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Title! Yeah, Titles Are Good

Hey, anybody notice the extra verbage when mousing over an Achewood strip in the past couple of days? Give that sucker a click, and there’s a new feature to rate the strip on a scale of 1 (funnier than anything the newspapers) to 5 (brilliant like a million exploding suns).

There’s also handy code to embed the strip on your own site, and the archives now show thumbnails of the strips instead of merely the titles, along with summary statistics (rating and vote count). Looks like most strips only have about 30 votes, so get crackin’ people. I demand to know if my assessment of the Greatest Achewood Strips Ever matches the wisdom of the crowds.

The entire thing is run by a company called Assetbar, is called Acheworld, and features the greatest Terms of Service ever:

From the desk of Chris Onstad

Hi, this is Chris. I fixed everything, and I want to explain how.

We’ve all seen it, and we’ve all been confused. The world is changing so quickly that only nine year-old boys with “Wiisâ€? in both pockets actually know what is true any more. I’m 31, and most days, I care so little about what “” is that I can barely get out of bed. But this is different.

This is Achewood’s answer to that confusing glut of inscrutable text messages, video game blogs about RSS feed ringtones, and pictures of a kitten saying “IM ON UR HOTDOG EATING UR MUSTARD.â€? In only a few months’ time, this paragraph will mean nothing. There has never been a better time to put your money on information decay. Or to hedge against properly structured English-language paragraphs.

Come deeper into Achewood. Talk amongst yourselves. See a picture of a cute girl from Nova Scotia, or a boy named Hellos4Hubert. Send messages to one another. For almost six years we’ve been flat, but now there’s a basement. I want you to go there, and I want you to have an information party. Because that’s what the Internet was supposed to be, before money and Paris Hilton fucked the whole thing up.

In short, come in and enjoy Achewood in a slightly new, slightly different way. The old way is still there, but this way has more girls. (Girls, I’m counting on you.)

The Finest Things to us All,

Chris Onstad

PS: Yes, we are actively developing new features, and requesting your feedback. Here’s what’s in store:

* ALT tags for strips will be included in Acheworld.

* The Achewood blogs will be incorporated into the interactive content, so you can say what you think about what Ray thinks.

* Much, much more.

Okay, that’s not the really ToS, but that’s what you get when you click the link on the registration page. The actual Terms of Use are your usual legal doublespeak and if you can make sense of them, congratulations. Me, I’m just glad to know that the Greatest Achewood Strip Ever is the one where Ray Gets Sort Of Stoned. I personally prefer Let’s Say Good Stuff About Ray’s Dick, but I can live with the crowds on this one.

And considering that Achewood is often ahead of the curve on a lot of things, one can only wonder if other webcomics will be looking to provide compatible services. Watch this space for updates.

Edit to add: Yes, Achewood and Dr McNinja have both had alt-text for a long time. It’s what’s new in the Achewood alt-text that’s importatnt: links to Acheworld.

Ahem. Might want to take another look at Dr. McNinja. Question for either creator: when did either start this curve?

Achewood and McNinja have both had the extra alt text for a long time now – I think Achewood’s had it since early on.

I know mcninja started it post-achewood, as mcninja itself started post-achewood. I’m not sure what the FIRST webcomic to exploit alt-text was. Both achewood and qwantz were pretty early adopters but I feel like there is someone who came before them that I am forgetting.

…isn’t it really just title text though? I don’t think either of them uses alts as titles.

Dr. McNinja started the text on its third arc. I didn’t notice Achewood having the text until a couple months later. Therefore, relative to me, I am right. Einstein says so.
ORRR… the first piece of achewood from 2003 has text on it, and I just didn’t notice it.

Achewood is also not the first comic to have a rating system. Diesel Sweeties has had it for a while now, for example. My own comic has had it for a few months too.

[…] in April of ’07, Chris Onstad introduced a new tool to control content availability to his subscribers; he referred […]

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