Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Comics + RSS = Super!

Since the inception of my little family comic strip, I wanted it to be available for easy consumption via RSS. I've found that RSS makes it convenient to keep up to date on the latest blog and news articles, so why not for web comics?

Recently I stumbled across Tapestry, an online directory of hundreds of online comic feeds. Awesome idea! Ironically, I found this resource at a time that I am actively trying to cut out RSS feeds and other noise, in an effort to be more productive and centered; but I think I will make an exception for the important things in life: comics and literature.

4 comments:

Kristian said...

Hey, man. Read your latest "blog" entry for the Remonstrance via its RSS feed in Google Reader, and I find it odd that you praise RSS for it's ease of consumption but then admit how you are actively trying to cut it out of your personal life because of the "noise" it generates for you.

A news aggregator should allow you to sift through your feeds and cut the crap while reading the good stuff. You can also be more selective about which feeds you read and when. I think that is the partial conclusion to which you came.

Basically, it allows you to keep up with more information in less time it would take to load each site in your browser. In fact, I find it frustrating when a site doesn't have an RSS feed.

So which is it, Drake? A blessing or a curse?

Anyway, tell Julia I said "Hey!" I'll keep you guys posted on our move to Atlanta.

Drake said...

Hey man, good to hear from you! And congratulations on the Atlanta move - I'm totally psyched for you and Uzma!

As for RSS, I do think it is a valuable tool and agree that it lets you actively filter content while keeping you absurdly up-to-date on topics that you care about.

I am just trying to cut down drastically on it during work, along with other distractions such as IM, email, slashdot, and message board posting (this post doesn't count :P).

I do think the amount of "noise" that we let into our heads during the work day can really cut into our concentration and productivity, and leads to longer, more frustrating hours at the office. The time I waste at home is perfectly OK.

We'll see how it goes. I actually haven't bought or read the "4-Hour Workweek" book, but I've read enough reviews to understand its main points. I also don't intend to follow the advice verbatim (I will check my email more than twice per day, and I am sure not going to get away with working only 4 hours per week!).

Hope all is well, and give our love to Uzma!

Kenn said...

Feedreaders do allow you to get a lot more reading done in shorter amount of time, but this convenience encourages people to subscribe to ungodly amounts of sites just because they can, with just a single click. The result is feedreaders choked with hundreds of feeds, most of which go unread, or skimmed at best, while actually sucking up more time than the reader initially spend reading individual sites.

All of which is not to say that I'm not a big proponent of RSS. I am. But I found that I had all kinds of stuff that I wasn't actually all that interested in. Slashing my number of feeds by about 80% helped me get out of a real time-sucking habit while still getting me the stuff I actually care about. And I've found that I really don't miss reading, say, BoingBoing every day. If something on one of these sites is really important, I'll find out about it through other channels.

Drake said...

Hey Kenn, my experience with RSS is very similar to what you describe. When I first started using it, I subscribed to dozens and dozens of feeds, from Java programming blogs, to comics, to news about the Jacksonville Jaguars.

It was just too much information, and I spent far more time sifting through the feeds than I used to spend just checking my few websites.

I concluded the same as you and Kristian, in that RSS is extrememly useful, but only when you trim the fat!