When you think of cool tech websites you think of California, not Maryland! But we have a cool new social network just for comic fans called Comic WOW and it’s based out of Baltimore, Maryland. That’s really exciting! The idea of a social network for comic fans sounded really neat, so I decided to get an interview with some of the employees at the Comic WOW booth at Baltimore Comic-Con.
Me: I’m here with Josh Geppi and Mike Kacala of Comic WOW. You guys are a local force here in Baltimore. Tell me a little about Comic Wow, the social network, and what you guys want to do with it.
Josh Geppi: Comic WOW we put it together for, basically, the general public that are comic enthusiasts to come on and to be able to generate their own content, put it on their own profile page, their own videos and pictures, and get their thoughts out on the industry. We basically built this for them. Think of it as the Facebook of comics. So it’s all focused on just comics and comic-related entertainment. We’re really excited about it and it’s had a very good launch so far.
Mike Kacala: Yeah, we have a unique setup where we have our own original blogs and videos, but we’re allowing the people who are watching our videos and reading our blogs and saying - if we missed a book that you guys were reading and you thought you had a different review than we did - give us a rebuttal. Tell us what you thought. Give us your opinion. We want to hear your voices. Want want you to be heard. So you can create your own videos, create your own blogs, and at some point along the road we want to have featured bloggers and featured videos. That’s the great thing about it. It’s bringing the community together.
Me: Does Comic WOW have any ties into other social networks so if you put something up on Comic WOW it shows up on Twitter, Facebook, etc?
JG: I’m actually glad you asked that. Right now in our first wave of our launch it’s integrated with Facebook. When you sign up you can sign up with Facebook or Twitter. But it’s Facebook integrated. So if you post something on Comic WOW and you click the link that says post on Facebook as well, it will post your page and say “link via Comic WOW”. We’re going to be integrated with Google Plus, Twitter, and Facebook all together. So you can post one time on Comic WOW and we will post it to all the other sites.
MK: Pretty much what he said. He covered everything. (everyone laughs)
Me: That’s really good. In terms of your own video production, I’ve seen you guys here interviewing a lot of people. Anything you want to tease for people to check out?
JG: Well, I definitely want you guys to check out our interview with Stan “The Man” Lee. What a great human being. The guy, first of all, doesn’t look as old as he’s getting right now. He is nimble, he is quick. If you pass him in the crowd he’s going to pass you before you pass him. He’s that quick. We got Eric Larson and other great interviews coming up for you guys. Definitely stay tuned.
MK: And I will have to give a special shout-out to Mr Phil LaMarr because he did a nice, great sound bite for us as his favorite character, Hermes, from Futurama. So Phil LaMarr did something great for us so look for that.
Me: One more thing. You were talking to someone else here and you were talking about your site when you integrate other people’s RSS feeds you’re not like those other evil sites that steals everyone’s content. Can you explain that a little bit?
JG: (laughs) What that means is, basically, some people tend to drop the credits to an RSS. They’ll take the article somebody put a lot of hard work into - and I’m not naming names because there are a lot of people who do that. But we want to give credit where credit is due. So we have in our RSS when we’re displaying IGN or NEWSARAMA, their logo appears next to it. Not only that, we’re teasing the article so when they click on it - it’s actually going to that site. So we’re spreading the wealth around the industry and social network. Because you’re being very social with it anyway.
Me: Yeah, that’s really important to me as a blogger and as a writer. I’ve seen a lot of people take the entire content of the article and then you don’t get any click-through and you don’t get any Google love. So I’m glad you guys are doing that.
MK: And when you say click-through - it actually is a direct link to that bit of news. It doesn’t pop up on Comic WOW as our own thing. It literally goes right to that news.
JG: Different tab, different window comes up. So you’re still on open on Comic WOW, but you have an entirely new thing where you’re on that person’s site. So you can go look around on that one, but you still have your other window open with Comic WOW.
Me: Thanks guys! Is there anything I forgot to ask you? Anything you want to mention?
JG: My favorite color is black, (Kacala laughs) I like long walks on beaches. But everything’s pretty much been covered. We appreciate the time.
MK: I was going to add that I couldn’t be more proud to be launching in Baltimore. [I am] Baltimore-raised. Both our sports teams are spectacular right now. It’s a big, great time to be part of Baltimore. The fact that we launched our site in Baltimore - I couldn’t be happier.