I have some concerns over the staff using the "trending" tab to find new content for Staff Picks, since I've observed a change to how it works in the last few months coinciding with changes to "Popular" now seeming to work more like "Trending" used to (Tracks surges in likes).
Before the site changes, I used to trend at the top of Action most updates, sometimes I'd even make it onto main page Trending, but now, with no particular loss in speed of bookmark accumulation, and with increased average likes per update, on a comic with excellent reader engagement in terms of likes and comments and strong page views to bookmarks (I've done my research and monitor this stuff), I can't even appear on the Trending page. If I'm lucky under the new system, I can get up to about the third row of the "Popular" rankings for the Action genre on a good update day (so if it turns out the Staff look for stuff on a Wednesday, even if they look in "popular" and in my genre, I'm still kind of invisible because I update Fridays, so I'm only near the top for that weekend window). The Trending page for Action doesn't even have enough comics to fill a full page, and seems to consistently just be made up of comics already at the top of the Popular rankings, comics currently featured on the front page and brand new but professional-quality works by established artists that are likely having a surge from outside marketing. (And this isn't me being negative on outside marketing by established artists, but I've done mine, I've had that surge, that was months ago, I can't constantly manufacture big surges in readership from outside because I only have so much reach).
If the staff are using "trending", which I think, based on observation, tracks new bookmarks? I'm in basically a Catch-22, where I'll never get enough exposure to get enough bookmarks to appear in "trending" even in my genre, never mind overall unless I get featured, but I'll never get featured because I can't trend.
I never even used to care that much about getting a staff pick or a feature, because my work was climbing so effectively without needing any of that under the old system. I've managed to claw up over 250 subs without any "sub-for-sub" shenanigans, without being featured, just by working hard and creating a comic I lavish with attention to both the writing and art.
I've just assumed for a while and made peace with the idea that the Tapas staff maybe don't like my comic, since I tick all the boxes: I've been published by Penguin Randomhouse and done artwork in a professional capacity for over a decade, so it shouldn't be a quality issue, I literally got a pro UX designer to oversee my readability, so that shouldn't be a blocker, I update regularly even though it's exhausting alongside my job, I'm a regular on the forums with a huge review thread, there are really only a few conclusions: "I'm on the wrong threads and somehow slipped through the cracks", "they have me in mind maybe in the future but they want me to have more content or to reach a really dramatic part of the narrative" or "it's just not their jam"? I've always just shrugged like.... well, that's okay, maybe they don't like my work, but they're allowed to not like my work, I'm growing my audience without any need for that!" But the new algorithm is making it really hard to maintain visibility under my own steam, and I'm starting to feel like unless the algorithm changes, or being able to add that secondary LGBTQ+ tag to my comic gives me a boost from a more popular genre, or I get a large surge from an outside review... I'm pretty much relying on the benevolence of the staff to feature me if I don't want to crawl at +5 bookmarks a week for eternity.
It's great that we're getting a community thread to suggest features, but what I actually really want is a system where I don't feel this gnawing desperation to get one and can really believe that if I just keep having pages that perform well and growing my audience at a steady rate with regular high quality content, I can get ahead all on my own.