On the other hand, do you think you read all the same things as everyone else? The comics you read every week are probably not the same ones I read every week or the same ones Joe, the IT guy, read every week. A few big ones didn’t fit the parameters (XYCD, Cyanide and Happiness) and a few of the other ones that I know that are really large (Questionable Content, Ma3, and LICD) were all in the original list of 500, but weren’t pulled. Those are pretty much the only large ones I know of. This wasn’t a survey of the most popular webcomics anyway (although that could be something to do in the future) this was one of ALL webomics. (And by the way, they were all “real, live, and updating”.) Thewebcomiclist has almost 20,000 comics on their site and there was an estimate a few years ago that there are almost 50,000 webcomics online, and honestly, I believe that’s somewhat low. There are so many webcomics on the web, and most of them AREN’T popular. If I missed most well-know, widely-followed webcomics, that’s probably a very good thing, because how many is that? The popular webcomics are a tiny percentage of what’s out there so they be a tiny percentage of what’s in the study. (Also, some really popular webcomics were included. Girlswithslingshots, Family Man, Scandanavia and the World, and Gunnerkrieg Court were all mentioned over and over again when I was talking to people about this. If you’ve never heard of any of these, then guess what? My theory that everyone reads very different webcomics might just be true. I had never heard of 3 of those, but they were mentioned like 10 times each.)
In short, the comics YOU read every week are a tiny, tiny, miniscule percentage of what’s out there. It’s not possible to keep up with a majority of comics that update regularly.
As for it not being the best statistical model, I’m not up on statistics, but I did a little reading, and it looks like for the large set of data I had, simple random sampling was the best choice. Other options seemed to need more data than is available. There has not been any studies on webcomics really, that I’ve been able to find, other than this one. The distribution of webcomics isn’t known. How many comics are fantasy, how many are romance, how many are pornographic. There is no way to get a representative sample in that regards either, although I would have liked too.
The data on choosing the list is here.
Also, just because I didn’t study the popular ones, doesn’t mean it’s not true for them anyways. I would love to know how everyone’s favorite webcomics compare and if you want to submit stats on your favorites, I can start compiling a list of those. Just make sure to read all the parameters* that the webcomics had to fit to be included in the study and what qualifies as a character*.
*This information can be found at the same location as the data on choosing the list. Link found above.