One of the most useful discoveries about my experimental comic Robots Read News was that my vulgar humor was not as popular as I had predicted and hoped. That makes sense, now that I think about it. Most adults would not share or re-tweet vulgarity even if they enjoyed consuming it. And in 2015, social media is the game. Any content that your core readers will not share might as well not exist. Oh, and the fact that it isn’t funny. That probably matters too.
But who cares about the fickle whims of the audience? Any self-respecting artist would defend his vision, vulgarity and all, because art is more important than commerce. Or so say all the people I totally don’t understand. So I decided to go a different direction. My plan is to give people what they want, if I can. I hope no one has a problem with that.
So here are two new RRN comics without vulgarity. Do they work?
How amazing is it that I will probably have a persuasive result from this experiment in non-vulgarity in a few hours? All I have to do is watch the social metrics and my site traffic in real time. Are these tools, along with continuous testing and improvement, enough to develop a comic into something that people care about?
Beats me. You’ll find out when I do. I hope you enjoy watching a “system” operate as opposed to a goal. The test of the system is that I come out ahead even if the new comic fails. I hope I learn something.
[Quick unscientific update: The non-vulgar comics are a big hit on my Dilbert Facebook page today, and preferred to the vulgar ones, but things seem more split on Twitter and this blog. But Facebook is by far the biggest traffic driver this site… so…?
The other emerging pattern is that people like fewer words even if it means one joke instead of two.]
Dilbert on Facebook
@ScottAdamsSays (my dangerous tweets)
@Dilbert_Daily (Dilbert-related tweets)
My book on success: “I feel the best I have ever felt after reading a book.” – Puget Sound Paralegal (Amazon 5-star review Feb 20, 2015)