Friday, August 5, 2011

inkOUTBREAK

So, you probably know that there are a lot of webcomic listing sites out there, and it seems kind of redundant, but you add your comic anyway because it's just one more link. Today I discovered a relatively new webcomic listing site, inkOUTBREAK. I think it's pretty cool because it serves many purposes. It has a frame like StumbleUpon where you can view your webcomics, and it will keep track of what comics you've read and save your place in them for you. Yes, Piperka already does this (I think), but inkOUTBREAK is also like Pandora. It suggests a bunch of comics for you based on your preferences for genres and the comics that you favorite and block. And it shows you when your favorite comics have updated. Like StumbleUpon, the frame makes it really easy for readers to surf comics. If you don't like one comic, just jump to the next one in your queue of recommendations. This seems like the next big webcomic thing. It already has a bunch of popular comics listed, and seems to be growing pretty fast. I just discovered it, though. What are your impressions of it?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Review of Smack Jeeves

I recently switched hosts for Think Before You Think from Smack Jeeves to Spider Forest. This was an upgrade, since Spider Forest is a selective collective with free domain hosting, but I think Smack Jeeves is underrated, as a free and open webcomic host.

I started with Smack Jeeves when I was making Lifehouse: Behind the Video Blogs. I didn't know anything about running a webcomic. I had been posting my comics in my LiveJournal art gallery. With Smack Jeeves it was easy to get my comics up in a sequential order, which was all I wanted at the time. I didn't need to know any html in order to do that, but since I had access to all the code in the layout for the default template, I decided to experiment with it, and I learned a lot more about html through that process. And I discovered that I actually have a lot of freedom over the structure and layout of the website.

In general, I've been very happy with the features that Smack Jeeves provides for free, and when I wanted something improved, sometimes posting about it on the forum would make a difference. For example, I got them to include news in the RSS feeds from my suggestion.

I still update my original Smack Jeeves-hosted Think Before You Think website as a mirror, and still get a significant portion of my website's traffic from it, because a lot of Smack Jeeves members have it in their favorites. I think the pool of Smack Jeeves comics sometimes has a reputation for being juvenile or nothing but Yaoi and sprite comics, but I think it's pretty diverse. It's a huge website, and since it's so easy to use that it has a lot of comics on it that people don't put much effort or care into, but it also has a lot of good quality comics. I was impressed that my comic got such a big following of fans on the site considering that it's not in any typical Smack Jeeves genre.

I highly recommend Smack Jeeves if you're looking for good quality, free webcomic hosting. I might even recommend getting a premium account if you want to have your own domain and you want to spend some money. But I don't know what that's like - I haven't used it.