Over the past three days, we've taken a break from coding to focus on what our users want through marketing. Our site was a means to an end: figure out what users want and incrementally iterate towards it.
Through our experiments, we've found that for new visitors, the bounce rate is LOW. In other words, these new visitors are spending more than 45 seconds on the site. While it could be the case that they absent-mindedly left the tab open while surfing other things, I've watched about 20-30 real-time analytics to see that users slowly trickle from the first page to the second to the third (this can be seen in GA too).
This is great because the behavior suggests that users enjoy reading rage comics. We've always suspected that people enjoy reading rage comics, but the question was to what degree. Apparently a lot! Roughly more than a third of the unique new visitors came back to check for new content (marked as returning visitors).
So the question becomes: why aren't more people creating rage comics? People do enjoy viewing them. Is it simply a case of timing where because the medium hasn't attained a critical mass of popularity to breach the mainstream? Or is it the fact that the blank canvas is intimidating and people generally lack story ideas?
Luckily, we know a few things now: in the rage comic space, the biggest pain point for users is creation -- there just is no de-facto solution that works seamlessly. This is something that Max and I felt when creating too. I mentioned this in another post: it seems that Reddit users that popularize rage comics in f7u12 do so out of a hobby, not as a seamless mode of communication.
In any case, whether we pivot to become the de-facto site for college experiences/rage comics, a better rage creator is a must.
Our next steps are to see student awareness of rage comics and to gather info as to why more people aren't creating. If it's a problem of easiness, then a well-thought technical and UI/UX design solution will be viable. If it's a deeper problem, like a chicken and egg problem (where they need their friends to use it and popularize it first), we'll need to put the better creation tool in the hands of powerful early adopters and power users.
Next week, we'll be asking these questions and iterating ever closer to what people want.