First, a brief mention that yesterday’s Multiplex was totally awesome, and I look forward to seeing where this is going.
Now, on to a potentially far more silly topic – the way I read my webcomics.
Despite my recent efforts to remove comics from my list that I read out of habit, rather than due to genuine interest, it remains the case that at any given moment some comics are much more appealing to me than others. This isn’t to say the others are bad comics, not at all – but there are many strips whose quality occilates up and down from one storyline to the next, and sometimes I’m interested and sometimed I’m… not.
Most days I avoid having to pick and choose simply by reading in alphabetical order – even easier to do these days, since Piperka has streamlined the process and removed my need to figure out what comics have actually updated that day. Even so, I have a few quirks that show up in the process.
First off, I try and read in equal divisions of the total comics available. To explain, I usually open a dozen or so comics in multiple tabs, read them one after the other, and then open the next set. When doing so, however, I try to space things out evenly. If there are sixty new comics that day, I’ll aim for six groups of ten comics at a time, or five groups of twelve, etc.
What makes this even more exciting is that I also try and read all of any given alphabetical section at a time! In other words, I’ll try and read all the A’s, B’s and C’s in one jump, then the D’s to G’s, then H’s to M’s… all while also trying to stay as close to my numerically even distribution as possible. Isn’t it fun to be mildly OCD?
On the other hand, this has had the surprising result of noticing where some of the best webcomics are clumped together. I have found the G section to be especially prime material, while the S’s (which also has some top comics) is the largest section of them all, sometimes taking multiple groupings to get through!
The final rule of the reading is to always end on a good note. The addition of Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic has made this a relatively easy task, but prior to then I tried to save a few good strips for the finish, on the belief that whatever strips I read last would be the ones most affecting my mood afterwards.
I will admit to violating this rule on occasion – if I’m in a rush, I might read the top ones first, choosing a few choice highlights and leaving the rest for later. But, by and large, I follow the above formula. Yes, it is strange, bizarre, and slightly ritualistic – but honing my daily webcomic reading down to under a half an hour is a more than a worthwhile accomplishment.
So – how do you read your webcomics?
I have three Firefox “active bookmarks” (rss feeds) set up for the tag combinations “comic+@read+daily”, “comic+@read+mwf”, and “comic+@read+weekly”.
Then I just “open in tabs”, and…
Currently, I have my booksmarks grouped in subfolders as “Every day” “weekdays” “Monday-Wednesday-Friday” “Tuesday-Thursday-Sunday” and “Once-a -week” (which I read on Saturdays. This occasionally means there’s a tab with no comic (things that updated every weekday except wednesday, etc), but it generally works well. So, yes, being mildly OCD is fun, though you win by a long shot. I’m thinking of making the switch to Piperka, though.
Those are the methods I had meant to implement for a long while, but never got around to actually doing so – and then I ran across Piperka.
I’m actually considering looking into RSS feeds for my update tracking, simply due to some random and arbitrary connection difficulties I’ve had with Piperka – but thus far, it has largely continued to get the job done.
I first divide my list into comics that update daily, mon-wed-fri, weekly, and sporadically.
Dailies I look at daily in the morning, then mwfs and weeklys are nearly all on either a site that hosts a lot of websites, or I have favourited on onlinecomics. If they’re on a host site, then I read them through alphabetically, starting with the letter one after the letter my favourite one starts on. If they’re on online comics I just look at them when they have an update alert. Sporadics I check on whenever I can remember their names.