to go off without a hitch. Hosting problems are going to happen.

But just because it's unreasonable, doesn't mean it isn't frustrating. I can understand a lot of the anger I've been reading in the past few days. I'm working so hard to draw and color these pages right now that if I'd already posted (and then lost and been forced to re-post) them, I'd be discouraged as well.

Websites will bounce back. But will the people?

The answer for me is still an emphatic “yes I can”. I'm still going to “bother” with Drunk Duck. It's survived the rickety road to proper hosting before and it'll probably crash again. But it's survived and will continue to do so because it's community is consistant, supportive, and enduring.

In the past three days I've watched four of my favorite comic artists post declarations of departure. Enough is enough for them.

While I can relate to these artist's anger, this place still resonates with me. They may not “hear the call” of Drunk Duck anymore. But there's no denying the whistle in the distance when the dogs pace the yard and howl into the night.
“No one can go back to start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending,” Maria Ross.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:49AM
Dodger at 11:53AM, April 4, 2011
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That was an awful crash, but it's defiantly not the worst one DD has ever had. When the site completely crashed and burned in late 2005/2006 I was in the position you described; just getting used to the site and getting my footing in webcomics… I lost over 200 pages in that and it was an awful feeling.

That said, a lot of people say they're going to leave, but from my experience most of them (especially if they had some fans here on DD) come back. I've tried leaving the duck before and posting elsewhere, but I always end up back here, lol. It's a great site with an excellent community.

Koji Takahashi Stops the World, full color, updating Mondays
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:13PM
Genejoke at 11:59AM, April 4, 2011
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I considered migrating, I'm actively mirroring now but not leaving.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:34PM
blindsk at 1:27PM, April 4, 2011
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Times like these is definitely very difficult for both comic author and readers. This is especially frustrating for an author if they just experienced an upswing in readers prior to the crash. But I encourage you to read around the feedback we're being given by the admins. If in this “reboot” we are given just about everything that we've been promised, then the crashes we've endured will be more than worth the wait.

I agree with what Dodger said, when everything is back and fully functional, we'll probably see a lot of users returning to the site. Personally, I'll never give up on DD as long as the admins have not yet thrown in the towel.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:25AM
skoolmunkee at 1:32PM, April 4, 2011
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DD has surived a long time, against all odds at some points, and will continue. :] A few people are leaving but more people are always arriving- I'd say it would be unreasonable to expect people not to move on at some point, for whatever reason. It's unfortunate that it was an event like this that perhaps brought that time sooner for some people. The other thing that sucks is that the community was starting to get more lively after the slow decline of the last few years. People have been posting a lot more in the forums, really GREAT comics have been showing up, etc. I don't know if that will slow down again now or not.

People who have been around for some time will remember that there was a period of a few years where absolutely nothing was happening on the site, where problems and bugs would pile up and nothing got fixed. Platinum kept DD going but everyone could sense that they had no interest in it and that it might die at any time. THAT drove a lot more people away than technical issues like the ones we've had in the last 6 months or so. I'd rather have some technical issues knowing that the site is being improved than the stagnation that was happening before.

What keeps DD going IS its community. DD is unique in its user makeup, community… er, ambience? and level of support. Any site can host comics but you can't just make a great community. Those who are deeply connected will stay. There are other comic hosts and DD has always been happy to act as a mirror site. I think that people who are truly concerned about their audience numbers and need hosting they have more control over should probably move on to their own domain anyway.


(I'm not sure you really needed to post a whole new thread about it, considering how many we have floating around right now about the site problems, but okay. Maybe this can be a different kind of discussion?)
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:44PM
usedbooks at 1:38PM, April 4, 2011
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Eh. I've seen worse. Even when they just changed the color scheme people said they were leaving, and did. People always leave, but I'm staying. I'm excited to see what comes of this – especially the idea of completely recoding the site. If there's downtime, I'll just build up some buffer and upload at mirrors for a while. I like this community the best.

Anyway, most of the people whom I first befriended here and who first encouraged me are long gone. They didn't leave during any of the site crashes or glitches or changes, though. They vanished for loss of interest in comics or for life issues taking away their hobby time. I know some people leave because they get opportunities to go more professional. All internet communities are dynamic things. However, the truth is, I like the people here now as much as a liked the people here years ago – even though it's a completely different group of people.

Of course, if I had different goals or wanted to be professional or took comics more seriously, frequent technical glitches and public image of the DD site might have turned me away. But since I don't care about any of that, and I like the people and the atmosphere here, I'm not going anywhere. (Plus, like I said, I'm excited to see what the new programmers and managers come up with. Even through the difficulties, they have been 10000% more responsive then the Platinum crew was.)
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:38PM
JustNoPoint at 3:00PM, April 4, 2011
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I'm actually trying to get things in order so I can come back :P

The recent crash did remind me I needed to work on hosting on my own site. Which I finally got around to finishing and works ^_^ (all links and pages not up yet)

Once everything in my life settles I can't wait to get back to this community. It's not like I'll be getting comments on my own site. I'm sure most (all?) will always come from here :)

For the people leaving… Unless you really don't have much of a fanbase here I don't see a reason to leave. And even if you just have a couple loyals, I'd want to stick around for them at least.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:12PM
djcoffman at 4:00PM, April 4, 2011
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A lot of Drunk Duck members were emailing me about this article, so I re-wrote it. Basically it gives folks the run down on hosting their own webcomic if they aren't happy with DrunkDuck Read it here http://www.djcoffman.com/how-to-host-your-own-webcomic/
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:12PM
kyupol at 4:34PM, April 4, 2011
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I have a smackjeeves mirror for MAG-ISA. But its not up-to-date. lol
NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:27PM
Product Placement at 4:43PM, April 4, 2011
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It's hard to see some of the comic artists that I've grown to know and interact with leave this place and for a while I've spent some time trying to convince them stick through this rough patch and wait for the site redesign before deciding to leave. However after this last big crash, I will not be surprised to see them leave.

With that being said, I wish to stress that allot of the current issues are to do with old and unstable coding, which is hampering allot of efforts to improve the site. Wowio is getting allot of unfair bashing for the problems with the site that we're dealing with today, cause allot of these problems are something that they inherited. The sluggish speed, frequent crashing, various issues like being logged out and witnessing allot of various bugs, all old and chronic problems that have plagued this site for a very long time. When Wowio last tried to update the site it turned into this major hassle that left the place unstable for days, because the old codes weren't sinking with the new ones.

This is why they're working on the major overhaul today.

The new site will contain 100% newly written codes, 0% of the old one. Being someone who's currently studying computer engineering, I can't stress enough how important that fact is. The biggest problem a programmer is often faced is working with someone else's code, especially if it's already unstable.

Once the new site is up and running, it will mean all lot more smoother ride. The programmers at Wowio will be able to provide considerably faster bug fixes, updates and all together speedier service.

Someone once pointed out that the current condition of Drunk Duck is that it's like driving a banged up car that's one the verge of falling into pieces and whenever one element is fixed, it often causes something else to break down. Using that metaphor, imagine the new site design as a brand new car…

One warning to our friends at Wowio. The site design is a very dangerous double edge sword. Right now the major excuse you guys have is that allot of the current problems are not your doing. Once the redesign is over, that excuse is gone. If the site is still sluggish and unusable after the big updated, I can guaranty a mas exodus from this site.

In Layman's term. The new design has to come through and it has to come through good.
Those were my two cents.
If you have any other questions, please deposit a quarter.
This space for rent.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:53PM
I Am The 1337 Master at 5:26PM, April 4, 2011
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DD keeps going because I showed up and I am its Jesus.

In other words, the dick who sits in the back and lets people get screwed over.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:55PM
demontales at 5:49PM, April 4, 2011
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I've put my comic on a few other sites lately, to get a little more exposure, but nothing's like the duck. It sounds cheezy but it's like my “comic adoption family” and I wouldn't leave the site unless it became run and populated by total assholes. Crashes and bugs happens, it's the internet, there's nothing ever 100% safe or stable anyway. At least people are working to make it work, and I'm thankful for that.

I don't understand people who make leaving such a big deal. Or that feel that they must absolutely leave if they put their comic elsewhere.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:10PM
Hawk at 5:58PM, April 4, 2011
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I think anybody who is leaving over recent events will eventually have to realize a few things:

- Another failure on DD's current server is no more likely than anywhere else you could move to.
- Re-uploading your entire backlog is harder than re-uploading two-and-a-half months of images.
- …not to mention figuring out Comicpress, or some other scripting situation for those who move to self-hosting.
- There are some good features at DD that you might not realize you'd miss until you lose them.
- Some readers simply won't follow a comic to a new location.

Having comic mirrors is totally cool, and taking it out on your own in an endeavor for growth in just fine, but leaving DD to make a statement doesn't accomplish very much. Drunk Duck's population is going to naturally cycle anyway, so while we're here we just need to enjoy the company. It's the best reason to be here.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:47PM
seventy2 at 6:11PM, April 4, 2011
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Product Placement
With that being said, I wish to stress that allot of the current issues are to do with old and unstable coding, which is hampering allot of efforts to improve the site. Wowio is getting allot of unfair bashing for the problems with the site that we're dealing with today, cause allot of these problems are something that they inherited.

i think you just blamed bush for the crashes.
facara
Running Anew an exercise blog.
I'm gonna love you till the money comes, half of it's gonna be mine someday.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:31PM
bravo1102 at 12:25AM, April 5, 2011
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It's simple: someone ran out of duct tape. There is only so much patching you can do with old crap. Bubble gum, duct tape and bailing wire can hold together a creaky edifice for only so long and then stuff crashes.

Just have to wait for the dust to settle and use the time I would have spent here someplace else maybe working on the other ten projects laying around that are actually worth a bucket of warm spit.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:34AM
Genejoke at 12:45AM, April 5, 2011
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As it is clearly knackered can they not stop fixing it now and just put all their energies into the new site?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:34PM
Allan at 2:34AM, April 5, 2011
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I don't understand the difficulty in reuploading a few comics.

You might lose some comments, you might lose some author's notes. Who really cares? Your comic is going up on the internet. Just click a few buttons and reupload those suckers. Takes about 5 seconds per comic.

If people are whining and leaving after just one crash, let them leave. The community will be stronger afterward for it and we'll have fewer whiners. Survival of the fittest, etc.

Anyone who's been with DD for a long time knows we've gone through multiple crashes. Big ones. This is no different. DD will be back like usual, and in the meantime all we can do is keep the admins, mods, and coders up-to-date with our bugs.

They'll all be ironed-out soon enough.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:49AM
lothar at 3:20AM, April 5, 2011
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i think it was the original crash of new years eve 2003 that caused me to be interested in DD . before that i posted a few pages here but i was mostly using keenspace and my own site . when that original crash wiped out everything it was like a new beggining so i started posting a lot . it was exciting to be there at the start of something new . same with the late 2005 crash . i was checking all the time to see what was going to happen .
maybe they can wipe out everything at the end of every year ! then resurect it on january first . that would be interesting !
that will prolly never happen , but i will stick with this site because self hosting is boring all the other comic sites all blow !!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
ozoneocean at 5:30AM, April 5, 2011
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lothar
but i will stick with this site because self hosting is boring all the other comic sites all blow !!!
Yeah, I found that.

After the mega serious mega monster disaster of '05 we had no choice at all but to look elsewhere.
Back then there WAS no DD to come back to. The site had been frozen for months, with no ability to update anything or do anything at all on the site because the shit host buggered up seriously badly… and poor old Volte6 was utterly powerless and without options. He had zero backups at all in those days, handling everything himself and the whole site was in the hosts he moved it to because they told him it'd be such a great deal. Then this freeze. He did everything he could to try and contact the bastards but to no avail.
Then one day he woke up to see the entire site utterly gone from the net, for good. It turns out the “host” was some &^$#& who had bought a lot of server space and then onsold it at profit. When they stopped paying their bills the real hosts froze all the sites and waited for payment. When it didn't come they deleted everything.

Volte6 was absolutely gutted. Everything he'd worked on and built up in his own time with his own money over the years was utterly gone.
He started a new forum at the address to tell people what had happened, and that he didn't have the heart to continue. So well all posted where our comics had moved on to and what we were doing, and the community all came together again slowly… And after a while, Volte6 began to take heart from all of us being there again and dream of new beginnings. And then one day he decided to build the site again from the ground up.
————————–

I self hosted for a long time and mirrored al over the place, But self hosting was a hassle for me, and I just couldn't find as good a community at other sites- they were either too small and insular, too massively huge fast moving and impersonal like Comic Gen, or way too cliquey and specific like Smack Jeeves. DD was just more comfortable and there's always such a core of positivism ans optimism here- like something bigger and better is always right around the corner.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
Hawk at 10:16AM, April 5, 2011
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I remember that. There really wasn't any good alternative to DD after the crash. I looked at several places, and I still had my comic hosted on my own website, but nothing compared to the Drunk Duck we had just lost. I was so glad to see it come back!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:47PM
blindsk at 12:31PM, April 5, 2011
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ozoneocean
After the mega serious mega monster disaster of '05 we had no choice at all but to look elsewhere.
Back then there WAS no DD to come back to. The site had been frozen for months, with no ability to update anything or do anything at all on the site because the shit host buggered up seriously badly… and poor old Volte6 was utterly powerless and without options. He had zero backups at all in those days, handling everything himself and the whole site was in the hosts he moved it to because they told him it'd be such a great deal. Then this freeze. He did everything he could to try and contact the bastards but to no avail.
Then one day he woke up to see the entire site utterly gone from the net, for good. It turns out the “host” was some &^$#& who had bought a lot of server space and then onsold it at profit. When they stopped paying their bills the real hosts froze all the sites and waited for payment. When it didn't come they deleted everything.

Volte6 was absolutely gutted. Everything he'd worked on and built up in his own time with his own money over the years was utterly gone.
He started a new forum at the address to tell people what had happened, and that he didn't have the heart to continue. So well all posted where our comics had moved on to and what we were doing, and the community all came together again slowly… And after a while, Volte6 began to take heart from all of us being there again and dream of new beginnings. And then one day he decided to build the site again from the ground up.

Wow, interesting story.

That actually reminds me of something I thought worth mentioning. I remember back when webcomic communities were all huge and easy to come by. Some of them rode off of the success of a single webcomic while others grew from word-of-mouth and expanded out of “rivalries.” When DD was in its beta stages, a lot of people were skeptical. Why should they put time into a site like that when they've been doing fine hosting on their own? Eventually a few prominent members of other communities supported the idea and promoted it, and eventually this attracted a lot of not-so-prominent members (me included).

Today I occasionally search for those other webcomics and communities I used to frequent a while ago. For whatever reason, most of them have been taken down and are no more. I realize now why the original members of DD chose to move here: they knew this would be a dedicated community and resilient by the fact that it has a members and an admin team that want to see it survive.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:25AM

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