Saturday, December 6, 2008

Is It Funny Today

Screen shot of part of the home page.

Is It Funny Today is a bit deceptive. It's easy to mistake it for yet another poorly conceived comics voting site, but patient explanation from one of the owners helped me understand it's something I haven't seen before: a read-and-vote site based on the latest update and not the strip itself. In other words, is today's episode funny?

It launched this week, focused on short form humor, and is attempting to work in long form titles with a system appropriate for story installments that don't always end in a punch line.

At the very least, it's a new idea, and a welcome relief from the endless series of copy cat sites we've seen launched this year. Despite being new, it's already much more volatile than a site like Buzz. Since the primary reason for participating in this stuff is to get exposure, experience says lot of people will gladly endure the indignities in exchange for eyeballs. Most won't even perceive it as an indignity -- all the better for them.

It's too early to say much more, like whether it's fair, but the owners are intelligent and open-minded and resisted the temptation to name the site after themselves. I've never been big on sites that portray themselves as objective when they are really subjective, but I think these guys have more noble intentions than most and so I've cranked up my Blogspew Machine to alert the interested and possibly send people over who will answer their request for ideas for managing long form.

The interface is pretty smooth. Click a title, it opens the page with a voting bar across the top of the screen. Vote YES FUNNY or NO UNFUNNY and click the green pepper to return to the site. Repeat.

I don't really think all the titles listed signed up, but I forgot to ask. This raises that touchy question of people becoming irate regarding permission and all that, but perhaps I worry too much. Besides, a few of them are titles that are never, ever funny, and it's fun to play at sending them a message.