Piperka - online webcomics bookmarking
Submitted by Terrence Marks on February 5, 2007 - 11:40
I haven't seen too many other webcomics make any mention of piperka.net. It's an online webcomic bookmarking service. It's free. It takes a little getting used to, but I've found it quite useful.
[XEREXES: I use piperka myself quite a bit - it's a great webcomics-reading tool]
The first question I had was "What can I do with this tool?" Actually, no. The first question was "Is this thing hotlinking my images and using them for nefarious purposes?". Two of our comics were listed. And it doesn't grab images.
But back to the other first question. What can you do with it. But let's say you read webcomics. You probably do. You paste in the URL of the last strip you read, and it keeps track for you. If you're up to date on a comic, it tracks new updates. It requires manual input - it's just a webpage and doesn't track your browsing.
It's very good for keeping up with comics that are on hiatus (Alice, Absurd Notions), comics that update sporadically (Oriyan, Picatrix), and comics that update on their own schedule -I mean, I could try to remember to check Slow Wave every Tuesday, and Something Happens every Thursday and What's New every Sunday. But I'm probably not going to.
Or, let's say you can't read comics for a while. You could be on your way to lunch when you're kidnapped and smuggled onto an airplane that's flying in circles high above a desert. When you escape a week later through the refueling bay and jump off when the plane is directly above something that looks very, very soft from a quarter mile up, you may have missed a few crucial updates of your favorite comics - and reading them in reverse order would just ruin all the surprises that the cartoonist has been building for the last few months. Or you just forget to check your comics for a couple days. There've been several comics that I've missed a week on, and that week turns into a month, and that months turns into a year. I know I can't be the only person that happens to.
As a cartoonist, it's useful for similar reasons. Some of our comics are getting to the point where there's too much to read the whole archive in one sitting. We get emails from people who do that sometimes, and every day it gets a little more impressive. I want to make it as convenient as possible for people to read our comics.
You can also do neat things like this: http://piperka.net/profile.html?name=wcca2007 - links for most of the 2007 WCCA nominees, if you want to be responsible and read them before voting. If you have your own Piperka account, you can just click on the plusses and add them to your reading list.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I've got my list at http://piperka.net/profile.html?name=terrence. It's a mix of comics I'm current on and comics I intend to read.
There are currently over 1200 comics listed. More are added regularly. I requested a few (You Say it First, Lang Lang, Mechagical Girl Lisa A.N.T) and they were added within hours. There were other comics I was thinking about requesting - they were added before I could actually put the request in (Code Name: Hunter, Plugged Nickel).
What could it use? Content ratings would be useful. It currently has an "adult" tag, but that can mean a lot of different things. I'd also like to see an "ended" tag, along with a "last updated" field in each comics' summary. I have no problem reading a comic that's over, but I'd rather not get invested in one that ran out of steam two years ago when it was in the middle of things.
Overall verdict: I like it. Before I wrote this article, I used two Firefox bookmark folders to manage daily and MWF comics, and piperka for the others. I've moved things over entirely and I'm still adjusting. I find it a useful tool, as a supplement or sole tracker of online comics.