August 23, 2010
As Uncle Ben lay dying in the street that fateful night, he told me something…wish I could remember what it was…
Ah well, probably wasn’t important, but given that WebHub would be the communications centre (Well, near-centre, actually having an entire industry using a single mode of communication would be impractical beyond belief to implement even with substantial support) of the Webcomics industry in my lovely hypothetical future-type place, there’d need to be some strict guidelines on how it operated.
For starters, whilst I would like for it to be donation-driven, it’d probably be better for it to be subscription-driven from a practicality point of view. Not a big subscription, mind you, maybe just £1/month or so to access.
The majority of that money would be used to pay for it’s hosting, but then I think more humanitarian uses could be added. A yearly donation to charities like Child’s Play would be pretty good from a PR standpoint if nothing else, and maybe there could be a little section to appeal for monetary aid and people could earmark their donation/subscription fee to be delivered there, to within a set maximum percentage of the income (If the entire community tried to send their money to something terrible, it would otherwise cause WebHub to fall short and itself die).
Whatever was left would be used for publicising, maybe for merchandising, and almost certainly for organising conventions (“See you all at WebCon 2015 this summer! We’d have named it ComicCon but there were…issues.”).
WebHub itself would be little more than a semi-public forum. It’d have thousands of users and have a few neat little corners as far as HTML coding goes but it would still be fundamentally identical to most Internet forums. Unfortunately, that means there’d need to be moderators and administrators.
Why unfortunately? Well, consider what they’d be able to do.
WebHub would be a place where someone could get their name out into the industry and make appeals for aid when things are going badly. Now imagine there was a bad seed in those authority figures, they could almost single-handedly ruin someone. That’s not the kind of power I want in anyone’s hands in this concept, but at the same time there needs to be someone to close spam threads and cool off fights and the like, so there has to be some regulated authority to do so. Maybe there’d be elections every now and then to decide new moderators or something. That’d be pretty interesting.
So WebHub is basically founded on the two principles of equality and co-operation.
Everyone has a centralised place to talk to everyone else, and then the idea is that you drop a line in your webcomic to another, be it a mention, a link, or a full-blown “Hey this guy is awesome! Go check him out!”. And then people can spend less on their own advertising and start actually earning some readers, and from there it’s a hell of a lot easier for people to start actually earning income from their artwork. And as the industry gains wealth, through WebHub the industry gains security and can really start doing awesome stuff.