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GPF, Webcomics

GPF schedule upgrade? Not in January…

December 5th, 2006 by Jeff | 2 Core Dumps

If you guys think you’re frustrated by the slow pace of my currently weekly update schedule, I’m at least twice as frustrated, if not more. Needless to say, I’m not happy with my recent projection about how long To Thine Own Self… will take. (See my comment at the bottom of that post for the shocking analysis.) So I’ve been strongly considering stepping up my update frequency to at least twice per week in an effort to get things moving. Of course, being the geek that I am, I can’t comfortably do that unless I know my current production schedule can handle it. Some freakish thing about accepting reality and not having demand (posting of comics) exceed supply (the production of such comics), I suppose. So I decided to do a few quick calculations to see how many comics, on average, I’ve actually been producing lately.

Of course, being a lazy geek, I didn’t particularly want to waste time writing a whole new program to do this, so I fired up MS Excel to fling around a few cells. I’m certainly no spreadsheet wizard, but I’ve done my share of cell munching over the years. Unfortunately, I quickly found out that my small business version of Office undoubtedly didn’t have the function that I needed. (Undoubtedly, I don’t have some Analysis ToolPak or some such installed.) Fortunately, OpenOffice Calc came to my rescue with the function I needed. I took the file dates of all the comics I’ve produced since Ben was born and put them in one column, then used the WEEKNUM() function to convert the dates to a single value. It didn’t really matter what that value was, so long as it converted all the dates for a given week to a single identifying value. I then performed a count of the number of comics produced in a given week, then averaged all the counts for the 11 or so weeks the range covered. Of course, since this is only Tuesday the current week technically isn’t complete, but I still consider it a valid experiment.

The bad news is, the average is 1.25 comics per week. Thus, it would be completely impractical for me to increase my update frequency in January, as I wouldn’t be able to sustain that frequency. However, the good news is that I’m statistically producing comics faster than they’re being consumed, so the buffer is ever so slowly increasing. Thus it’s conceivably possibly that the update frequency may increase in February or March. I doubt I’ll be able to increase any production through December because of the holidays, but as Ben gets older and things get more settled in my job (there is a strong possibility I’ll be brought on full-time by my employer in January), I’m hoping that next month will let me develop a more stable comicking schedule.

Just thought I’d let you guys know that I’m not sitting on my laurels here, eking things out agonizingly slowly just to tweak you. As proof, here’s a PDF snapshot of the spreadsheet. I’ll try and keep you guys updated on my progress as I can.

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