Zequez

Just a place to write about the stuff I make, do, think, and maybe eat

Comicsen

Project Factsheet

Website:

It was located at comicsen.com, but as of now I already pulled the plug

Time Invested:

I don't know

Skills set:

It was my first experience with built-in web framework, CodeIgniter, PHP and it was JavaScript-intensive on some backend tools

Profits:

I actually got a few dollars on Adsense over the years, literally like 20 dollars in the 3 years it was online

Current status:

Shutdown

Source Code:

I lost it, but since I had it hosted I managed to recover it years later. I'll upload it to Github later.

A screenshot of the web app

*Front page screenshot courtesy of the Wayback Machine

What was this?

The intention of Comicsen was to build a website to translate webcomics to different languages. I was mostly translating from English to Spanish.

Etymology

  • Comics = Comics
  • En = In (in Spanish)

So the idea was to do something like ComicsEn/Spanish ComicsEn/English, etc.

The idea

Well, at the time I read a lot of webcomics, during the golden age of Google Reader. And the problem was that I couldn't share with my friends on Facebook because most of my friends couldn't understand English very well. So I decided it would be a great idea to translate them so everyone could enjoy the comics I enjoyed.

Features

The website featured a built-in JavaScript editor in the backend to translate the comics. It allowed you to erase the text in the comics, and add your own text. The idea was to make it easy to translate the comics.

wide

A screenshot of the JavaScript editor

It also had a blog-like listing of the comics, with special pages for each comic, with a bar of % of translated comics and stats like % of non-translatable jokes. It also featured a voting system for the comics.

One of the most interesting things about the website was that the scraping of the comics was done automatically with a PHP script and a Cronjob. Building Comicsen I mastered the art of Regular Expressions, and I also got a liking of scraping websites, which I also did in later projects.

All of these things were made mostly from scratch, since I didn't know plugins for CodeIgniter were a thing.

What happened?

Like most of my projects, I lost interest after a while and abandoned it. I think I translated around a few hundred comics. The visits peaked at around 1200 visits per month, on July 2012, and that was way after I had abandoned. Thinking back, the project might have had potential, and I could have probably made it grow if I had been more persistent. But I wasn't.

This year I shut it down, since I canceled my hosting subscription, since I don't work with PHP anymore, and my blog was moved to be statically hosted on Github now (it was on Wordpress).

What do you see in the future?

I'm not sure. As I said, thinking back, it could have worked great if I had been persistent with the translations. But that train already left, so I'll probably just let it go, I have tons of other ideas to work with right now. Besides I would have to do it from scratch, since I there is now way I'm touching PHP again.

Blog posts about the project