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Friday, December 30, 2005

Oh No Robot Webcomics Search Engine

Posted by Nathaniel at 8:37 AM
ComicsI haven't mentioned Oh No Robot yet, have I?

Oh No Robot is a reader-crafted webcomic search engine created through a joint task force consisting of Ryan North and T Campbell. The concept is simple. You have a webcomic, and you sign up at Oh No Robot. Put a bit of code on your comic display pages (it can go somewhere above your AdSense code but should be well below your Analytics code, and it shouldn't be placed anywhere near your Extreme tracker code). Then comes the fun part. You wait. Your readers go through your archives and will come across a button asking them to transcribe a comic, and they follow very simple instructions to do so. They submit, and now the complete text of that particular comic is fully searchable through Oh No Robot. You can also add a search utility to your own site so people don't have to go there.

When I have a few minutes to kill, I find myself often wandering over to the transcription page where you can find a listing of comics that are waiting to be transcribed. It only takes a minute or two to transcribe one comic. I've personally done about 40 or 50 since the site went live. I even do it for comics I've never read. Why? Because it's a worthy effort, and I like to feel as though I'm contributing to a very worthwhile webcomics cause.

So, if you're a webcomic creator, make use of their free services and sign up your comic for full-text searching. If you are a webcomic reader, see if your favorite webcomic needs your help. You'll be glad you took three minutes out of your busy day to help build a webcomic's search engine.


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