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Raw Materials - The Decision Expand / Collapse
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Posted Thursday, September 16, 2010 9:10 AM


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I was told recently that the Raw Materials comics that we have run for a little over a year, will be be discontinued recently. This wasn't my decision, but honestly I can understand the decision and didn't fight it.

Phil Factor was the person that brought this idea forward, and has worked with Larry Gonick to bring you a steady stream of comics that have entertained many people, myself included, over the last year or so.

A few weeks ago one of the senior management people at Red Gate asked about the cost for the comics and did not feel that the cost of the comics was in line with the exposure and the reads that they got. This is not to say that Mr. Gonick is charging too much, as I have no idea what a good rate is for a comic. This is more that the cost of the comics, compared with what we see in our web analytics isn't a good return from management's point of view.

This isn't necessarily a final decision, but more an immediate one. If you think that the comics are worth continuing, then I'd urge you to pass the word to friends, get more people to view older comics, and write a letter to Red Gate. You can contact them at info@red-gate.com, and explain why the comics are a great idea.

If there is enough response, I'm sure we can continue this series.







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Post #987341
Posted Thursday, September 16, 2010 9:23 AM


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Holly cr*p you guys are dumb. Edit : That's a little harsh for my taste !

Put the darn comics in a ebook and resell at 25$ like for the best articles (printed version is worth more because of the added value).

You'd make a killing at pass and other conferences like that and that "loss" would be gone for good.


Here's another idea. Pay 0$ for the comics and give 50% rev share for the books sell. Do a book anually and be done with it.


1000 copies at 25$ would make you 12500$ each for 5 hours on the RedGates end and I'm sure Larry wouldn't mind 1000$ / month for doing what he loves.

If you guys can't sell 80 copies a month with over 1M subscribers you really need to get a new sales guy.

Just for the idea, I want 10% of the revshare .

Use my login e-mail to paypal the money.
Post #987359
Posted Thursday, September 16, 2010 9:26 AM


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Considering that there's next to no publicity for these comics and it's all word of mouth, I think the viewership is amazing.

I understand the monetary issue. But I really do hope they change their mind. I love these comics. And putting them in an ebook or even a regular book to sell out on the net, that's an awesome idea.


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Post #987362
Posted Thursday, September 16, 2010 9:28 AM


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I'll even go 1 step further, give me the rights of the book in exchange for revshare and I'll do the project for you.
Post #987366
Posted Thursday, September 16, 2010 9:58 AM


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I loved the comic, although to be honest I won't quit visiting SSC because its gone. I'd like to see it continued.

But Ninja's_RGR'us has a good point that there might be more than one way to make money from it.


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Post #987382
Posted Thursday, September 16, 2010 10:02 AM


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From another thread :
Phil Factor (9/16/2010)
I'm completely in awe of Larry's talent in injecting so much humour into whatever he draws. Very few people understand the predicament of developers and DBAs was well as Larry does. This is because he a scientist as well as an artist with a good understanding of technology as well as the human predicament in the workplace. He also actively goes out and asks developers and DBAs about their lives at work, and extracts the essential humor of it. For me, Derek is a real live person. His moods and predicaments are my own.

We've had a great deal of fun with these comics and I, for one, really look forward to them. Originally, we planned just a finite series of them, but we have continued them because they've been so popular. They've succeeded way beyond what anyone imagined, which is why we now have so many on the site.

Unfortunately, it has been difficult to justify them, coldly, in terms of the number of visitors they attract to the site. Steve and I are currently seeing how if there are other ways we can persuade Larry to use his genius to amuse and educate the community, and all ideas and suggestions are very welcome. It would be great to get the Red-Gate management to fund another project but it is up to us to come up with something that is bound to appeal to the mainstream of DBAs.


"To fund another project", are you guys really that strapped for cash???

No offense, but last time I checked you were giving 25$ for and article. I can't really imagine you giving more than 100$ per comic, if that much.

So 5000$ / year @ 25$ a book is 400 books sold to cover the costs (not withstanding the traffic it brings in). With 1.3M members in our little ssc community (I'm assuming at least 10M sql server guys in the world), it would take you less than 1 sell per 1000 members yearly. Now keep in mind that most people will usually also buy the second year, so for year 1 you can aim even lower than that.


And using 25$ per comic, all you need to do is sell ONE license of the toolbelt to cover your ENTIRE investement for the year, that completely ignoring the lifetime value of your customers.

Any marketers worth their salt would tell you it's worth a dry run to test the waters.
Post #987386
Posted Thursday, September 16, 2010 10:25 AM


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I like the comic and think that Ninja has it right. An ebook could possibly generate a lot of revenue.



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Post #987422
Posted Thursday, September 16, 2010 10:47 AM


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Even better than an ebook... I'd pay good money to get a 3X6 poster of a few of those comics to put in my office. And depending on the circumstances point them to whoever's annoying me in my workplace.
Post #987455
Posted Thursday, September 16, 2010 10:47 AM


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CirquedeSQLeil (9/16/2010)
I like the comic and think that Ninja has it right. An ebook could possibly generate a lot of revenue.


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Post #987457
Posted Thursday, September 16, 2010 10:56 AM


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Ninja's_RGR'us (9/16/2010)
Even better than an ebook... I'd pay good money to get a 3X6 poster of a few of those comics to put in my office. And depending on the circumstances point them to whoever's annoying me in my workplace.


You could probably sell those for $5 each. I think there would be enough people interested in that.




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