Over this session I have been following Jake’s digital artifact which was reworking Infinity Comics. Jake’s digital artifact is really just a continuation and expansion of his already developed online presence. He has been blogging at detective-comics.tumblr.com for around 5 years (and more recently also at his marvel blog ultimate-marvel.tumblr.com). This project was really just a natural progression of his aforementioned online presence.
Jake’s aim was to re-work a group blog he founded two years ago with fellow well-known tumblr bloggers called Infinity Comics. Jake’s original vision for Infinity was to gather bloggers that each had a unique blogging style and create a sort of ‘haven of comic information’. An all-inclusive resource that would allow tumblr users to find information relevant to their interests without having to leave the medium. But when one of the core members had to leave due to time constraints the blog sort of stagnated with the rest of the members trying to post content whenever they could but it was nothing like what Jake had originally envisioned. So for this project Jake has tried to revitalise this blog and push it towards his original vision.
Concepts and Methodology
The methods Jake has used to redesign his blog were as far as I could tell non academic but in this scenario it was academia really necessary. Being a prominent member in the comic book community on tumblr gave him an insight into his subject matter that no article really could. The decisions relating to design and content choices were informed by demand from his already established fan base.
The Redesigned Index Page
Jake has created a few additional pages that serve as resources for different material. First off the index page. The redesigned index page makes it easy for users to find posts that are relevant and interesting to them. This is a major thing for me because with a lot of tumblr blogs to find what you want you have to sift through enormous amounts of content which can be very tedious. Unless the posts are tagged correctly to make them searchable but a lot of users don’t seem to utilize this.
Next he has created a Creators on tumblr page that allows users to find people within the comic industry that use tumblr. There is a bio on each creator, a list of the notable works and links to all of their other social media channels. This is another valuable resource for any tumblr user new or old. I think a lot of users associate tumblr blogs with more fan created content and probably don’t realise that these people who work within the industry also use the medium.
The final additional page that Jake created was the comic book movie list. This list features 184 comic book based movies all ranked through an average of the IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes score. Similar to the Creators on tumblr this is another invaluable resource to both comic book aficionados and newbies. For the experienced user you may find a movie you hadn’t seen and for the uninformed it offers a resource that may help them dive into the world of comic book movies.
The Movie List
As I stated earlier Jake is an already established presence so he is a different spot to the majority of the other projects. The newly reinvented infinity comics blog will continue to operate with a few new contributors who will each contribute their own unique content. Hopefully this is something that Jake is able to leverage in the future as it has progressed well beyond just a ‘blog about batman’. I would love to see him use the resource that is the other members of the blog and try to branch beyond tumblr. Possibly creating YouTube content or a podcast series relating to comic books, leveraging the audience of each members respective followers.
Visually all of the pages are very well designed. The content pops of the page and the interface is slick and easy to use. The only downside to the design is the menu that leads to some of the best content on the blog ‘JR’s comic collection’, Nini’s ‘where to start guides’ and the movie list has some really small font. It almost feels as if they are hidden away. The size of the font on this menu could also hinder accessibility for vision impaired users.
The movie list could benefit from a small bio on each movie as well as stating which comic book each movie is based on. A small bio such as the IMDB bio would aid newer users who are unfamiliar with these movies. Also there could be a link to each movies respective IMDB or Wiki page. Adding which comic each movie is based on might seem unnecessary as most of the time the source material is in the name of the movie but in some cases it’s not really obvious e.g Edge Of Tomorrow is based on All You Need Is Kill. Runtime is a weird thing to list first. I think the order should go something like Based on > Directed by > Starring (Better than featuring) > Runtime > Infinity Rating. Im guessing that the majority of things have not been done due to time constraints and while they aren’t essential they could raise the already great content to another level.
Overall Jake has really aced the redesign and revitalization of Infinity Comics. It was really hard to find things to critique as he did such a good job. I look forward to seeing where Infinity Comics goes in the future.