Flashy sites

I’ve been struggling to promote my new site, the Alternative Browser Alliance, since I launched it in August. It’s a tough sell. I get the most traffic when I post something visible on Slashdot and people follow the link in my signature. You can barely even find it in Google—search for “Alternative Browser Alliance” and blog posts about it show up ahead of the site itself! (On the other hand, it seems to be #1 for “alternative browser” on MSN. Not that it seems to be helping much.)

By contrast, Flash: Those Who Ride the Lightning pulls in tons of visitors. Last week I put up an article on the Three Dimwits, the Flash’s comedic sidekicks from the 1940s. Within 24 hours it had received more than 150 hits. Within 3 days it was the top result for “three dimwits” on Google.

Why the difference? Well, my Flash site is long-established and authoritative. More importantly, it fills a specific niche. You can find a zillion pages about web browsers. But there are only a handful of large sites dedicated to the Flash, and mine is the longest-lived of them, aside from DC Comics’ own site. And until I wrote one, I could not find a page anywhere that actually focused on the Three Dimwits, just a set of stubs and the occasional comment in articles about the Flash.

Last Thursday I posted a suggestion box on the front page of the site. The results have been interesting. The freakiest part was probably that the first suggestion came in just five minutes after I uploaded the form! There’ve been 22 suggestions in the first week, which I’ve divided into three categories.

New Profiles

I’ve added most of these to my to-do list. (Some were already on there, but I’ve asked for people to request them anyway as extra motivation.) I’m not sure about JLU and Fire, though. JLU is the animated version of the Justice League, and while I understand the Flash was flirting with Fire on a recent episode of the cartoon, they’ve barely interacted at all in the comics. (On the other hand, I eventually added Beast Boy in response to popular demand. Not only were people searching, they were typing in the URL manually just in case I’d posted it and forgotten to add a link.)

Note to whoever offered scans of the Blitz: If you’re reading this, please comment here and leave your email address! I’d very much appreciate the scans and any other info you have, but I don’t have any way to contact you!

New types of content:

  • Issue synopses would be nice.
  • appearances of all the flash villains outside of the flash comics
  • More non-speedster profiles, such as Green Arrow, Brother Blood, Roy Harper, etc.
  • Wallpapers, more pictures, more info on Kid Flash
  • Image galleries
  • some pictures galleries
  • More cool pics of the Flash!

Here’s where things get a bit more problematic. Images take space, and the way I like to post them, they take a lot of time too. I see the idea is popular, though, so I’ll have to think about it.

Issue synopses would be a very long-term project unless someone wanted to step forward and help me with them. As it is, I’d rather focus on adding and improving the character bios for now.

So far I’ve deliberately limited efforts to list villains’ appearances outside the Flash and related books. There are two reasons: one is that some of the villains on the site aren’t normally Flash villains. Dr. Polaris showed up in just two Flash storylines, but has zillions of appearances in other comics. But even tracking down Heat Wave’s appearances outside the core books could take a long time.

Additional non-speedster characters are similar. On one hand, I do want a place to list, say, Hawkman’s appearances in The Flash. On the other hand, despite sharing a first appearance (Flash Comics #1, 1940), the characters rarely interact outside the Justice League and Justice Society. I do plan to add Green Arrow at some point (at least Ollie, and probably Connor as well), and I should probably add Roy and Garth to finish the original Titans lineup.

The weird stuff

  • flash comics
  • flash internet games
  • info about the flash 3 wally west
  • raven
  • special

I’m not sure about “flash internet games,” but I suspect the rest of these were from people who saw a text box on the home page and assumed it was a search box. I mean, I have more info about Wally West than just about any other character on the site, and Raven’s bio is the third most visited page on the site!

And finally…

  • This site is awesome! Thank you for all the updates this month!

Thank you for the kind words!

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