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A Post about Feeds: Addendum

Two things:

  • It would seem as though my timing is impeccable. This very day same day I write my diatribe about asynchronous RSS thingamajiggers, David Morgan-Mar of Irregular Webcomic announces that he’s got it covered. He even gave it a catchy name: Archive Binge. Now, I haven’t actually tried it yet (I’ve been busy—see point below) so I can’t judge, but it may very well be the answer I was looking for.

    [EDIT: After trying out the site, I must say I'm impressed. But I have concerns. First, everything is funneled through their site: you need to register to use the service, which creates a barrier to use. Also, the selection of feeds is somewhat limited (though they already have some heavy hitters like Wondermark and Dr. McNinja). This isn't too surprising, given how young the site is (1 day old). I hope and expect that the number of participating will strips increase substantially.

    However! The process for adding your site to the list is not painless. From the FAQ, they need:

    A way to figure out the URL of the web page containing each strip, given the strip number. This can be done three ways:

    1. If you can give us a sprintf format string, into which we can just plug the number, that's great.
    2. If your comics are indexed by date or some other method that doesn't map neatly to strip number, then we need a list of the strip page URLs, in order. In most cases, a simple directory listing should suffice.
    3. If your site structure is obvious enough to us, we can probably just work it out ourselves. We'll let you know if we can do this.

    I'm not sure how many creators are willing to do this. Furthermore, a ton of webcomics nowadays are using ComicPress, which creates page URLs in a way that seems rather incompatible with Archive Binge's system.

    My verdict: Archive Binge seems like a service geared more towards the hardcore webcomics reader than the average user. It's definitely a useful tool, and I heartily commend David Morgan-Mar (and co.) for being leagues ahead of me on this one. But I still think something like a Wordpress plug-in would be extremely valuable to creators. Directing readers through a third-party site is not the most user-friendly proposition. A simple link on the front page of a blog/comic would be best.]

  • For unknown reasons, the database went down earlier today. I was able to restore it from a backup, but we lost comments. Specifically, I believe we lost two comments from Cliff, one from me, and one from galatae. My apologies! To make up for the loss, I officially offer Cliff and galatae a full refund of their subscription to Chronillogical.