End of Keenspace.com?

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End of Keenspace.com?

Postby [geoduck] on Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:34 am

Out of inertia mostly, I've kept a link to the old Keenspace.com address for my comic. It's kept working for all these years after the switch to ComicGenesis (redirecting to the CG site), until this last week or so when it started producing an error message. If the last remnants of Keenspace truly have passed on, a moment of silence..
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RIP atavism.keenspace.com

Postby Cope on Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:23 am

I'm surprised keenspace.com hung around for so long. It's been almost a decade!
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Re: End of Keenspace.com?

Postby Toxic on Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:35 am

I may have changed to Comic Genesis in my url but never in my heart.
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Re: End of Keenspace.com?

Postby Terotrous on Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:04 pm

I still feel that the change was a mistake and was probably a significant contributor to the overall decline of webcomics. The two-stream model worked well for the Keen family, it made Keenspace the most popular amateur comicing site and gave aspiring cartoonists motivation to draw their comics. When they cut off the link a lot of that magic went out of the cartooning world.
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Re: End of Keenspace.com?

Postby Bustertheclown on Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:50 am

Terotrous wrote:I still feel that the change was a mistake and was probably a significant contributor to the overall decline of webcomics. The two-stream model worked well for the Keen family, it made Keenspace the most popular amateur comicing site and gave aspiring cartoonists motivation to draw their comics. When they cut off the link a lot of that magic went out of the cartooning world.


I don't know. I mean, I understand that the centrality of the Keen name made it all feel a lot more communal, but from the business side, the frenzy of 10 years ago was not sustainable. It has been a very long time since comics themselves have been anything resembling lucrative, no matter the format. There are the handful of professionals who are able to make a living from the trade, but like most creative jobs, it tends not to be a path to great fame and fortune. Add in a million amateurs with stars in their eyes, and something's bound to have to give. I didn't see the splitting of the Keen properties as a reason for the decline, so much as I saw it as a symptom of the decline.
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Re: End of Keenspace.com?

Postby Terotrous on Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:06 am

Bustertheclown wrote:I don't know. I mean, I understand that the centrality of the Keen name made it all feel a lot more communal, but from the business side, the frenzy of 10 years ago was not sustainable. It has been a very long time since comics themselves have been anything resembling lucrative, no matter the format. There are the handful of professionals who are able to make a living from the trade, but like most creative jobs, it tends not to be a path to great fame and fortune. Add in a million amateurs with stars in their eyes, and something's bound to have to give. I didn't see the splitting of the Keen properties as a reason for the decline, so much as I saw it as a symptom of the decline.

Webcomics were still really hot when they did the split. Their reasoning was "we don't want to pollute the Keenspot brand with the perceived badness of Keenspace comics", so if anything the issue was too much enthusiasm for cartooning. Unfortunately, after that it started to fall off and there wasn't any risk of polluting Keenspot's reputation because people just started losing interest in comics altogether.
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Re: End of Keenspace.com?

Postby McDuffies on Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:55 am

Terotrous wrote:
Bustertheclown wrote:I don't know. I mean, I understand that the centrality of the Keen name made it all feel a lot more communal, but from the business side, the frenzy of 10 years ago was not sustainable. It has been a very long time since comics themselves have been anything resembling lucrative, no matter the format. There are the handful of professionals who are able to make a living from the trade, but like most creative jobs, it tends not to be a path to great fame and fortune. Add in a million amateurs with stars in their eyes, and something's bound to have to give. I didn't see the splitting of the Keen properties as a reason for the decline, so much as I saw it as a symptom of the decline.

Webcomics were still really hot when they did the split. Their reasoning was "we don't want to pollute the Keenspot brand with the perceived badness of Keenspace comics", so if anything the issue was too much enthusiasm for cartooning. Unfortunately, after that it started to fall off and there wasn't any risk of polluting Keenspot's reputation because people just started losing interest in comics altogether.


Nah.

Webcomics were very popular (well, as popular as webomics could be) years after the name change. Since then a whole lot of things happened both in webcomics and on internet in general, hell, the whole internet landscape has turned upside down. Name change doesn't stand a chance of having any significance. I can name at least three events on Keenspot alone that were more responsible for the state webcomics are in now.

Realistically, keenspace was never all that huge in webcomic world. Keenspace the host had quantity but not influence, and keenspace the forum was a small subset of that. Not a lot of people from here ventured outside, not a lot of people from outside cared what was going on, and not a lot of people who left for better things ever looked back. KS was never a breeding ground for new talent so much as a purgatory where we were locked with 90% of comics that made one-page-wonder club.
Sorry, but your impression that happenings on Keenspace were important was reflection of the fact that Keenspace was important to you.

Now obviously it was also important to all of us, it was a huge deal in our lives. I loved Keenspace, both good and bad things about it. Bad stuff only made the whole experience more complex and more fulfilling; shitty things made us feel like we had a goal, and isolation made it all more intimate and like a part of something larger than the sum of it's parts. As corny as it is to say, Keenspace/ComicGenesis will always be in our hearts. But the name change did not affect this community significantly, let alone webcomic community at large.

Also webcomics are not in decline. Check out this thread to be convinced of the opposite forever.
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Re: End of Keenspace.com?

Postby Terotrous on Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:45 pm

McDuffies wrote:I can name at least three events on Keenspot alone that were more responsible for the state webcomics are in now.

I'd be curious to here what events those would be. You probably had more insight into the inner workings of those things than I did.


Realistically, keenspace was never all that huge in webcomic world. Keenspace the host had quantity but not influence, and keenspace the forum was a small subset of that. Not a lot of people from here ventured outside, not a lot of people from outside cared what was going on, and not a lot of people who left for better things ever looked back. KS was never a breeding ground for new talent so much as a purgatory where we were locked with 90% of comics that made one-page-wonder club.

I am aware that Keenspace was never really a breeding ground for Keenspot, but I think the perception that the two were related gave hope to a lot of people.

At the very least, even if webcomics survived, Keenspace / CG itself has declined, and I think you can blame the name change for a lot of that.
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Re: End of Keenspace.com?

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:29 am

For what it's worth, I didn't get into webcomics even just as a reader until 2008, after the name change. I only ever knew of this place as ComicGenesis (well, I mean, I *knew* about the prior name and stuff but that wasn't "what this site was" to me), and I'm 23 now. How many other people younger than me came along and only know ofthis place as CG and have no keen-association in their minds whatsoever?


If ComicGenesis isn't what it's used to, it's because the interface is too clunky compared to other webcomic host sites, and even if that wasn't an issue, people with any ability to help on anything more than a theoretical level have long since vanished and for one reason or another, no one was ever chosen to replace them. Look at the pogs and gen-chan and rectangle banner ad problem as evidence of this. The people who approve new ones don't do that anymore, so any pogs/ads/gen-chans you see are mad old and outdated (many of them I can distinctly attest have been here since I first started poking around 5-6 years ago). When people ask for help, we regulars can try to do what we can, but if the problem is something an admin needs to fix, there's nothing we can do.

I'm not saying the people who used to do those jobs are meanie pooheads for leaving, what I'm saying is that by now, The Powers That Be ought to have replaced them with the people that can step up to the plate for it.

Keenspace/CG has been abandoned by management as far as I can tell. McDuffies is the only one here who wields considerable power, and if I recall correctly it took quite a bit of pestering before he was finally even just given the ability to ban spammers forums-wide. And his powers are forums-side, not site-mush side. People with more authority poke their heads in every now and then, but honestly that's not acceptable. Like I said I'm not even putting this on those people. Life changes, I get that, people can't spend as much time doing internet majigs as they used to. But it leaves behind a vacuum where there used to be mods/admins/people who were able to enact programming change on the site, and although several people over the years I have been here have offered up their time voluntarily to step into these positions, that was not granted. Everything about this site is exactly the same as it was when I first started 5 years ago, except *more things are broken now* and no one has fixed them. Look through the help forums for people coming along asking pretty reasonable questions that have needlessly complicated solutions, if at all. People end up going elsewhere out of frustration/resignment. I mean, hell, I did, even though I still make liberal use of the forums here, I stopped updating my sites here entirely and am planning to wipe them soon.

So the problem is that even if people hear good things about Keenspace, good things about ComicGenesis, they come here and the site isn't as intuitive as others in its cohort. (Is CG the oldest of the "big" webcomic host sites, by the way?) Other sites offer a lot (built-in commenting code that isn't a shoutbox or Disqus, for example) that CG doesn't/no longer does. For some people, that doesn't matter and they'll still stick around. But then they maybe would like to upload a pog or banner and find that it sits for months in purgatory, and that feels like kind of a slap in the face. It says to the user "No one really cares about pogs" and whispers "We don't care about your work" and "The built-in promotion system we have is pretty clunky, isn't it." Or they come to the forums to ask for help with a problem none of us regulars have the ability to solve. Or, they come to the forums, see that there's only like 8 of us here any given week, start to think the place might be a ghost town and wonder if that holds true site-wise as well.

That's been my experience with it anyway. I'm thankful that this site gave me my start into comics, and for me the relatively steep learning curve was helpful, but the stagnancy of the management and therefore the product of the site eventually led to me taking my work elsewhere. I didn't do it to thumb my nose at anybody, because who am I, a nobody with a hole-in-the-wall comic no one knows about. No, I didn't do it to spite anyone, I did it because other sites offered more things, better things, things whose steps are easier to follow, and most importantly better networking/promotion capabilities.

I'm the only person in the world who cares about my comic as much as I do. It's the reality of creating comics. What I wanted was a host that made me feel like they understood that, like they *cared* about me caring about my comic, and would make things easier for me to turn the comic I envision in my mind into a reality with minimal roadblocks.
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Beyond 2000.

Postby Cope on Sun Apr 20, 2014 6:46 pm

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:(Is CG the oldest of the "big" webcomic host sites, by the way?)

It was the first webcomic hosting site that anyone could join (it's been around since the year 2000). Before that, there were some invitation-only hosts like Bigpanda and of course Keenspot.
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Re: End of Keenspace.com?

Postby Toxic on Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:26 pm

Whatever happened to DrunkDuck? Or did we obliterate them in the war?
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Re: End of Keenspace.com?

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:39 pm

Toxic wrote:Whatever happened to DrunkDuck? Or did we obliterate them in the war?

They got sober
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Re: End of Keenspace.com?

Postby djracodex on Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:16 pm

VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote: For some people, that doesn't matter and they'll still stick around. But then they maybe would like to upload a pog or banner and find that it sits for months in purgatory, and that feels like kind of a slap in the face. It says to the user "No one really cares about pogs" and whispers "We don't care about your work" and "The built-in promotion system we have is pretty clunky, isn't it." Or they come to the forums to ask for help with a problem none of us regulars have the ability to solve. Or, they come to the forums, see that there's only like 8 of us here any given week, start to think the place might be a ghost town and wonder if that holds true site-wise as well.


I believe I started my first comic here around 2005. This place was poppin'! After a year or so updating, then several years of hiatus I came back, because yeah, CG treated me nice. It was free, I have the layout I wanted and it was very very free. I remember starting back up here, submitting my pog, wanting to update my wiki, get back into the swing of things, I finally started to poke around the forums and ask questions. LC had to tell me what was going on.

This place is a ghost town. Every time I load up the home page, 1/3 of the pogs are blank. But, as far as the forum is concerned, I like actually recognizing who's here (I can't keep up with these kids anymore lol), and I still like the free-ness. I feel you though, having a host that cares, is at least present would be nice :(
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Re: End of Keenspace.com?

Postby LibertyCabbage on Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:49 pm

McDuffies wrote:Also webcomics are not in decline.
I agree; the landscape just changed. CG got replaced by Smack Jeeves, which is basically the same thing (massive amounts of shitty abandoned comics with a few decent ones) but better. Webcomics are also gravitating more towards quality as the flimsy hype is being replaced by a more substantial counter-culture. Compare the old top 5: say, PA, CAD, PVP, VGCatz, and QC, to the much better current top 5 of xkcd, Gunnerkrigg, Oglaf, QC, and OotS. (OK, I guess we're stuck with Jacques forever.)

djracodex wrote:LC had to tell me what was going on.
It's great that you actually stuck around. It's always pretty fail when a newbie asks a pretty basic question, and, I'm, like, "Yeah, the admins here don't give a fuck." I mean, no host's perfect, and SJ had its share of issues last year, but at least the admin there fixed the problems eventually. But hey, at least the servers are still up-'n'-running, right?
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Re: End of Keenspace.com?

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Tue Apr 22, 2014 1:39 pm

LibertyCabbage wrote:
djracodex wrote:LC had to tell me what was going on.
It's great that you actually stuck around. It's always pretty fail when a newbie asks a pretty basic question, and, I'm, like, "Yeah, the admins here don't give a fuck." I mean, no host's perfect, and SJ had its share of issues last year, but at least the admin there fixed the problems eventually. But hey, at least the servers are still up-'n'-running, right?


The SJ admin vanishes for periods of time here and there, but I think he still cares about the site on a decent level and does poke in often enough to fix most problems within what I would consider a reasonable time frame. I kind of wish he'd "promote" a few others to help him take care of site-side things but I guess I could also understand why he doesn't.

And yeah, it's kind of sad for me to not really be able to recommend this place as a host anymore. This was the first place on the internet where I really felt welcome. It's like our grandma that raised us and we love her but now she's a raging alcoholic missing 4 toes from her diabetes and rants about politicians who've been dead for years.
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Re: End of Keenspace.com?

Postby K-Dawg on Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:45 pm

Maaan I remember joining Keenspace back in 2000. So long ago.

And to what everyone else said webcomics are far from decline, they are on a gigantic rise right now. They are no longer centralized in one place (Keenspace/DrunkDuck) and with the costs to host your own site really you don't need these type of sites anymore. Comics are even bigger now and more people are able to make a modest living off of them now thanks to things like Kickstarter, Patreon and social media on a whole.
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Re: End of Keenspace.com?

Postby [geoduck] on Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:58 pm

And now, having triggered all this discussion, I see the site's once again re-directing to comicgenesis.com...
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Re: End of Keenspace.com?

Postby McDuffies on Fri May 02, 2014 2:52 pm

Terotrous wrote:I'd be curious to here what events those would be. You probably had more insight into the inner workings of those things than I did.

The thing that was probably beginning of the end of KS was forming of Blank Label. The controversie that preceded it took a big blow at a reputation of KS, and it's the moment when comics started to move to smaller hosts, when people figured that giant hosts are not only not the only solution, but also not the best and most profitable solution either.
There were other controversies regarding KS and their treatment of particular artists who went publicly about it later... I can't really recall particular names or comics right now, but I remember KS's image crumbling gradually over the years.
There was a history of very... eh... opportunistic choices when choosing new comics for KS. At one point it was like the only criteria was "will kids like this?" so author-driven approach was thrown outta window. At one time, the most publicized comic on there was an extended advertisement.
I think when Crosby's brother became more public as a co-owner that was something of a blow. He's been a persona non grata for very good reasons and it seemed like Kris was keeping him away from KS, or at least trying to separate him from KS's public image, but eventually they just kinda gave up. Some of co-owners of KS moved on and Bobby started doing comics with competent artists, and his role became very prominent, and not many people liked that. Lots and lots of bad publicity.
Nowadays it feels like KS is basically comics by Crosby brothers, with a few others thrown in for good measures. Numerically, Crosby's comics are less then half, but in terms of advertisement and attention they get, you get a feeling that they're the only comics up there. And neither of them is particularly good, to be honest.
Those are just things that are KS's own fault. But as said, the whole landscape has changed.

I agree; the landscape just changed. CG got replaced by Smack Jeeves, which is basically the same thing (massive amounts of shitty abandoned comics with a few decent ones) but better. Webcomics are also gravitating more towards quality as the flimsy hype is being replaced by a more substantial counter-culture. Compare the old top 5: say, PA, CAD, PVP, VGCatz, and QC, to the much better current top 5 of xkcd, Gunnerkrigg, Oglaf, QC, and OotS. (OK, I guess we're stuck with Jacques forever.)

Yes, webcomics are blossoming, in a way. There's a lot less inane fights and therefore less publicity, but man has the quality of comics risen. It's all much more author-driven and less genre-oriented, less outright copies of more popular comics. I think the maturity of average author and reader has risen.
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Postby Cope on Fri May 02, 2014 3:17 pm

While the overall quality of the webcomics scene is way higher than it was a decade ago, I feel like participation is way down. Kids these days don't want to be the next Penny Arcade or VGCats; they want to be the next AVGN or Pewdiepie. I miss the vibrant community of old, even with torrents of drama and cruddy comics that it entailed. Hell, one of those cruddy comics was my comic!
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Re: End of Keenspace.com?

Postby McDuffies on Sat May 03, 2014 11:53 am

Drama and cruddiness moved to TV Tropes... and then moved elsewhere from there too.
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