Recently, Chris Hallbeck (The Book of Biff, Maximumble) stopped including the entire comic in his RSS feed for fear that it was giving away too much too easily. There was a day when this annoyed me and having to click through to view the actual website that housed a comic was enough to drive me to drop it from my list.
However, I’ve now softened on that notion. It could be because I have met Chris in real life on one occasion and now want to help him succeed in his endeavors in any way I can. It may be that the pervading sense of entitlement on the Internet is making me sick and I want desperately not to be a part of it.
Whatever the reason, I no longer care about that extra click and have even started going out of my way (and what a long way it is) to visit each website in my RSS feed to make sure their pages are getting the proper hit from my readership. This is likely a drop in the bucket for most of the comics I read on a regular basis, but it is certainly a behavior that I hope all readers consider. Eventually (hopefully), a comic can reach a level of superstardom so rare and so sky-high that page views are no longer a concern, and in this case, reading via feeds doesn’t register on my radar. But when I know the creator is struggling just to get each update online, when it’s apparent that this is a labor of love and nothing more, it’s my duty as a consumer of their content to at least give them the Web equivalent of paying a fraction of a cent for viewing their work.
So how do you feel about reading comic via a feed? Do you do what you can to make sure the creator gets the respect they deserve for each comic produced? Or do you read through your feed without visiting any actual websites, denying those content providers their proper due?