Comics dot Com vs GoComics

Pearls Before Swine

2009 was the year that companies flocked to Web2.0 standards in hordes. If you somehow missed this, then you shouldn't be reading this blog. One of my favorite shifts was seeing my favorite comics move from the page of the newspaper to my email reader. In the world of comics outside the indiescene, there are really only two powers now: Comics dot Com and GoComics. Sadly, at least by the end of 2009, the real winner easily goes to Comics dot Com. They win on both the levels of content as well as on their Web2.0 features.

Content: Anyone familiar with Pearls Before Swine or Get Fuzzy should be glad to know that these are both hosted on Comics dot Com, as well as tons of other comics. The two comics that stand out as contenders in the GoComics audience are Non Sequitur and Calvin and Hobbes. Calvin and Hobbes is no joke. If any try and contest the fact that it is the best comic of all time, they will rightly be considered insane. Sadly, it's been on re-run mode for-e-ver... and while it never gets old... it ain't getting any newer. Now, onto the Web2.0 features that secure the win for Comics dot Com...

Embedding: See the comic at the header? You can see it because Comics dot Com allows people to embed their strips on their own sites. GoComics does not. That means Comics dot Com gets instant advertising from all who re-post their content, although they have no control over who is doing the re-posting. With GoComics, you would need to contact the syndication or owner of the comic before re-posting or risk copyright infringement and the possibility of losing your own blog. Also, Comics dot Com can track down where their comics have been featured (via trackbacks or by basic analytics). The embed feature, above all else, places Comics dot Com in the lead.

Full-Image Subscription: Both sites let users subscribe to a specific comic. However, GoComics only provides a link in their daily subscription and not the comic itself. The very point of subscribing is so that a reader can get their favorite content from all their favorite sites in a single place... or, at the very least, previews of the content. RSS is the build-it-yourself newspaper of the future. Comics dot Com wins out here as well as they provide the entire comic.

Search: Both sites have work left to do on their search engines. Remember that comic you love? That one you couldn't stop laughing about and wanted to show others? Well it's online now! Seriously. You can share it with everyone... you just gotta find it. It is actually easier to find the comic on Google Images on a DIFFERENT site than it is to find the one you are looking for on the actual site. However, Comics dot Com edges out in the lead again, as I'm not the only one who has been able to find the comic I was looking for using their search. Their user-based tags help as well, but an advanced search is needed for both sites. Soon... I'm hoping... soon.

Needless to say, GoComics is still the home to Non Sequitur, so I will check in with the site every three months to see if there have been any updates. Non Sequitur is the nearest replacement in our modern age for The Far Side. I should likely note, before you do any searches only to come up empty, that The Far Side has failed terribly at any Web2.0 push. Actually, in order to fail, one must first make an actual effort. The Far Side hasn't even made an effort. The splash page for their main site looks like it was made in 1996. No, really, you've gotta see it to believe it. Check It!

In closing, the major syndications are finally catching up to the viral web comics of the indiescene, such as Cyanide & Happiness and xkcd (to name but two of the thousands they must now contend with). It is good to see this competition forced on them. Competition is not only great for the consumer... but great for laughs!

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