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Author Topic: WebComic Aggregator For Google Chrome  (Read 6401 times)

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Offline rlamb2

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WebComic Aggregator For Google Chrome
« on: April 11, 2011, 02:14:31 PM »
Dear Webcomic lovers!

After tirelessly trying to find an app or webpage that put together all my favorite comics with no luck, I decided to make it my self! Thus, The Comic Section was born!

SO! I've added many of my favorites but and currently looking for suggestions (and new comics for me to read :) )

Main criteria are:
Updated 1+ a week
Individually Funny even if story/timeline based
Valid Image Feed

Here are some currently in the app:
Questionable Content
XKCD
Garfield Minus Garfield
Diesel Sweeties
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
Amazing Super Powers
Buttercup Festival
The Brads
Piled Higher and Deeper
Channel Ate
Fredo and Pidjin
28 Pancakes Later
Friday 4 Koma
Wulffmorgenthaler
Indexed
Rob and Elliot
Cyanide and Happiness
Dinosaur Comics
Antics
Cat Versus Human
Toon Hole

There are a couple more so install it here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/dgllaaiaedimaoamipdmkmfmbloikdjg
and if you don't use google chrome, well, it may look weird, but you can view it here: http://russelllamb.info/tcswp

Thanks guys!

Offline Rob

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Re: WebComic Aggregator For Google Chrome
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2011, 02:31:57 PM »
Just a word of caution here. Comic aggregate apps and programs have come under fire, scrutiny and even Cease and Desist Orders because they often pull content from the creators site without registering traffic or affording the reader the ability (and I use the term loosely since few like ads but we all know they are necessary to make this business viable) to visit the sponsors of each individual site. In many ways aggregate sites like that are seen as "stealing" from the creators since they trade reader convenience for creator revenue.

As much as we all wish making comics was it's own reward; ad revenue is a VITAL part of the "free" content business model and while aggregates are often a cool idea in my experience they don't last long because once you wake one of the sleeping giants (one of the high traffic comics) and they notice a loss of traffic due to an aggregate they shut it down fast.

It's a shame no one has found a way to make an aggregate program that serves up many comics whilst maintaining the much needed ad exposure, traffic and exposure to creator specific merch that going to the actual website affords. But until it does I would hesitate to join up with any aggregate website for fear of being seen as "part of the problem."

It's great for exposure for many of us smaller fish... but think about how happy you will be if you're getting thousands of views through an aggregate but no one is visiting your site, buying your merch or even commenting on your comics.

rlamb2 has made an interesting program and I applaud the effort but from what I've seen of it in the samples on the page it looks like it simply rips the art from the comics website and mitigates nothing of the traffic, ad or merch loss that it causes.

You say you have been looking for an app or web page like this and couldn't find it? There have been several before you. They have all been shut down for the reasons I listed above.

Now... if you weren't aware of this then no bigs. I understand the desire to read all your favorites in one spot. The Webcomics List is the closest I've seen to doing it right as they let you create your own custom "list" of your favorites and tells you when they are updated but you still have to go to the individual comic site.

However, if you were aware that this sort of thing causes revenue loss for creators and did it anyway then shame on you. It may seem ok to take something given for free on the internet but your basically stealing from someone who is already giving away their content for free. The only strings attached being a visit to their site and exposure to their sponsors. If indeed you are doing that then its pretty low of you.

Ad blocker programs and SEO manipulation already make it hard enough to make a buck in this game. If comics can't make any money they will simply go away and you will be left with the people who only do it as a hobby or for fun. And I don't think anyone wants that.

I encourage you to either remove your program/app or alter it so it takes into account the aforementioned circumstances. But at the very least I caution any of my members here to tread lightly if you ever consider getting involved in anything like this.
 ;)
 

Offline Rob

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Re: WebComic Aggregator For Google Chrome
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2011, 02:41:27 PM »
And telling people that some (which is actually almost all) "sites depend on ad revenue so click on the comic to visit the site" is not sufficient. It's nice and may show your heart is in the right place. But no one is actually going to do it. If they can read all the comics in one place they will and it would be crazy to think that they would then go and click through to all the sites individually just to support the creators.

Offline rlamb2

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Re: WebComic Aggregator For Google Chrome
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2011, 05:11:55 PM »
Rob, You make many valid points, all of which I have considered prior to putting this together.  But I would like to reiterate the fact that I don't actually steal the comics from sites.  In fact, I don't even have the PHP capability to do so. There is a reason I don't have many popular comics such as "The Oatmeal": he doesn't freely provide the comic in a public rss feed. 

Really Simple Syndication is published by content providers to be used with software in order to view or read the material without accessing the host site.  Thus by implementing it into mine, I don't believe I've misused their content in anyway. 

Also, in following with great applications such as Web Comic du Jour (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/web-comic-du-jour/id382312175?mt=8) I will never provide archiving, or historical comics via the site, and since most people won't be able to check everyday, if they miss a comic they will certainly have to visit the site (via clicking on the comic itself, or the link provided at the top of the page) if they wish to keep up with the comic.

 I am a HUGE fan of webcomics and do everything I can to promote them both locally and on the web, hence my decision to use RSS feeds as a prime source. If you happen to know of additional ways to add traffic to the source site (either theoretically, or have some apps/code/program that would help), I would love to collaborate in doing so.  I have some programming skill, but not as much as I would like and am always looking to improve so that everyone benefits.

Rob, thank you very much for the honest and thorough feedback, and I apologize for the late reply, I never seem to get email alerts in the forums i post is :/