United Features Realizes That Setting Comics Free Online Makes Sense
from the about-time dept
For years, the big comic strip syndicators tried to pretend they could recreate a world of scarcities online. They tried to hide comic strips behind registration walls and make it difficult to regularly view them. RSS was completely out in some cases — especially if that RSS included the actual strip. This was backwards, as something like RSS for comic strips is a perfect example of what the technology was designed to do. For many years, one of the most popular RSS feeds online was a scraped unauthorized version of Dilbert. All of this artificial scarcity and fear over openness actually allowed many webcomics to become quite popular in place of the professionally syndicated comics. Finally, earlier this year, United Features, which syndicates Dilbert, revamped the entire Dilbert.com site and added a real RSS feed.
It appears that United Features is taking that even further, freeing up all of its comic strips online, including vast archives, and is adding full RSS feeds for all of them. This includes 50 years (and 20,000 strips) of Peanuts. You can even create your own custom feed of comics that you like. United Features is probably about five years late in getting around to this, but better late than never.