I am really loving RSS.
For years my only experience with anything remotely RSS-like was the LJ Friends Page, which is (in essence) an internal syndication system that allows external feeds for people who upgrade to paid accounts.
Once Schlock Mercenary had its own RSS feed I realized that I needed to start trying to consume this feed in different ways. After all, I’ve had people tell me for a couple of years now that my comic is the only one they read on its own website — everything else they read, they read via RSS.
I started by adding the Schlock feed to my friends page. If you’re on a paid account, you can add it here. (And please do! It’s a great place to comment on the strip via LJ, because you can confidently post spoilers! Also, you can spread the comic around because sometimes bored folks check out their friends friend pages. Adding the feed is like a public service!)
Enough plugging. On with the story…
Next I started looking for other feed-readers and aggregators that would provide me with a similar experience. I don’t want a list of links in a side-bar, like Sage provides, though I can see how some folks would. The Bookmarks Toolbar isn’t for me, either. I want a “friends page” format. And I got it using the Google Reader. I’ve dropped several comics and other feeds into my Google Reader account, and using the “Expanded” view from the “View All” link, I get just the results I want.
Wow. Never more will I need to click on the OOTS website to see if Order Of The Stick or Erfworld have updated. I’ll get notification (not the comics themselves, sadly) right in my Reader. Also, piles of Failblog, Lolcats, InsectPod, and other stuff. COOLNESS.
About a year ago I was discussing disruptive technologies with fellow webtoonists. RSS fits the bill. I get the sense that in a couple of years anybody without RSS is going to be an also-ran, and the big dogs will be the ones who embraced it to the fullest and exploited it.