Trying to explore the sphere of Spanish-language comics on the Internet (enriched version)

 

Last year, curious to know more about the universe of Spanish-speaking comics in the network, I had launched an exercise in mapping sites in this community. Valuing myself as free programs, I tried to focus on the Spanish sites of this subject.

With the help of Linkfluence, an institute of studies specializing in the observation and analysis of trends and opinions on the social web, I return to my activities this year, on a larger scale and with the same interest in the subject.

Perimeter of the study

This time, it is a more important set of sites: 2 167 sites (931 in the first version of the study), still in Spanish but also in Spanish co-official languages. It should be noted, however, that in this version the preference of locating in Spain of the referenced sites was abandoned in order to make the set more representative.

The indexing of the web pages was made at the end of June 2011.

Thread Tools

In the first version of the study, it had used 4 free tools: Navicrawler, Gephi, Flem et Flagfox to select, store and map registered sites.

In this enriched version, it was the Linkfluence Institute (which is also part of the group of contributors who originated the Navicrawler, Flem et Gephi) tools which indexed sources and cartography. This indexing was done by their crawlers that examine the content of each site and extract from them the hypertext links in a database that serves as a reference for cartography.

In addition to the automated collection of data, the institute also made available its Flash map that allows to manipulate the set of sites in an interactive way.

Methodology

To begin with, Linkfluence crawled 1-click deep web pages from the set I had formed in the first studio in order to extend it. In addition to the initial 931, around 4,000 sites were discovered. Based, among other things, on indicators and connectivity markers developed by them, Linkfluence then performed a pre-selection of potentially relevant sites for the study. After this, I took over to finish the manual exploration, the selection and the categorization of the new sites found.

To delimit the set, I proceeded by elimination, advancing little by little.
After having removed the so-called “top-of-the-web” sites (Google, Facebook, etc.), visited and placed order among “neighbors” sites (those outside of comics), Non-Spanish-speaking comic sites. Except for some web pages of French-language publishers, heavily referenced, in particular by the Spanish-speaking authors who publish through them, the other sites in other languages ​​were separated.

As for the qualification of the sources, I did the same work as for the first version of the study, trying to classify the new sites visited according to one of the 9 categories chosen before: authors, publishers, associations and federations, magazines & fanzines, Comics, manga, information and reviews, events, WEE network. In this process, the type of content (manga, comics, etc.) was privileged as much as possible, instead of the entity (authors, associations, etc.).

Map accuracy

The nodes represent the websites and the links or arcs between them are the hyperlinks they exchange (incoming links come in red, outgoing in yellow). The size of a node depends on the degree of connectivity it has. Here, it fits with the number of links pointing to the node (incoming links). The more incoming links there are, the larger the node. For more details on the graphic conventions and the method used to create the map, do not hesitate to consult the help section in the interface.

As for the previous study, the map below is not exhaustive. The crawling was not on the entirety of the page content but was made 1 click away from the covers of the registered sites. Therefore, it does not cover all Spanish-speaking sites that deal with comics and only reflects a fraction of the web sites in the field.

As for the way of categorizing the proposed sites, it is personal and although it was carried out in a serious way, according to the rules described in the methodology above, it is not debatable. The fact of choosing only one category, was for some places a true cocoa mental for being so diverse at times!

Cartography and analysis

Macro scale

It is a very large scale, when one tries step by step to sift the sphere to study and define its borders that discovers its neighborhood, the environment in which it develops. When doing this work topoló